The biggest difficulty behind developing and testing a native app is that essentially a brand new app needs to be created for each operating system. Google is looking to ease that difficulty. The Android mothership has created a tool that will allow developers to use some of the same code for both Android and iOS native apps. The tool works by converting Java code (for Android) into Objective-C code (for iOS).
Developers still have to create custom UI coding for each platform, but Google’s J2ObjC tool will take care of the backend. From The Register:
Using J2ObjC, however, developers can code their core non-UI functionality in Java, then compile versions of those portions of their apps for both Android and iOS from a single code base, rather than maintaining a separate code tree for each platform.
Read the full article at The Register >>>
The tool converts 29 Java features into Objective-C. See how everything translates in this comprehensive list.
J2ObjC isn’t an end-all-be-all magic porting tool, but it will definitely ease the workload significantly. It’ll be interesting to see if it works as well as Google hopes or runs into some in-the-wild testing problems.