jerdog · Sep 16, 2012 at 11:00 am

Google Tool Helps Developers Port Android Apps to iOS

If you’re an app developer who has created apps for Android and put them on Google Play, you no doubt have seen the advantage of creating applications for the largest mobile OS. Maybe you would like to “share the love” with users of that other mobile OS but you aren’t familiar with Objective-C, so you have chosen to stay away from it.

There exist many tools out there to help you convert JAVA to Objective-C, with differing results. Given that JAVA and Objective-C are almost worlds apart, trying to port or convert can be time consuming, as you’ll have to sift through the bytecode and error-output. Google however has created a tool, called J2ObjC, which will convert your JAVA classes to Objective-C classes, thus directly utilizing the iOS Foundation Framework. Essentially the tool allows JAVA code to be part of an iOS application.

Here’s what they have to say about it:

J2ObjC is an open-source command-line tool from Google that translates Java code to Objective-C for the iOS (iPhone/iPad) platform. This tool enables Java code to be part of an iOS application’s build, as no editing of the generated files is necessary. The goal is to write an app’s non-UI code (such as data access, or application logic) in Java, which is then shared by web apps (using GWT), Android apps, and iOS apps.

The tool supports most JAVA language and runtime features, but is not guaranteed to work with all possible ways of using JAVA. The tool does not provide the developer with a platform-independent UI toolkit, so you still would need to use native iOS UI code, but this is a great step for developers looking to make cross-platform applications. Make sure to visit the project page for information on using the tool.


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