Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Microsoft’s Project Rome Enables Consistent Cross-Platform App Experiences

A new, upcoming API from Microsoft
 is set to unlock the potential of true 
cross-platform experiences. | 
Photo Credit: Microsoft
Microsoft is utilizing a technology originated from its XBox gaming system alongside Universal Windows Platform strategy, to advance high-quality, cross-platform experiences across multiple devices. The new, upcoming API from Microsoft would enable users to jump between apps from a Windows phone to a MacBook Air, for instance.


The foundation of which Project Rome originated can be traced back to the SmartGlass app Microsoft developed for its Xbox gaming console. The reason for its development is due to user interactive actions with apps that are frequently jumping among apps, devices, and various OS platforms throughout their day’s usage. In fact, 42% of users often starts an activity on a device and end it on another. The goal of this new API is to expand the volume of app communications between diverse platforms and to eventually remove all protocol-related limitations. Additionally, the aim is for developers to further discover and identify all cloud-connected devices and other proximate devices users coming across on a diurnal basis and then develop strong experiences with familiar API’s like LaunchURIAsync and AppServices, which allow easy transitions between screens and even platforms. Moreover, several APIs are featured for the purpose to uncover devices via local networks, Bluetooth, or the cloud, aside from APIs to develop experiences and to communicate across multiple apps.  
            Project Rome…
            Enables the user to connect, manage and control any connected app or device, or either proximally from the cloud,

            Exposes the user's device graph enabling the app developer to pivot on the OS, devices, apps, platforms and services, and

            Empowers human-centric experiences that evolve with understanding of the individual's environment

According to Shawn Henry, Microsoft program manager, “Project Rome is all about user engagement particularly when many users use multiple devices, at times starting an activity on one device and finishing it on another, he noted.”

How does Project Rome work? This new API is installed first, on all key devices used regardless of the platforms they are on. Once it is installed, users can basically move the existing status of the app to some other device and continue working.


Project Rome allows URI handler API to flawlessly launch whenever a user/s to gain access to a link, instead of a browser. “Certainly, in a lot of cases, mobile apps are better than the mobile Web,” Henry said. “And you’re all familiar with this experience where you get a link in an email or something like that and you hit it and you want to go to the app but instead, you end up going to the browser. And this is not always the best experience for your user.”

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