Microsoft today announced Windows Azure toolkits for three of the most popular smartphone platforms: iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Developers can now build cloud-centric apps using a unified approach to deliver a cohesive experience across the major platforms.
Microsoft's announcement includes an updated version of the Windows Azure toolkit for Windows Phone released last month and a brand new version for iOS. The Android toolkit is expected to be released in the summer.
Jamin Spitzer, Senior Director, Platform Strategy at Microsoft, explained the many benefits of the unified cloud approach:
"The toolkits leverage the cloud to simplify the complexity of supporting multiple devices. As a common back-end, developers can use cloud services to share common requirements like device notifications, authentication, storage and even higher-level services like leaderboards. At the same time, developers can maximize the performance of each mobile device by writing client code that exploits each platform. As more and more mobile applications rely on back-end services, the cloud can become increasingly useful and strategic for developers."
Developers can download the Windows Azure Toolkit for the iPhone from github. Microsoft has also provided samples and documentation for the platform. Windows Phone developers can download the updated 1.2 version of the toolkit from codeplex. The updated version includes "Windows Azure Access Control Service (e.g., a wizard, automatic setup, tooling and code), full support for Windows Azure Storage Queues and an updated user interface for the supporting Web application."
Additional information is also available in a variety of screencasts. Getting Started with the iOS Toolkit specifically targets iOS developers while Deploying the Cloud Ready Package for Devices is targeted at developers who want to quickly get started with Windows Azure without modifying any services.