Microsoft has announced the availability of the Windows Azure Toolkits for mobile devices, including: Windows Phone, iOS, and a preview of tools for Android. These tools allow developers to leverage the cloud to accelerate creation of mobile apps. Groupon, for instance, is using the platform to create a consistent mobile experience for users.
“At Groupon, we recognize that people aren’t tied to their computers and want to get deals – whenever and wherever they happen to be. Taking advantage of the Windows Azure Toolkits for Mobile Devices, we can rely on a common backend to create consistent, next generation mobile experiences like real-time notification services that integrate into each phone’s home screen and app experience,” said Groupon’s Michael Shim, vice president of Mobile Business Developer & Partnerships.
Mobile apps is a booming industry and is only growing. Forrester predicts the market will exceed $7 billion by 2015. The problem is that there are too many options out there for developers to create for. They’re forced to prioritize one mobile platform over another and, even when they do try to cover all platforms, the user experience can be inconsistent.
The Windows Azure Toolkits simplify things by providing a common back-end to share features like requirements like device notifications, authentication, storage. Developers can still write client code that exploits the strengths of each individual platform.
Microsoft is also announcing a “Cloud Ready” package for the toolkit. This simplifies the process of setting up services in Windows Azure and allows you to get started quickly without worrying about modifying services. Check out the screencast below for a tutorial on Windows Azure for iOS and hit TechNet Blogs for more details.