Alongside Microsoft’s efforts for a Universal Windows Platform, their using some of their technologies from the Xbox gaming system to help promote high-quality, consistent application experiences across different devices.
The goal is for Project Rome to work across Windows, Android, and iOS Devices. The plan also make use of Xbox SmartGlass for continuing the experience between PCs, Xbox console, and phones. As we all know, people use many different devices, sometimes starting an activity on one device then finishing it on another.
Project Rome uses an URI handler API to access different web links and go directly into an application instead of a browser. It also features APIs to discover devices through the local network, Bluetooth, or the cloud, as well as APIs to build experiences that communicate across applications.
Shawn Henry, Microsoft Program Manager said:
Certainly, in a lot of cases, mobile apps are better than the mobile web. 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.
Project Rome is allowing people to seamlessly lauch when users access a link, completely skipping having to go through a browser.
Shawn also explains:
The user always gets a good experience.
Microsoft also reported that a Windows RT API for Project Rome should be released in about two weeks from now. The Android and iOS SDKs will be released slightly later. Microsoft is wanting to give developers the ability to provide an experience which there is no drop offs when the user has to move between applications on different devices.
VIkas Bhati, Microsoft Principal Program Manager said:
The problem that we’re really trying to solve is apps today are losing engagement.Context switch should not mean that your app loses the context.
VIkas Bhati also explained he switches between his laptop, iPhone, and Windows Phone devices, and he moves from device to device and from app to app.