Microsoft has announced the release of the Facebook Universal Windows Platform apps for Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. This was revealed at its Build 2016 developer conference on Wednesday in San Francisco. Facebook’s advertising SDK will also be available for Windows 10 UWP apps. It promises to be a huge win for Microsoft.
According to Microsoft’s Windows and Devices head Terry Myerson, the company has seen a 60% growth in new developers with the Windows Store in just the last few months.
He showed a slide that displayed a number of current and upcoming UWP apps. Some of those apps are already available, but future ones like Vine, Starbucks, Bank of America and others were shown as well.
In a video that was also shown, Boeing Digital Aviation was featured using its own universal Windows 10 app to help pilots replace their heavy physical handbook with tablets.
As a reminder, those are designed to work across Windows mobile, Xbox and the desktop. Perhaps the most important among the new crop are from Facebook, which has gone Universal for both its main app and Messenger. Advertisers will also be able to reach nearly three million Facebook Universal app users via the Facebook Audience Network. Other social apps, including, Twitter, Instagram and Vine also received new UWP updates.
As a universal app, Facebook only has to build one version for each app and they’ll adapt between Windows 10 devices, be it PC, tablet or smartphone.
— Karissa Bell (@karissabe) March 30, 2016
Most importantly, these new universal apps should help boost Windows 10 Mobile‘s poor app ecosystem.
Windows desktop users may not care as much about Universal apps, since the features are already accessible by browser. However, they’re pretty important for Microsoft’s Windows Phone users. While social media apps are crucial, Microsoft hasn’t forgotten other popular categories like banking. As such, new UWA apps from American Express, Bank of America and Starbucks are bound to be popular on Windows Phone, assuming users haven’t given up on the platform, of course.
The current Instagram app for Windows Phone, for example, is decrepit and sorely lacking in the latest features — it still doesn’t have video support. Meanwhile, on iOS and Android, the Instagram app is already moving to longer 60-second videos.
Here is what Facebook Messenger on Windows 10 will likely look like (based on the beta version of the app that popped up in the Microsoft Windows app store earlier this month).
New versions of popular apps are coming soon from Uber, Hulu, Dailymotion, Skype and, yes, Engadget. Xbox gamers, meanwhile, get updates to Tomb Raider, Disney Infinity and other titles. Microsoft courted controversy recently with game developers like Epic after announcing it would close its store to third-party apps, but today said it will allow mods and overlays for UWP.
In addition, it introduced software called Centennial to import Win32 apps to the Universal platform. As an example of that, Xbox chief Phil Spencer showed off a converted UWP version of Age of Empires II, a Steamworks app, which appeared to run normally.
Meanwhile, the Facebook for Android Beta Testing Program is finally live. The Facebook Messenger for Android beta program will give people who opt-in access to the latest versions of Messenger for Android before the general release.You can now send SMS, MMS on Facebook Messenger app for Android as a tester.
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