Windows 10 Mobile support coming to Withings smartwatches “eventually”
Withings has typically been an iOS-first manufacturer, although recent support for Android signals a broadening of horizons for the company.
But what about humble Windows? The upcoming Windows 10 Mobile, due to land this autumn, is Microsoft’s best chance to rekindle support from app developers.
Fortunately, Cedric Hutchings, CEO and co-founder of Withings, has confirmed to us that the firm has plans to support Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10 Mobile operating system for the Activité and Activité Pop smartwatches, as well as its roster of smart-home products.
“Yes, eventually,” explains Hutchings, speaking to TrustedReviews. “It’s a question of resources, and that’s an obvious answer, but sometimes people don’t realise that developed on a platform…it’s very easy and it’s quick.”
He continues: “I can take the decision and say, and maybe in six months have a good app with Windows.”
That suggests support may be a long way off, and not without reason. Hutchings explains that the problem isn’t about the time it takes to turn around a Windows app, but the maintenance that such a move requires.
“The problem is you do it, then you’re committed to the community. You need to have adequate competencies and resources in-house to then make it up and keep doing it,” says the CEO. “
“Every day I have proposals of ‘okay, I’ll port your application on Windows’ and I know it’s possible,” adds Hutchings. “It’s a big decision.”
Withings recently rolled out full Android support for its product ecosystem – which includes the sleep-tracking Aura, and the inimitably attractive Withings Activité smartwatch – after years spent developing mainly for iOS.
However, Hutchings confirms that features won’t always release on both platforms at the same time.
“We’ve now shown that the whole product portfolio is available on Android properly. That doesn’t mean that the release of the specific features will always be synced,” says the Withings co-founder.
According to Hutchins, when developing a new feature – a change in the UI experience, for example – it might be more efficient to develop and stabilise it on one platform, and then port the technology onto the other platform thereafter.
Hutchings adds: “But it means that you, even with a couple of months’ different, you’re committed to support it on both platforms – iOS and Android.”
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Of course, Withings has always tended towards iOS, so does that mean new features will always land on Apple’s system first?
“Now that we have quite a significant team both in iOS and Android, the answer is no,” explains Hutchings. “But the answer is that we use one of the platforms as pioneering features.”
“There are some features we’re working on right now – I will not disclose – that will be released for us on Android. Because we apply the principle mentioned, we have to choose a platform. But now we have a good team on both, we can say ‘okay, you’re pioneering this feature that will be ported in iOS’.”
Do you think more developers will take the Microsoft plunge once Windows 10 Mobile lands? Let us know in the comments.
Check out our Withings Activite video review below: