Next week will see the launch of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the fourth major feature update to Microsoft's flagship OS.
Developers who want to use any of the "thousands of new capabilities and improvements" that Microsoft says are introduced by the update can now download the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK.
The SDK provides developers with the latest software headers, libraries, metadata, and tools for building Windows 10 apps.
Microsoft promises that the SDK will make it easier for developers to build Windows apps that run on virtual and augmented reality headsets, that look and feel better to use, and that are easier for users download, install and update.
Developers will be able to take advantage of the new deployment system in Windows 10, which allows app updates to consume less data by only downloading the updated portion of the software, rather than the entire app. Users will also be able to run applications before they have finished installing, made possible by apps being broken into components that are streamed to the device and installed separately.
When the SDK is used with most recent version of Microsoft's Visual Studio Integrated Development Environment, it will allow developers to add a modernized installer to apps to exploit the latest Windows Platform APIs.
These APIs will allow for integration with the facial and fingerprint recognition service Windows Hello, with Windows 10's action center, with the device relay feature that allows users to pick up where they left off across different devices, and the activity feed feature that lets users jump back to earlier activity within an app and continue what they were doing. Visual Studio also integrates .NET Standard 2.0, allowing developers to reuse their code across platforms and devices.
Other new APIs include the Remote Systems APIs, which allows apps to communicate with the user's devices across Windows, Android and iOS.
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK will also make it easier for developers to build apps that use Microsoft's new Fluent Design System.
The aim of the Fluent Design System is to provide app and OS interfaces that are more visually appealing and intuitive. Building on the touch-first ethos of Microsoft's earlier Project Neon, the Fluent Design System is aimed at creating an OS that works across all sorts of Windows devices, encompassing PCs, phones, tablets, and VR and AR headsets.
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will give developers access to interface building blocks, guidelines, samples and tools for incorporating elements of this new design system.
These new elements include the Navigation View control that is designed to offer users a simple layout and menu that makes it easier to get around apps, the Reveal Highlight that adds a glow given to the cursor that highlights borders and other elements of the interface, the Acrylic Material that can be used as a background or in menus and has the look of frosted plastic, animations that link different parts of app interfaces and support for a wider range of gestures.
Read more on Windows 10...
- Windows 10: The smart person's guide
- Windows 10: New feature sees Microsoft blur the line between Windows and Linux
- Windows 10: Five reasons to stick with Microsoft's flagship OS
- Windows 10: Five reasons to avoid Microsoft's flagship OS
- 20 big changes coming to Windows 10 in 2017
- Windows 10 Cloud: Could this mystery OS be Microsoft's answer to Chromebooks?
- Windows 10: Microsoft promises updates will soon be smaller and easier to delay
- Windows 10 Anniversary Update: Watch out for these nasty surprise
Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.