Microsoft Updates Windows 10 SDK Ahead of General Release

Microsoft is only weeks away from releasing the final build of Windows 10 to OEMs, businesses and consumers. In order to ensure the highest degree of app compatibility, Redmond this week updated the Windows 10 SDK Preview with a handful of new media-focused APIs.

Microsoft has been pushing new builds of Windows 10 to Windows Insiders on a near-weekly basis. The latest build, 10158, dropped earlier this week. The updated Windows 10 SDK Preview matches this new build of Windows 10, says Microsoft.

"When running the latest preview SDK and emulator in your local development environment, your apps will be able to access the latest Windows capabilities and APIs available in the preview build," Microsoft explained in a blog post. "If you want to try out the newest features and have the latest bug fixes delivered in a Windows Insider Preview release, this is for you — each release is a snapshot of work in progress, so expect functionality or APIs to be impacted and that final functionality may vary."

Here's what's new in SDK 10158.

There are a handful of new APIs in the SDK, including Windows.Devices.Perception, Windows.Devices.Perception.Provider, Windows.Media.Capture.AdvancedCapturedPhoto, Windows.Media.Capture.AdvancedPhotoCapture, Windows.Media.AdvancedPhoto, and Windows.Media.Import.PhotoImport. Microsoft provided details for only a few of the new APIs.

For example, the Providers APIs (first two) allow independent hardware vendors and original equipment manufacturers to expose depth, infrared and color cameras for computer vision into the Universal Windows Platform, and to designate a camera as participating in Windows Hello face authentication. The Windows.Devices.Perception namespace contains the client APIs that allow a UWP application to access the color, depth or infrared data of computer vision cameras.

Microsoft says the AdvancedCapturedPhoto and AdvancedPhoto APIs are new photo capture APIs for Windows 10 that let apps capture HDR photos on devices with the proper hardware. For devices that do not ship with hardware HDR capabilities, the API will use a platform-provided algorithm to generate the HDR photo as long as the hardware supports VPS (variable photo sequence).

Last, the Windows Photo Import API in the Windows.Media.Import namespace is an asynchronous WinRT API enabling Windows Store and classic applications to import photos and videos from portable devices such as smartphones, digital cameras, memory cards and other removable USB-based media. One of the key features of the PhotoImport API is that it runs in the background so that even if the app is suspended or killed, the import keeps happening.

Microsoft has suggested a few steps developers might take after updating the SDK. Developers will need to use the Visual Studio Release Candidate to update their projects accordingly. Microsoft warns that the UI might be somewhat altered. The company offered a few sample screenshots in the toolkit so developers will know they're on the right path as they update.

As always, there is plenty of documentation accompanying the new SDK, and Microsoft said its support team is ready for your questions, as well.

The new Windows 10 SDK Preview is available here.

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