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Microsoft has released the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK allowing developers to begin building apps for the fourth major update to Windows 10, due out on October 17.
The new SDK introduces tools to build apps for Microsoft's Mixed Reality, modernize their apps more easily, use Microsoft's new design system Fluent Design, and enable apps to connect from Android and iOS to Windows PCs.
Developers in the Windows Insiders Program have been able to use the Fall Creators Update SDK, but it is now available to all developers.
Microsoft notes there are now more than 500 million monthly active Windows 10 devices and says 80 percent of devices are running the latest version of Windows 10 in less than a year. The Fall Creators Update is the fourth major update to Windows 10 since 2015 and follows the November Update, the Anniversary Update, and the Creators Update.
Alongside the Fall Creators Update launch on October 17 Microsoft has lined up several partners whose mixed reality, or AR and VR, headsets will also go on sale on the date. These include Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung.
While Microsoft has given up on Windows 10 Mobile, the company does have a plan to ensure Windows remains relevant in an increasingly mobile world through Project Rome and Microsoft Graph, formerly known as the Office 365 unified API.
Earlier this year Microsoft showed how these technologies were enabling features like "pick up where you left off, which allowed Cortana to hand off an app, document, or website in the same state between Windows, iOS and Android devices.
Today Microsoft says Microsoft Graph and Project Rome enable "device relay" and "activity feed".
"Device relay allows your customers to continue what they're doing right now, but on a different device and Activity Feed, allows them to pick up an activity they were doing in the past, and continuing it now or sometime in the future," Microsoft explains.
Developers also have access to the remote systems and remote sessions APIs, which allow Windows 10 applications to communicate with users devices across Windows, Android and iOS.
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These tools for developers come alongside Microsoft's "Continue on PC" feature that it's enabling through its new Edge apps for iOS and Android. The feature, which Microsoft has been testing with Windows Insiders, allowed a web page to be shared from Safari or Chrome on mobile to a Windows PC. "Continue on PC" will be available to all users once they've installed the Fall Creators Update and are using the Edge apps for iOS and Android on a phone.
The Fall Creators Update SDK also has a new Windows application project in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4 to simplify application updates.
"This new project allows developers to utilize the app packaging without having to convert your existing installer. Just add the project and you're done. Once your application is using the modernized installer, you now have access to all the APIs that have been added to the Windows Platform. For example, integration with Windows Hello to assist with security, action center integration to assist with engagement, and cross-device capabilities provided with device relay and activity feed," Microsoft explains.
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