Category Archives: mixed reality

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Windows Developer Day in London – Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK Availability

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update provides a developer platform that is designed to inspire the creator in each of us – empowering developers to build applications that change the way people work, play and interact with devices. To truly fulfill this platform promise, I believe that our developer platform needs to be centered around people and their needs.  Technology should adapt and learn how to work with us.
As we showed at Microsoft Build in May, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK delivers thousands of new capabilities and improvements that support this promise. Today, at Windows Developer Day in London, we’re celebrating three areas that help you, our developer partners:
Create inspiring experiences using the next revolution in technology – Mixed Reality
Modernize applications for the modern workplace
Build and monetize your games and applications
I’m pleased to share with you that you can get started now by downloading the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK. Windows 10 adoption has been incredible – with more than 500 million monthly active devices. We are also seeing devices staying current with the latest updates faster than ever, with the majority of devices running the latest updates in less than 6 months, and over eighty percent of devices running the latest update in less than a year. We can’t wait to see the next wave of innovation enabled by the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK.
Create inspiring experiences using the next revolution in technology – Mixed Reality
The next revolution of computing is Mixed Reality. Microsoft is the only company embracing the entire continuum for mixed reality, from augmented reality to virtual reality and everything in between. Windows 10 was designed from ground up for spatial interactions and the next wave in this journey is Windows Mixed Reality, uniting the digital and real world to create a rich, immersive world. As humans, we interact with space constantly, and Windows Mixed Reality will feel the most natural for users. With HoloLens, we have already demonstrated unrivaled innovation that is transforming industries. Now, our immersive headsets offer unrivaled experiences.
For developers, Windows Mixed Reality offers unique opportunities.
Our unified platform maximizes reuse across platforms and device form factors
Windows Mixed Reality provides reach on the broadest range of devices
Our Microsoft Store provides an unrivaled discovery opportunity
Millions of people come to the Store every day to get an application from our broad catalog
Modernize applications for the modern workplace
With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK, developers can easily create a new or update an existing application to support modern experiences that employees need, or customers expect.
Modernizing your deployment
The deployment system in Windows 10 has been significantly enhanced to help your users start using your application quicker and easier. This starts with the ability to only download the delta between updates, the updated bits versus the entire package to your end user. In addition, you can break up your application into components to allow streaming install. This will allow your application to work before your user has the entire application installed.
To assist with this modernization, the Fall Creators Update introduces the Windows application packaging project with Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4. 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.
Another major investment has been the integration of .NET Standard 2.0 which enables developers to reuse their code across platforms and devices with Visual Studio and integrates the vast array of libraries available in the open source community built on .NET.
Fluent Design System
The Fluent Design System is the evolution of Microsoft’s approach to creating the very best user experiences. Experiences with Fluent Design feel natural on the device you’re using, whether it’s a large screen desktop with keyboard, a laptop or tablet with touch, a mixed reality headset, or one of many other computing form factors. Applications using Fluent Design are optimized for consuming content and are efficient and powerful to use for creating and collaborating, and they help you to achieve more… they are experiences you love to use!
For developers, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update provides a comprehensive solution for creating applications with Fluent Design in a way that’s simple, powerful and flexible to your needs. It includes UX building blocks, guidelines, samples, tools, and a community to help you build the best experiences for your customers. Here are some highlights:
The Navigation View control provides an easy, consistent home for getting around your app.
Acrylic Material gives you a rich new visual building block that helps you create information hierarchy and greater immersion in your app.
The Reveal Highlight interaction visualization built into many controls helps your experience feel natural to use across as disparate inputs as mouse, pen, touch and gaze.
Connected Animations aid usability by preserving context and increasing engagement, and are so easy to adopt incrementally.
Gesture Actions like swipe build on familiar patterns to help users efficiently and naturally get stuff done.
Learn more about all the different building blocks and features you can take advantage of at: http://developer.microsoft.com/design.
Device Relay and Activity Feed
Microsoft Graph and Project Rome enable new and exciting ways to drive user engagement across apps, devices and platforms. 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.
Helping your customers stay connected to what they need to do right now isn’t as easy as it used to be. People have multiple devices they switch between and they expect them to all work together. Using the Remote Systems and Remote Sessions APIs, you can do truly delightful device relay scenarios to help your customers use the right device for the task.  The Remote Systems APIs enable you to communicate with the user’s devices across Windows, Android and iOS.
With the Activity Feed, you can keep your customers engaged and help them resume what they need to do next. Your customers can’t always finish what they were doing in a task or session in your app, but you can still help them pick up where they left off between devices and experiences by simply adding an activity to the Activity Feed using the UserActivity API.
Build and monetize your games and applications
Lastly, with the Expanded Resources feature in the Fall Xbox One Update, we’ve made another investment in the promise to open Xbox One to UWP game developers who want to build more immersive experiences. Now, developers will automatically have access to 6 exclusive cores, 5 GB of ram and full access to the GPU with DX12! We designed Visual Studio 2017 with game developers in mind! We built a brand-new work-load based installer in Visual Studio 2017, which optimizes the install experience for game developers, so you get everything you need and nothing you don’t.
We recently launched the Xbox Live Creators Program, and this gives anyone the ability to build and publish games for the Xbox One family of devices and Windows 10 PCs. You don’t have to go through concept approval, and the certification is simplified. What’s more is that you are able to leverage select Xbox Live features like stats, leaderboards and cloud saves. We have added more monetization options and tools in Microsoft Store. Interactivity is the future of live streaming and Mixer is our fast and interactive live streaming platform. We have the Mixer SDKs for the major game engines and languages and you can make something cool in less than an hour. Our goal is to create a community of indie game developers. We want to foster open discussions between developers and Windows, and each other. With that in mind, we are bringing back Dream.Build.Play in 2017. The 2017 Challenge has a prize pool over $225,000 (USD), with several categories.
Community and thanks
We were pleased today to have been joined on stage in London by two creative partners building UWPs for unique and innovative experiences.  Black Marble, a UK based developer is building on its history of simplifying law enforcement experiences with a new Mixed Reality UWP to bring MR to courtrooms. Texthelp, another UK based company, showcased a UWP application and Edge extension that helps improve reading and writing comprehension for children with dyslexia and students learning in a second language. Texthelp has also announced a new app, EquatIO, which assists learning in mathematics.
Whether you’re building immersive experiences for Windows Mixed Reality, games, education or business applications, community is crucial to the Windows developer platform. I’d also like to take a moment to thank all developers who are participating Windows Insiders Program and have been using the Fall Creators Update Preview SDK. We value your insight and suggestions, as well as your feedback.
I look forward to seeing what you create with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update SDK. The Windows Dev Center is open now for submissions to the Microsoft Store! For more details, go to dev.windows.com.

New Tools in Windows Device Portal for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

In the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Device Portal now offers several new tools from across Windows to help you location test your UWP, explore Mixed Reality, build new hardware peripherals and test your apps new installation pipeline. It’s a little bit of goodness for everyone, and we’re excited to share these with you.
If you’re not familiar with Device Portal, you can check out the blog posts below to see what other tools you can find in Device Portal, or look at the new docs.microsoft.com to learn how to enable it.
And as always, all of these tools are backed by a REST API, so that you can use it from a scripting or client application environment using the Device Portal Wrapper.
Location Based Testing
Most of us don’t have the travel budgets to test our apps across the world – but pretending to travel is almost as good!  The Location tool in Device Portal lets you easily change the location that Windows reports to apps. By tapping the “Override” check box, you can swap out the device location for whatever you set using the map or lat/long text boxes. Be sure to uncheck the box when you’re done so that your location (and timezone) come back to reality – every vacation must end…

Figure 1: The News app keeping me up to date with local headlines!
This also works for web pages in Microsoft Edge, letting you test your webpages in different parts of the world.
Some notes on what this tool can and cannot do:
This doesn’t change the locale of your PC! So the News app above still saw an EN-US user in the middle of Italy.
You may not see all apps using this location. Some programs don’t use the Windows API to determine location or have special logic (e.g. using your IP address) to determine your location.
This tool marks the PositionSource of the location data as “Default.” Some apps may check for the source and alter their behavior based on it.
Happy travels!
USB Diagnostics
This one goes out to all the hardware folks – if “HLK” or “WDK” sound familiar, you might find this handy. The USB team has updated the USBView tool to work inside Device Portal, so developers working on new hardware can have more tooling at their fingertips.
The USB Devices tool can be a bit tricky to find – head to the hamburger menu in the top right, and go to “Add tools to workspace.”  Scroll to the bottom and check the “USB Devices” box, then hit “Add.” And voila – a full view of your systems USB hubs, controllers and peripherals. The hubs and controllers expand to show individual devices using the + (plus) sign, and clicking the gear will expand to show the items properties.

Streaming App Install Debugging
The Windows 10 Creators Update added ““streaming installation” for UWP, which allows a user to launch the app before it finished downloading. In order to make this easy to test, the App Model team has added a Streaming Install Debugger tool to Device Portal. To use it, deploy an app with content groups to the device, then open the Streaming Install Debugger. In it you’ll be able to edit the states of the content groups so you can test your apps behavior as streaming install is being simulated and ensure it behaves correctly when content groups are missing.

For more details, check out Andy Liu’s blog posts about the new App Installer and Streaming Install Debugger tools.
Mixed Reality Tooling
One of the bigger splashes in the Fall Creators Update is the addition of Mixed Reality to Windows Desktop. As part of that release, we’re including a suite of tools to help developers build great Mixed Reality apps. Two of these tools may look familiar to HoloLens developers – 3D View and a Framerate counter. There’s also a new app launch option that appears when you have an immersive headset attached to your PC, which lets you launch your app in Mixed Reality.
Frame rate is an important factor in making mixed reality apps comfortable, and it’s important for developers to optimize performance to hit full frame rate on the systems they support. The Frame Rate tool in the Device Portal helps by showing developers both the frame rate of their app and of the system’s compositor.

The 3D View helps when testing your immersive headset’s interactions with the real world, displaying its position as it moves through space.

Finally, what good is tooling if you can’t actually run your app in your immersive headset? Now, when you have an immersive headset attached, the Installed Apps tool will add a button letting you launch the app in the HMD. While fully immersive apps will always run in Mixed Reality, this new button is particularly useful for 2D UWP apps (or apps that switch between 2D and immersive) when you want to test them in Mixed Reality.

As always, if you have ideas for Device Portal that would help you write or debug apps, please leave us a note on our UserVoice or upvote an existing request. If you run into bugs, please file it with us via the Feedback Hub.
Related Posts:
Using Device Portal to view debug logs for UWP
Using the App File Explorer to see your app data