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Microsoft announced about the release of the Windows App SDK 1.2, which allows developers to create native, beautiful and modern applications for Windows. The new version brings widget support for Windows 11, MediaPlayerElement and InfoBadge controls, and improves application stability and performance.
The Windows App SDK is a starting point for building and distributing Windows desktop applications (in C++ and .NET) with WinUI 3 controls and WebView2 to create a modern user interface. You can get acquainted with further plans for the development of the SDK on GitHub in the product roadmap.
Third-party app developers can now create custom widgets for packaged Win32 apps and test them locally in the Widget Bar in Windows 11. To get started developing widgets, you need to read with documentation and design fundamentals.
WinUI 3 app can now play audio and video using controls MediaPlayerElement and MediaTransportControls.
WinUI 3 also adds the actual controls, styles, and behaviors from WinUI 2.8. In particular, added support for the element infobadge, improved accessibility, improved high contrast mode, fixed various bugs in controls. Details in the release notes WinUI 2.7 and WinUI 2.8.
Developers can now add features voice and video calls to WinUI 3 applications running on Windows. Azure Communication Services uses the same infrastructure, services, and technologies as Microsoft Teams. Details in documentation.
Windows desktop applications can now support High Dynamic Range (HDR) and Auto Color Management (ACM) via the DisplayInformation class in the WinAppSDK. This class allows you to keep track of the display-related information that is needed to display the application. API supported starting with Windows 10 version 1809.
Applications based on Project Reunion 0.5 (now WinAppSDK) could already run on the ARM64 platform. Starting with Visual Studio 17.3 Preview 2, you can develop applications using the WinAppSDK on devices with ARM64 processors. Details in the documentation: Windows on ARM and Arm64 Visual Studio.
You can now publish .NET WinAppSDK applications in a truncated form. With CsWinRT 2.0, the C#/WinRT projections distributed in the WinAppSDK can be reduced. This technology will reduce the size of the application by removing unused code from binaries. It should also have a positive effect on the application launch time.
Microsoft notes that the simple Hello World app is about 80% smaller and startup speed is up about 7%. The WinUI Gallery app is about 45% smaller.
Details about the technology can be found in the documentation: https://learn.microsoft.com/.
The Dynamic Refresh Rate (DRR) feature introduced in Windows 11 allows devices to seamlessly switch between low and high refresh rates based on what the user is doing on their computer. This helps balance performance and power consumption. Microsoft.UI.Composition now supports Dynamic Refresh Rate on compatible devices.
On devices running Windows 11 version 22H2, smoother scrolling and app interaction will work automatically without the need for code changes.
To explore Dynamic Refresh Rate support, the company recommends reviewing the tool Dynamic Refresh Rate Tool (built on WinAppSDK 1.1) which shows how to use Composer Clock API and support SwapChains.
Windows App SDK 1.1 introduces the ability to create and send notifications from an app or cloud service. App notifications can be used to inform the user about a change in the status or state of an app, and to prompt the user to take action through an engaging user interface.
In WinAppSDK 1.2, the company introduces AppNotificationBuilder – an alternative to XML payload to simplify the creation and definition of these notifications. To get started using the AppNotificationBuilder to create app notifications, see with AppNotificationBuilder specification on GitHub.
WinAppSDK 1.2 brings with it several performance and stability improvements. In particular, the WinAppSDK 1.2 binary for the x64 platform is now 11% smaller on average than when using WinAppSDK 1.1.5.
A complete list of fixed issues and changes in WinAppSDK 1.2 can be found in the release notes.