Microsoft has a lot more to offer as part of the upcoming Creators Update, the next major update to Windows 10. The company is working on a set of new Bluetooth features: GATT server, Bluetooth LE peripheral and unpaired Bluetooth LE device connectivity.
These features are now available in the latest preview build for Windows Insiders. After polishing these features with feedback from Windows Insiders, Microsoft will make them available for users when the Windows 10 Creators Update is released officially.
The announcement about the new features has been made in a post on the official Windows Blog, which states Microsoft has improved the Bluetooth audio functionality along with adding a lot of changes under the hood and a couple of new features. These are Call Control API support for desktop and wideband speech.
Generic ATTribute (GATT) explains how data is structured and must function in a Bluetooth LE device. While Windows has been a GATT client, in the Creators Update Windows can operate as a Server, which is the most interesting data of the device.
In addition to the GATT roles that determine the structure of the data, the upcoming Bluetooth features contain Generic Access Profile (GAP) roles as well. This is an important feature as it specifies which devices advertise as connectable and which are not connecting. With the new Bluetooth feature, apps can put the system to advertise support for Bluetooth LE services.
Bluetooth LE devices needed to be paired with Windows to be accessed. This forced users to switch context to the Settings page or caused developers to implement in-app pairing. But there are devices which did not support pairing, which led to difficult workarounds for developers. Microsoft promises this situation is going to change with the new Async GATT APIs in the Creators Update.
"GATT Server will open up a myriad of Bluetooth LE device-to-device scenarios that we think are super exciting! Why limit yourself to 'Notifications'? Think remote authentication, smart locks, proximity and IoT! The world is your (wireless) oyster. But yes, developers can start enabling notifications now," explains the blog post.