While Windows 10 Mobile has recently gone through the substantial Anniversary Update, it still lacks some features. One of the notable absentees is Bluetooth GATT (Generic Attributes) support. Microsoft is working on adding this feature and rolling it out before the end of the year.
The lack of Bluetooth GATT Server APIs mean fitness and other wearables cannot display notifications via Windows 10. This is a feature that other mobile platforms have, allowing devices like Fitbit to connect with them. However, Windows 10 Mobile does not work with devices that work as GATT clients. Windows Phone 8.1 did support this feature, however.
That means Windows 10 Mobile needs to catch up. Microsoft is aware of the situation and recently said it will be introducing GATT Server API support before the close of 2016. It is likely that the BLE feature will be rolled out to Windows Insiders in preview form first.
On the Windows UserVoice page for Developer Feedback, Microsoft confirmed it was working on support. Clint Rutkas, a Windows developer, said the following:
“The Bluetooth team is hard at work adding GATT Server APIs to Windows and we expect GATT Server should be in the Windows Insider Preview builds and SDK later this year. When APIs get added in to the OS and SDK, any developer can start updating their app. Once the next release of Windows is available, any app that want to use these new features will be able submit an update to the Store.”
GATT API Support
As well as introducing GATT client API connectivity, Microsoft will make the APIs available to the SDK. This gives developers the tools to build integration directly into their apps. While this will be launched as preview before the end of the year, full abilities may be reserved for Redstone 2.
That major Windows 10 upgrade is not expected until early 2017. Until then it is unclear if dev’s will have GATT access in the SDK.
Fitbit, the largest wearable brand on the market uses GATT clients for its devices. In the current situation the popular fitness trackers cannot interact with Windows 10 Mobile. Notifications like phone calls, messages, and alerts are not available on Microsoft’s platform.