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Following up on last October’s announcement for the upcoming big changes on Bluetooth, Microsoft has released several new features in this month’s Windows 10 Insider Preview.

Bluetooth on Windows 10 sometimes can be a painful experience. Detection and pairing of devices can take a while and management of different audio devices in combination with the audio mixer is not the most intuitive experience. So it´s nice to see that Microsoft is improving Bluetooth support further.

The following new features can be found in the release preview Build and SDK:

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  • “GATT Server: This feature allows Bluetooth client devices to read data such as notifications directly from the users’ smartphones and fixes the problem with Fitbit devices not supporting call and other notifications on Windows Phones.
  • Bluetooth LE Peripheral: Windows 10 devices are now able to advertise as connectable, allowing users to pair more easily with devices such as other PCs or smart locks.
  • Unpaired Bluetooth LE device connectivity: Users of Windows 10 devices can now connect to other Bluetooth devices without pairing first, a feature useful especially for devices such as smart trackers.”

Call Control API coming to desktop

Most of the improvements are focused on Bluetooth LE (Bluetooth low energy). However, Bluetooth audio support gets a little upgrade as well:

Call Control API support comes to desktop, meaning VoIP apps now can natively take advantage of Bluetooth headset functionality like pick up, hang up, hold, call waiting etc.

According to Microsoft, users will also experience higher-quality audio for voice, thanks to Wideband speech coming soon to desktop. Microsoft also says that the improvements will make Cortana sound more lifelike and improve sound quality on Skype sessions over Bluetooth.

Working with Fitbit and others

Microsoft says that is also working directly with “Fitbit, Garmin, and other device manufacturers” to ensure the APIs it builds are functional and performant.

The company’s collaboration with those companies means that users can expect apps with support for the new Bluetooth features soon.

Adding to this, Microsoft says that “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!

If you want to know how to get started with your own Bluetooth enabled app, you can find more information here from Microsoft.

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