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Last week Microsoft announced that developers using Visual Studio now have access to officially supported SDK and tools for creating 64-bit ARM (ARM64) apps. The Microsoft Store is now also accepting submissions for apps built for the ARM64 architecture.

Lenovo and Samsung are coming up with new Windows 10 ARM devices featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 chip. An x86 emulation layer lets these devices run Windows applications.

Developers can use Visual Studio 15.9 to recompile apps both on UWP and C++ Win32. These apps can run natively on ARM devices running Windows 10. Running natively allows the applications to take complete advantage of the processing power and capabilities of Windows 10. This results in the best possible experience for users.

Instructions to enable Windows 10 64-bit ARM apps support

  1. You need to update your Visual Studio to version 15.9. Ensure that you have installed the individual component “Visual C++ compilers and libraries for ARM64” if you plan to build ARM64 C++ Win32 apps.
  2. ARM64 will be seen as an available build configuration after updating for new UWP projects.
  3. For existing projects and C++ Win32 projects, an ARM configuration needs to be added to the project. This can be done via the Configuration properties in Configuration Manager. Add a new Active solution platform and name it ARM64. Then copy the settings from ARM or x64 and check the box to Create new project platforms.
  4. Hitting build should ready the ARM binaries.

You can use remote debugging to debug your app. This is fully supported on ARM64. You can alternatively create a package for sideloading or directly copy binaries to run the app.

The Windows Store is now accepting ARM64 UWP apps, both on C++ and .NET Native. You can also use the Desktop Bridge to wrap ARM64 binaries into a package to submit to the Windows Store. You can also host dedicated ARM64 versions of Win32 apps on your own website or integrate ARM64 into existing multi-architecture installers.

For more instructions, visit the Windows Blog.

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