GATT support, vital for wearables, should be in Insider builds later this year

Microsoft's Windows 10 for PC and Mobile is best thought of as a work in progress. As such, there are missing features that are planned to be added including GATT Server APIs and functionality.

Why is that important? The lack of Bluetooth GATT (Generic Attributes) is the main reason why wearables like FitBit can't read and display notifications. Luckily, Insiders should see GATT support added in a future build of Windows 10 before the end of the year.

The news was posted at the end of September as an update on the Windows UserVoice page for Developer Feedback. Clint Rutkas, a Microsoft admin, and Windows developer posted an updated on the request for GATT support:

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.

The takeaway is that GATT will be in a forthcoming Insider build and, moreover, the APIs will be added to the software development kit (SDK) so that developers can immediately build the functionality into their app. We last reported on GATT support and Windows 10 back in April, so it's about time we heard an update on the matter.

It is not clear if developers will be able to use GATT in their apps prior to the public rollout of Windows 10 'Redstone 2'. If they can't, users will have to wait until "early 2017" for the updated apps.

GATT support will greatly benefit Fitbit who rely on the Bluetooth profile for their fitness wearables. We have been in contact with the company, and they are ready to pounce on GATT support as soon as it is made available to them. That means devices like the new Charge 2 and the popular Blaze will be able to display text messages, phone calls, and more with a Windows 10 Mobile device or PC.

While there is no specific date for GATT support in Insider builds of Redstone 2, there are only a few months left for the year making the wait not very long. We'll, of course, continue to track GATT and Fitbit developments as they happen.

Thanks, Kristian C., for the reminder!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.