Latest Visual Studio preview lets developers build native ARM64 Windows apps

During its Build 2018 developer conference this week, Microsoft announced that the latest Visual Studio preview now supports creating native ARM64 apps for Always Connected Windows 10 on ARM PCs. Starting with Visual Studio version 15.8 Preview 1, developers can build or recompile their UWP and Win32 apps to run as native 64-bit ARM apps on always connected PCs.

Windows 10 on ARM PCs, which launched earlier this year based on the Snapdragon 835 platform, can already run legacy Windows apps via x86 emulation. However, the option to run those apps natively should help to eke out every last bit of performance. From Microsoft:

Developers interested in targeting this new ARM-based platform can use these early preview tools to build apps that run natively on ARM processors rather than relying on the emulation layer. While the algorithms that make emulation possible are engineered to optimize performance, running your app natively allows your customers to get the most performance and capability from your app on this new category of devices.

Microsoft is quick to point out that this is an early preview, and as such, official support for ARM64 apps built in Visual Studio isn't available. Developers won't be able to submit their ARM64 packages to the Microsoft Store yet. However, they can post preview versions of Win32 apps rebuilt as ARM64 on their websites.

For more, developers can download Visual Studio 15.8 Preview 1 from Microsoft to get started.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl