Lumia Imaging SDK 3.0 now on Windows 10 Universal Platform

The Lumia Imaging SDK has long been a favorite tool for Windows Store developers who wanted to easily incorporate advanced image editing capabilities in their apps. Today, Microsoft announced the release of the Lumia Image SDK 3.0, which brings forth significant advances to the resourceful toolkit.

Advancements include:

  • Windows 10 compatibility
  • Support for Universal Windows Platform development.
  • Greater GPU utilization for increased performance.
  • Video frame processing through Microsoft Media Foundation Transform API, enabling effects to be applied to video frames.
  • Support for rendering to SwapChainPanel and/or from the new Windows 10 imaging APIs.
  • Information about valid ranges are now available at runtime, allowing developers to match easily and dynamically match UI parameters to the supported range.

Support for Windows Phone 8.0 and Windows Phone 8.1 Silverlight has been dropped. As if we didn’t see that coming.

Most notable of these additions is support for the Universal Windows Platform, further fulfilling the “one code for all devices” mantra that is the core of this new Windows movement. The SDK is implemented as a Windows Runtime Component, so like any modern Store app it can be accessed using C#, C++, Javascript, and Visual Basic.

Another significant enhancement, one especially useful for power-constrained mobile devices, is the shift to GPU-based image processing. This is made possible through Direct2D, an advanced component of DirectX specifically focused on hardware accelerated rendering of 2D shapes and text, as well as image processing. Doing so will also lead to a massive performance enhancement for most apps relying on the SDK to do the heavy lifting. If I had to speculate, part of what made this difficult to include into the previously CPU powered versions was the lack of Direct2D support on Windows Phone until only recently.

The third significant advancement to the SDK is interoperability with other Windows 10 APIs. Rendering to SwapChainPanel is supported, as well as Direct3DSurface, SoftwareBitmap, and WriteableBitmap. The aforementioned can also be used as image sources.

With Windows development APIs finally starting to come together, we should begin to see more powerful SDKs like this and the ultra-convenient Win2D API blossom in the Windows ecosystem.

More information about the new SDK can be found here. The SDK can be installed straight from NuGet for easy package management.

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Developers, will this SDK help you to create certain apps you've always dreamed of making?