Visual Studio 2017 v15.4 Preview New Features & Tools Now Available!

This Preview brings new tools and features such as UWP development, .NET desktop development, Mobile and Game development.

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The first Preview of Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4, including new tools and features in several key workloads such as Universal Windows Platform (UWP) development, .NET desktop development and Mobile and Game development is released to public on Friday.

Developers can start developing for upcoming Windows Fall Creators Update with the release adding support for UWP. To get started install the latest pre-release Windows Insider Preview SDK.

Windows Fall Creators Update leverage the power of .NET Standard 2.0, which brings an additional 20,000+ .NET APIs to Windows 10 UWP developers – many of which will be familiar to Windows Desktop (WPF, Windows Forms, etc…) developers. It's also easier of sharing code between various .NET project types as project-to-project references, or as NuGet packages.

Xamarin Live Player is also included in this release and enables developers to develop, test and debug mobile apps directly on their iOS and Android devices using only Visual Studio and a device. In the image below, you can see Xamarin Live Player in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4 Preview:

GIF showing Xamarin Live Player in Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4 Preview
Xamarin Live Player in version 15.4 Preview
  • Windows Application Packaging Project template enables Classic Windows Desktop apps created with .NET or C++ to be packaged inside an .appx package for easier distribution via side-loading or submission to Windows Store.
  • XAML Edit & Continue let you edit or remove XAML resources, in addition, you can also add ControlTemplates to XAML while using XAML Edit & Continue. To leverage these new features, make sure you are running the Windows Fall Creators Update Preview.
  • Mobile and Game development improvements bring better support for latest Unity 2017.1 runtime, along with user-defined managed assemblies, that helps to drastically minimize script compilation times of projects.
  • Installer improvements now provide assistance in discovering solutions when errors occurs during installation.
  • Productivity improvements like for example, C#, VB, or Python developer, can now use Ctrl+Click to navigate to "Go To Definition." Live Unit Testing is now better integrated with MSTest for use in manual mode and can be invoke with a start command in right click context menu as well as in Team Explorer window. .
  • With CMake for Linux C++ development suuport, you can simply open a folder with CMake project, select Linux as target and upon connecting to Linux machine, sources synchronizes, and once the CMake cache generation completes, you'll have full IntelliSense for project and targets for building, running and debugging within Visual Studio.
  • In addition to CMake support for Linux C++ development, with Visual Studio 2017 version 15.4 Preview you can now benefit from CMake version 3.9 and improved support for projects with multiple CMakeLists.
  • Data Science Tooling improvements let you connect to an R session running on a remote computer running either Linux or Windows, as well as running against on-premise and cloud (Azure) computers. Also, error squiggles (inline underlines) in IDE, Live RMarkdown editing are added into this release.

Those, interested can install version 15.4 Preview of VS 2017 today, side by side with released bits, so they should not impact your machine.