Back in 2016, Microsoft announced UWP Community Toolkit, a project that enables developers to collaborate and contribute new capabilities on top of the Windows 10 SDK. It simplifies some tasks that developers have to perform when building UWP and .NET apps. Microsoft rebranded it to Windows Community Toolkit in 2018 and has been rigorously updating it with new features in every release.
Now, the company has announced version 7.0 of the utility, which contains a whole bunch of new features and enhancements.
Microsoft has refactored numerous packages in order to decouple dependencies when only a small number of components are being utilized in the app. In most scenarios, this has resulted in an 80-90% decrease in footprint size of the application. Most of these changes affect the Animations and Controls packages, so it is advisable that developers refer to Microsoft's documentation here in order to identify any breaking changes to their apps.
Windows Community Toolkit v7.0 also comes with a new MVVM library built on the foundations of platform-agnosticism, modularity, flexibility, and performance. The Microsoft.Toolkit.Mvvm package contains this library and since it targets .NET Standard, this means that it can be utilized on any platform that supports it, including UWP, WPF, Xamarin, and more. You can find out more about the new MVVM library here.
Other notable changes include improved notification support for Win32 and .NET 5 apps, an improved ColorPicker, a TabbedCommandBar navigation interface, a new AnimationBuilder class, and SwitchPresenter to better organize your XAML.
In terms of what's coming next, Microsoft says that it is releasing previews of the Toolkit which work with version 0.5 of Project Reunion Preview. Over the coming weeks, the company will also be releasing an updated version of WinUI 3 controls to NuGet for Project Reunion 0.5. These will be packaged in the "WinUI" root rather than "UWP", with the latter's packages being deprecated eventually. You can find out more about how to get started with Windows Community Toolkit here.