Microsoft has started making an updated Photos app available to Windows Insiders, complete with an updated “Memories” experience that archives photos from a particular time or place.
The new Photos app is available to participants in the Windows Insider beta program, specifically the Dev Channel. Code released through the Dev Channel usually has the caveat that it may never be released to the general public.
In this case, however, Microsoft has already announced that its October update for the Windows 11 2022 Update will include the new Photos app, giving it the seal of approval. (Although Microsoft has referred to these new features as a new set of experienceshas also used the term “implementation of controlled functions” to describe them).
“The update brings a gorgeous gallery, making it easy to browse, search, manage and consume your photo collection. It also allows you to easily back up your photos with OneDrive, enjoy powerful experiences on Windows devices, and offers a lovely ‘Memories’ experience,” the company said in a blog post.
The new Photos experience appears to preserve the original editing experience, complete with cropping, adjusting, filters, and markup tools, including the AI-powered “Auto Enhance” feature. It does not re-add the “one-time fix” feature that Microsoft previously removed.
Instead, the emphasis is on organizing your photos, with a slightly more pronounced focus on OneDrive, such as with the new File Explorer, where Microsoft now shows you how much OneDrive space you’ve consumed, with an offer to sell you more. Microsoft also removed the “legacy” video editor. Instead, Photos now encourages you to use Clipchamp, the great video editor now included with Windows. However, the new “Memories” feature doesn’t look too different from how Microsoft has organized photos by location, like on a trip.
Even if the new update is considered a bit lukewarm, it’s a sign that Microsoft continues to prioritize the app. With so many consumers using smartphones as their primary cameras, photo management and editing are key features, and Microsoft will need Windows to be a player. in the space.