Windows 11, which has been on the market for about a year at this point, has just gotten its first significant upgrade in the form of the Windows 11 2022 Update, also known as version 22H2. Both bring a number of significant improvements to the table, and a good number of the applications that are included have also been revamped, some more than others. This includes the Photos app, which received minor UI updates with the first release of Windows 11, and will get even more significant updates with the release of Windows 11 version 22H2 later this year.
A significant upgrade to the Photos app was released by Microsoft in November 2022. The update included a full redesign of the gallery display, the addition of several new capabilities, and the removal of other functions that were previously available. Due to the fact that this is such a recent update, it is possible that you may not see this design right immediately on a brand-new PC; but, if you check for updates in the Microsoft Store, you should be able to get this version.
Integration of iCloud Drive and OneDrive
The navigation pane on the side has more parts, but these new sections are very substantial enhancements. The first new feature is integration with iCloud Photographs, which enables users of Windows 11’s Photos program to see all of their photos that are saved in iCloud. You will still need to download the iCloud app from the Microsoft Store in order to see your images here, but, once you have done so, you will be able to do so in an easier manner, bringing together pictures taken on all of your different devices.
In addition, there is connectivity with OneDrive, which gives you access to all of the memories stored in OneDrive. You may look back on significant times in your life by browsing through these automatically produced photo albums on OneDrive. Each album is centered on a certain date or place. Unfortunately, clicking on a OneDrive memory will send you to your web browser so that you can see the photographs, which makes the integration, in this case, a little bit subpar.
The tab for configuring the new Photos app’s settings has also been extensively redesigned and made easier to use. You have the ability to alter a large number of settings, such as whether the application should ask for permission before deleting a file, the theme of the application, and more. If you change your mind about utilizing certain services, you also have the option to deactivate access to your OneDrive and iCloud storage spaces.
You also have the option to change the behavior of the mouse when you are viewing a photo. For example, the mouse wheel might be used to adjust the zoom level or switch between different images. Also included is a link to get the Photos Legacy app, which allows you to use the older version of the Photos app if you prefer it for some reason. If you click on the link, you will be sent to the App Store.
The redesigned Photos app will come with a gallery view that has been totally updated as well as enhanced navigation. The primary screen of the application will continue to display your most recent pictures; however, a navigation pane that lists the folders on both your local computer and OneDrive will now appear on the left side of the screen. This makes it much simpler to locate the specific media file that you require. In addition, there is an area for your favorites, as well as a few more categories for iCloud and OneDrive, respectively. There is also information on how much storage space you still have available on your OneDrive located at the bottom of the window.
Additionally, Microsoft eliminated the carousel that was located at the top of the app and included recommended material. Now, the emphasis is just on your own files. The tabbed navigation at the top of the screen has also been removed, and the title bar now serves primarily as a location for a search bar in addition to buttons that allow users to access the app’s settings and import photographs from linked devices.
The actual gallery view has undergone a significant transformation. Although the photos are not yet organized by date, you are able to see the range of dates that include the photographs you are now viewing above the images themselves. In addition to the photographs being shown in their whole and uninterrupted for the first time, there are now additional viewing options available. You may switch to the Square mode if you want something that seems more uniform and clean, or you can use the new River mode to display photos in a manner that is more faithful to the aspect ratio of the original photo. In addition, you may now filter the results to view just videos or photographs.
The manner in which users communicate with the app has undergone various revisions. When you click on a picture at this time, it will choose itself, and you will need to click it again in order to open it. When you choose a picture, you are presented with additional choices, such as the opportunity to move it to a different folder or, in the case of locally stored images, the option to back it up on OneDrive. When you click on a photo, it will now open in its own window rather than taking over the whole gallery view when you do so.
The experience of viewing photos using the new Photos app is much the same as it was with the prior version of the app included in the first release of Windows 11. The picture that you are now viewing naturally takes up the most area, and above it, you will find options that allow you to make changes to or remove a photo, add it to your favorites, share it, and other similar actions. The ellipsis menu includes various more choices, such as printing the picture, for the user to choose from.
However, there are some noticeable differences in this case. Because the material known as Mica is now used for the picture viewing window, you will notice that the colors of the backdrop on your desktop will shine through any vacant spaces of the window. The carousel that is located at the bottom of the page likewise makes use of a transparency effect rather than being completely opaque. The button in the upper left corner of the screen is no longer an arrow; rather, it is a button that allows you to return to the gallery view without having to close the picture viewer. This is because the photo viewer now opens in its own window.
There have been some adjustments made to this section to accommodate your want to make tweaks to your images. You may access all of the editing features by clicking the Edit button located in the toolbar at the very top of the screen. These features are organized into the following four categories: Crop, Adjustment, Filter, and Markup. You are able to crop, rotate, change the angle of a photo, add filters, and draw on an image exactly as you were able to do with the earlier version of the program.
On the other hand, several of the more complex functions, such as the capability to incorporate animations and 3D effects, have been taken away. These functions were dependent on the video editor that was included in the Photos app, however that tool is no longer accessible. And to further elaborate on it…
No video editor
The fact that this version does not have a video editor anymore is a significant improvement; this is due to the fact that Microsoft now bundles Clipchamp with the Windows 11 operating system. When compared to what was available in the Photos app, Clipchamp is a far more sophisticated software that offers multi-track editing as well as more detailed functions. It also comes with a few templates and stock materials for you to utilize in the films that you create.
Regarding the Photos program seen in Windows 11, that should be about all the information you need. The most recent version has made the application seem even more stunning than it did in the past, it has been reorganized to be more orderly, and it now includes connectivity with iCloud.