The Photos app in Windows 10 and 11 is not exactly a fan-favorite. Many users prefer the good old Photo Viewer, for its speed, simplicity and overall usefulness. That could change, because Microsoft is rolling out a new update for the Photos app for Windows 11, and it brings a new interface to the program. This is the same design that was introduced to users in the Windows Insider Program, in September 2021.
The program’s GUI follows Windows 11’s design with rounded corners, and supports the Mica material effect. The main screen of the application now has a filmstrip (thumbnail bar) at the bottom, which acts like a mini-gallery to display all images in the same folder. There is a full screen button at the top, that you can toggle for an immersive viewing experience. It looks nice, but the button placement is weird.
The toolbar appears at the top of the screen, it looks similar to the old version, but for one change, there is a new browse button at the left end of the bar. Right-clicking on an image hides the toolbar and the filmstrip.
The GUI of the Photo Editor has been completely overhauled. The Crop tool’s buttons are now located at the bottom of the screen, you may control the zoom levels using the options in the left-hand side. Use the slider to tilt the image to a different angle, or rotate images, change the aspect ratio, or flip the picture horizontally or vertically. The Adjustment tab has been redesigned as well, and has sliders to adjust the Brightness, Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Vignette, Saturation, Warmth and Tint.
The editor no longer has options for Spot Fix and Red Eye Correction. The Filters tab has various new effects, and an auto enhance tool.
The Mark-Up section in the new Photos app lets you draw on pictures using pen and highlighter tools.
The new Photos app has a feature called multi-view, which allows you to view two images in a side-by-side comparison. To use it, select the images from the thumbnail strip at the bottom.
This also works with multiple images, which is kind of cool.
The three-dot menu now displays a link that takes you to the Microsoft Store’s Photo Editor section. So, yeah it’s an ad I guess.
The new version, first reported by XDA, has the build number 2021.21120.8011.0. If you haven’t received the update yet, open the Microsoft Store app and check for updates. As for the performance of the program, I think Windows Photo Viewer is still a bit faster than the new Photos app.
Don’t like the Photos app? You can restore the Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 11, by following our guide.
The Groove Music app is being superseded by the new Media Player. Several websites are reporting that a new Notepad update is also available, and that it brings the Dark theme that debuted in the Insider Preview Program. I didn’t get the update on my stable version of Windows 11, but it is possible that the new Notepad app is available for the Beta Channel now.
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