Microsoft has begun rolling out an array of enhancements for its Windows Photos app, offering users new editing capabilities and search functionalities. Available to Windows Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels, the update aims to refine the user experience and provide more robust tools for photo and video management.

Make Your Subjects Pop with Background Blur

One of the most exciting features in this update is the Background Blur option. To use this feature, simply open a photo in Edit mode and select the new Background Blur option. The app will automatically identify and blur the background, putting the spotlight squarely on your subject.

Not only does this feature allow for instant background blurring, but it also provides customization options. Users can adjust the Blur Intensity and even use the Brush Tool to specify which areas should be blurred, offering a level of control that was previously missing.

Smart Content Search for OneDrive-Backed Photos

Windows Photos now supports content-based search for photos stored in OneDrive. Once you’re signed into your Microsoft account, navigate to the OneDrive Personal section. From there, you can enter keywords like “Car,” “Beach,” “Birthday,” or “Vacation” in the search bar, and the app will present you with relevant photos.

Note: If you’re new to OneDrive or haven’t used photo search before, it may take some time for OneDrive to process your photos before the search functionality becomes available.

Locate Photos by Geographical Location

The update also introduces a location-based search feature. This allows users to find photos based on where they were taken, whether they are stored in file systems, OneDrive, or even iCloud.

Samsung and Google Motion Photo Support

Video playback in motion photos.

For those who capture Motion Photos using Samsung or Google devices, you’ll be pleased to know that the updated Photos app now supports the video components of these Motion Photos. This feature integrates seamlessly into the app, allowing you to view the video playback directly.

Additional Fixes and Improvements

Responding to community feedback, the Photos app has implemented several other enhancements:

  • Improved up-sampling logic to eliminate pixelation during zoom.
  • Touch support for slideshows.
  • Easier access to Edit and Create Video options in gallery view.
  • Fixed the issue requiring an app restart for iCloud photos to display.

To take advantage of these new features, make sure to update your Photos app to version 2023.11090.13001.0 or higher.

Final Words

The latest Windows Photos update showcases Microsoft’s commitment to delivering a more intuitive and feature-rich user experience. With functionalities like Background Blur and enhanced search capabilities, the Photos app has become a more versatile tool for both casual users and photo enthusiasts alike.