Insider Updates: Enhanced Features in Windows Photos, Snipping Tool, and Phone Link

Windows Insiders can now test new features in the Windows Photos, Snipping Tool, and Phone Link apps. The Photos app is receiving the most significant updates. One notable addition is the ability to add a background blur effect to photos. Users can adjust the intensity of the blur using a slider and the Brush tool. This feature is especially useful for smartphones that do not have built-in background blur capabilities.

Another improvement in the Photos app is the enhanced search bar, which allows Insiders to search for photos backed up on OneDrive based on the content of the photo (e.g., car, beach). This search capability is already available in the OneDrive web app and proves to be highly useful. Insiders can also search for photos based on their location information, whether stored locally, on OneDrive, or iCloud.

Additionally, the Photos app now supports playing the video portion of Motion Photos captured on Android devices from Samsung and Google. It will be interesting to see if Live Photos from iPhones will be supported in the future.

Moving on to the Snipping Tool, the new update introduces Text Actions. This feature enables users to select text from any image and copy it or redact sensitive information. It is a valuable addition for users who frequently work with images containing textual content.

Lastly, Microsoft is introducing a new feature in the Phone Link app. Users will receive notifications when a new photo is captured on their Android phone. Clicking on the notification will open the photo directly in the Snipping Tool for convenient markup. This feature will be gradually rolled out to Insiders on the Canary and Dev Channels.

These updates bring significant improvements to the Windows Photos, Snipping Tool, and Phone Link apps, enhancing the overall user experience. Windows Insiders can now explore these new features and provide valuable feedback to further refine the apps.

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