Windows 11's photo app finally gets a tasty new look

Panos Panay has revealed another new Windows 11 feature

Windows 11
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Windows 11 will get a new Photos app, according to Microsoft’s Panos Panay. In a tweet, Panay said “pumped to share another #Windows11 first look with you - the beautifully redesigned #PhotosApp is coming soon to #WindowsInsiders”. His tweet contains a short video showing a redesigned app that seems to boast a lot of improvements over its Windows 10 relative.

If I’m being honest, this is a very overdue upgrade to Windows. With companies like Google and Apple owning big smartphone platforms it’s perhaps not a surprise that they’ve arguably done more with images than Microsoft. But hundreds of millions of people use PCs and love photos, and they deserve a better standard app than is currently bundled. 

What’s my reasoning for hating Photos as it stands now? Well I just opened it to have a poke around and when I tried to load an image it crashed. Not only that but I find navigating it an absolute nightmare, in terms of features it’s actually a pretty reasonable, basic editor. The things you often need to do, like crop, are all possible. My big issue is with how clunky it feels. 

So a big hope is that Microsoft is optimising the user interface to make it a bit easier to go through your image library, especially if they’re are a lot of photos in it, and easily make simple adjustments to things. You can already save images to the cloud, but I don’t make use of this because I’m not a fan of OneDrive. Plus, I’m already paying Apple to store my phone images. 

I think the big problem with the existing version is one that’s much bigger than just the app itself. As Windows has attempted to evolve into a tablet and desktop platform and with it Microsoft has made the interface more touch friendly, and designed for tablet screens. This has led to a simplification of Windows apps that’s bothersome on a desktop. More clicks to accomplish a simple task, because of an obsession with “simple” users interfaces. 

So I’m excited to see how Windows 11’s new photo app ends up working out. I’ve embedded the tweet below so you can watch all 23 seconds of the big reveal. Microsoft has a launch event for hardware on the September 22 when it’s expected it will release more Windows details and brand new PC hardware. 

Ian has been involved in technology journalism since 2007, originally writing about AV hardware back when LCDs and plasma TVs were just gaining popularity. Nearly 15 years on, he remains as excited about how tech can make your life better.