There’s a Catch: Windows 11’s Photos App Embraces New Levels of Sophistication through Designer App Integration

catch, Designer app, Integration, more sophistication, Photos app, Windows 11

Windows 11’s Photos app has been receiving significant improvements lately, and it seems that another one is on the horizon. The app will soon be integrated with the Designer web app, Microsoft’s tool that enables users to create professional-looking graphics. However, there is a catch – clicking on the Designer integration prompt will open it in Microsoft Edge, the default web browser in Windows 11.

This new Designer integration joins a lineup of features that have been added to the Photos app over the past two years, including background blur and an AI magic eraser. The ‘Edit in Microsoft Designer’ option will be accessible within the Photos app and will be represented by an icon located in the middle of the Preview window. While this position may not be the most subtle, it is likely a deliberate design choice by Microsoft to encourage users to click on it. Clicking on the prompt will open the Microsoft Designer website in an Edge window. However, this may not sit well with users who have set their default browser to a different app, such as Chrome.

At present, this development is still in the testing stages and is making its way through the Windows Insider Program. The feature can currently be found in the Photos app version 2024.11040.16001.0, which is part of the Windows 11 24H2 preview build in the Canary channel. It should also be available in the Windows 11 Insider Dev channel build, as long as the Photos app version matches the specified number. Additionally, users can prompt the Designer web app to open by right-clicking on an image while in Preview in the Photos app and selecting the ‘Edit in Designer online’ option from the menu that appears.

However, early testing of the new feature by Windows Latest encountered some issues. When attempting to activate the feature, the website was presented with a blank canvas in Designer instead of the expected image. It is unclear whether this is an anomaly or an error, but it is likely that the image being viewed in Preview in the Photos app should open in Designer once the feature is fully rolled out in a Windows update. Windows Latest made several attempts to make the feature work as intended, but was unsuccessful. Microsoft should take this feedback into consideration, especially if this is a widespread issue. Importing the image manually while already having the Designer web app open is an alternative, but it defeats the purpose of having an easily accessible option in the Photos app.

In order to edit their images in Designer, users will need to sign into their Microsoft account. Microsoft has mentioned this feature in an official Windows Blogs post, stating that it is currently being tested in several countries including the US, UK, Australia, Ireland, India, and New Zealand.

The current approach of scattering various image editing tools across the Photos app, the Designer web app, and the Paint app can be seen as inconsistent and confusing for Windows users. Ideally, users prefer to access all relevant tools from whichever app they are using, rather than having to remember which app has a specific feature. This scattered approach has been criticized by Windows Latest, and it is likely that many other users share the same sentiment. Microsoft’s goal of encouraging users to utilize their AI-powered tools would be better served if they consolidated all these features into one powerful program, rather than dispersing them throughout the Windows 11 ecosystem.

In conclusion, the upcoming Designer web app integration in the Windows 11 Photos app is a promising feature that will provide users with more creative options and enhanced editing capabilities. However, the reliance on Microsoft Edge as the default browser for accessing Designer may not sit well with users who prefer other web browsers. Additionally, the current scattered approach to image editing tools within the Windows 11 ecosystem could benefit from consolidation and a more unified user experience. It remains to be seen how Microsoft will address these issues and refine the integration to meet user expectations.

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