Report: Windows 8.1 to add Photo Loop and more for general availability launch

While Microsoft has released an RTM build of Windows 8.1 to OEMs and some developers, it has also been updating the operating system for its general ability launch on Oct. 18. Today, a new report claims that Microsoft will add a new feature called Photo Loop for Windows 8.1 GA, along with some improvements to its Bing apps.

The report states that Photo Loop will start taking images from a tablet's camera when it launches, and the user can then go back in the app's photo buffer to find just the right image they want to use. The article also says that Photo Loop won't work with just any Windows 8.1 device but will need special camera hardware. Microsoft's own Surface 2 will support Photo Loop, along with other upcoming, and unnamed, Windows 8.1 products.

Microsoft will also update a number of its in-house Bing apps for Windows 8.1. For example, the Finance app will let people made stock trades from within the app, for the people who loves to play the stock market while on the go. The Food and Drink app, which was introduced in the Windows 8.1 preview build, will also include tutorial videos from well known chefs for its GA update.

Source: The Verge | Image via Microsoft

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So the RTM was not actually a RTM, but a RC.
Now, we are speaking about RTM and GA build. Microsoft is truly bad managed these days.

Mortis said,
So the RTM was not actually a RTM, but a RC.
Now, we are speaking about RTM and GA build. Microsoft is truly bad managed these days.

No, that's your confusion. RTM was RTM. GA is RTM. It's just general availability of RTM. Just like in the past, the time between RTM and GA does give Microsoft time to release some updates. They always do. They seems to be in a much much more rapid-release mode now, which is very good for consumers.

But sure, let's bash Microsoft for adding features and updating their products. This is such a terrible thing...

sanke1 said,
What's a "general ability launch?"

Oct 18th? The date everyone can buy it instead of just partners having access to it.

I know this is the second thing I'm whining about, and it's probably more related to Windows than the Music app, but do we have any information about more tile animations coming sometime? I'm just wondering. My Windows Phone is so good-looking with the Music app's tile animation, the people hub with the fading faces, etc.

am I the only one concerned about the ads within a lot of the apps? as well as the deep integration of skydrive within the os? hmmm, thankfully for people like me who do not use the apps, there is always dism/group policy, nice slim 8.1 install

No, MS has an app called "Blink" on the the Windows Store for Windows 8 & RT user. Blink is simply a Metro-style app on WP & W8.

Photo Loop is a OS feature. It's not an app. It's part of the OS and deeply integrated. For instance, you can't simply "uninstall" photo loop because it is part of Windows.

Nazmus Shakib Khandaker said,
No, MS has an app called "Blink" on the the Windows Store for Windows 8 & RT user. Blink is simply a Metro-style app on WP & W8.

Photo Loop is a OS feature. It's not an app. It's part of the OS and deeply integrated. For instance, you can't simply "uninstall" photo loop because it is part of Windows.


But this Photo Loop requires new hardware; what does this mean? In other words if I want to buy a Tablet or a laptop, for example from Lenovo, what I am supposed to check to be able to use Photo Loop? A special kind of camera? A special graphic card? Or is it going to be unique to the Surface?

Fritzly said,

But this Photo Loop requires new hardware; what does this mean? In other words if I want to buy a Tablet or a laptop, for example from Lenovo, what I am supposed to check to be able to use Photo Loop? A special kind of camera? A special graphic card? Or is it going to be unique to the Surface?

It's down to the camera only. The Verge reports that other Win 8.1 tablets will support it, but maybe not all of them.

Photo Loop is not a separate app. It is a feature/functionality of Windows. You use this feature through the camera app. If your physical camera doesn't support this, you can still use the camera app, but the camera app won't have the photo loop functionality.

To summarize, lots of great updates:

• OS Bing search will include more categories for hotels and restaurants
• Bing Food and Drink will include instructional videos and 100,000s of new recipes
• Bing Finance will connect directly to a portfolio and allow users to make trades within the app
• Bing Travel gaining user generated photos from Trover and Michellin
• Bing Sports will support even more real-time events and add over 20 more international leagues
• Camera app gains “Photo Loop”, which allows the camera to take many shots and the user to select the best photo within a given set. It will require new hardware, so your current Windows machine won't work with it, but your Surface 2 will.

I hope they do more than just add features. For some reason the bing apps keep crashing on me in 8.1 .Tthey were better in 8 for me actually

j2006 said,
To summarize, lots of great updates:

• OS Bing search will include more categories for hotels and restaurants
• Bing Food and Drink will include instructional videos and 100,000s of new recipes
• Bing Finance will connect directly to a portfolio and allow users to make trades within the app
• Bing Travel gaining user generated photos from Trover and Michellin
• Bing Sports will support even more real-time events and add over 20 more international leagues
• Camera app gains “Photo Loop”, which allows the camera to take many shots and the user to select the best photo within a given set. It will require new hardware, so your current Windows machine won't work with it, but your Surface 2 will.

The biggest problem with MS is that most of their features or stuff is US only. Bing is the biggest example. For me Bing or anything related to it is absolutely useless as none of it works outside US. Their Xbox Marketplace is limited to few countries too. Please give me a compelling reason why i shouldn't use Google when they make sure that everything works irrespective of where you live. Getting 'Scrooged' isn't a good enough reason especially when MS is in the same bed like Google with NSA and other agencies.

There are more WP users outside US still all Bing features are not available to them. Please don't be surprised if Bing is still struggling and will continue to do the same.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Yet it still has nothing on iTunes.


To each their own. The most recent one on the 8.1 preview is definitely my preferred music player. Helps that I've got Xbox Music pass but whatever.

theyarecomingforyou said,

Yet it still has nothing on iTunes.

Hell, it still has nothing on their own Zune even...

I like the new Xbox Music app, it's much faster and cleaner.

However, I do kind of miss the "Bio" and "Related" sections that they removed from the now playing screen. Also, not sure what's going on in the design department as it now looks very different from Xbox Video, or the actual Xbox console apps. It's not bad, but I kind of wish there was more consistency between all Microsoft device softwares.

Obry said,

Hell, it still has nothing on their own Zune even...

That actually is not true, at least not for me; that also includes iTunes. I like Xbox music more than both of them.

theyarecomingforyou said,

You're in the minority with that opinion.

They call it the vocal minority for a reason. What's wrong with it?

uxo22 said,

That actually is not true, at least not for me; that also includes iTunes. I like Xbox music more than both of them.

Just curious but why? Zune had hundred of channels and predefined playlists, all kinds of charts. It had photos, bios, reviews, venues top listeners everything. Xbox Music doesn't even allow you to see what songs are popular and stripped out all of the playlists and channels. To me it is very frustrating as a long time subscriber. I feel cheated.

incendy said,

Just curious but why? Zune had hundred of channels and predefined playlists, all kinds of charts. It had photos, bios, reviews, venues top listeners everything. Xbox Music doesn't even allow you to see what songs are popular and stripped out all of the playlists and channels. To me it is very frustrating as a long time subscriber. I feel cheated.

Agreed. For me its the most basic thing of having the Genre list at the side. In Xbox Music when you select Genre it stacks every single album in Genre order, so if I want Jazz I have to scroll through thousands of albums to get there!! Ridiculous.

b_roca said,

Agreed. For me its the most basic thing of having the Genre list at the side. In Xbox Music when you select Genre it stacks every single album in Genre order, so if I want Jazz I have to scroll through thousands of albums to get there!! Ridiculous.


Semantic zoom is your friend. If you're scrolling through all of your albums, you're doing it wrong.

incendy said,

Just curious but why? Zune had hundred of channels and predefined playlists, all kinds of charts. It had photos, bios, reviews, venues top listeners everything. Xbox Music doesn't even allow you to see what songs are popular and stripped out all of the playlists and channels. To me it is very frustrating as a long time subscriber. I feel cheated.

For me, I think it's just that. The simplicity of it. I love music, but I'm not big on managing music. I typically, create playlist for specific things, and roll through my playlists. I rarely buy full albums, I buy several songs per month, create a playlist named "Myname Month Year" drop in my latest purchases and I'm out of there.

Like I said, it just works well for me. I don't need all those top lists that are based on what that particular company is selling. I'm prefer to see a billboard top 100 airplay listing instead. Now that would be a nice feature, if xbox music had a BB top 100 airplay playlist built in that changes as the list changes.

siah1214 said,

Semantic zoom is your friend. If you're scrolling through all of your albums, you're doing it wrong.

Good point, but I usually know what I want, instead of scrolling through thousands of albums, I typically use the search feature find who I'm looking for and go from there.

uxo22 said,

For me, I think it's just that. The simplicity of it. I love music, but I'm not big on managing music. I typically, create playlist for specific things, and roll through my playlists. I rarely buy full albums, I buy several songs per month, create a playlist named "Myname Month Year" drop in my latest purchases and I'm out of there.

Like I said, it just works well for me. I don't need all those top lists that are based on what that particular company is selling. I'm prefer to see a billboard top 100 airplay listing instead. Now that would be a nice feature, if xbox music had a BB top 100 airplay playlist built in that changes as the list changes.

Top BB list was indeed one of their playlists. So frustrating. It is funny/sad because Google Music and iTunes now have almost all the features of Zune which was so far ahead of the field and now Xbox Music is a barebones client with no features.

I think this article should mention that Photo Loop is a feature built in to the included Camera app. Just to make things clear.

greenwizard88 said,
Can't they just release it already?!

There's a GA Rollup A coming soon, almost 200MB in size, and so on for those who have the RTM already from MSDN and TechNet etc. So they're already going to have a few big updates ready for the 18th for new installs.