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Dev and Canary Insiders can check out a new Photos app version made with Windows App SDK

windows photos

If you are a member of the Windows Insider Program and are signed up to get updates for either the Dev or Canary channel, you can get an interesting new release right now. No, it's not a new Windows 11 Insider build but rather a new version of the Windows Photos app.

In a blog post, Microsoft says that this new app was created with the use of the Windows App SDK. For those who may not be familiar, it was first launched in March 2021 and offers developers a way to make apps for Windows 11, along with Windows 10 version 1809 and later. The latest version of Windows App SDK is 1.5 which launched in late February 2024.

In a support post, Microsoft says there are many benefits to making Windows 10 and 11 apps with the Windows App SDK. They include adding new "APIs and features as soon as they are released", along with a faster update schedule, and a unified API surface. Microsoft claims this will allow apps like the Windows Photos app to get "the same set of Windows APIs that are available in the Windows App SDK" regardless of the app model that is chosen.

In the blog post today, Microsoft stated:

This change moves Photos to the latest Windows app development platform, with modern UI and other quality and performance improvements.

All the current Photos app features and functionality is still present in this version. However, given the extensive changes, this version may be a little rough around the edges as we continue to polish the experience. To get this experience, Windows Insiders on Windows 11 in the Canary and Dev channels can update the Photos app to version number 2024.11040.1002.0.

Dev and Canary Insiders can send their feedback about the new Windows Photos app in the Feedback Hub (WIN + F) under Apps > Photos.

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