FreePrints Windows Phone app removed from store and will shut down March 1

The FreePrints Windows Phone app, which allowed users to order and ship prints of images from their phone and other online sources, is no longer available to download from the Windows Phone Store. The app will shut down for anyone that still has it installed on their device on March 1.

We've received a number of tips about this development, as the company behind the app, Photo Affections, sent out emails to customers today informing them of this change. Here's their statement, which confirms that the Windows desktop app will also be discontinued:

"Dear FreePrints Customer,""We regret to inform you that FreePrints for Windows Phone and Windows desktop will be discontinued on March 1st. As of this date, you will no longer be able to order prints using the apps for either Windows Phone or Windows desktop.""You can still continue using FreePrints online at www.photoaffections.com/freeprints. Additionally, FreePrints mobile apps for iOS and Android will continue to be available.""To learn more about FreePrints online, FreePrints for iOS and FreePrints for Android, please visit www.freeprintsapp.com."

This is just the latest popular Windows Phone app to receive its shutdown orders. The Chase Mobile banking app has already been removed from the store and existing copies will stop working in March. The Bank of America app will also end in March.

Folks who are looking for photo printing alternatives for Windows Phone can check out Printicular if they live near a Walgreens store, or SnapCam, which is a Windows Phone exclusive.

Thanks to everyone for the tips!

235 Comments
  • We need a "Removed Apps" section in Windows Central...
  • Bro do strike for it or don't eat food, then they will listen to you.. Best of luck :D
  • Right? :(
  • Developers that love windows phone can form a third party app movement powered by MS. That's could save the headache
  • I like your idea
  • As Rudy Hyun has learned the hard way, sometimes companies still complain about 3rd party apps being developed for their services. :(
  • Microsoft needs to update their ToS to include a clause that states any company who decides to remove their official app from the windows market place loses the right to file complaints against 3rd party apps that fill the gap for their ignorance.
  • That would be funny, then we'd have zero apps
  • This is just stupid. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • True I don't know which apps I liked not in the store now.
  • :P
  • I'm going to classify this under "Who?" Given the fact Windows 8 is on 200 million devices, I'm going to guess they did a poor job marketing their service given this is the first time I've heard of them.
  • Same as that never heard of it.
  • I really don't think that universal apps will even save MS from the pain of a poor app store. Instead, MS can focus on 'Project Third Party' with some developers. They can gain traction with it. If I can get a third party like 6tag as an alternative, who needs the official app?
  • The thing is when someone says "Windows Phone doesn't have this app I need" and I tell them there is a thrid party app most say "But I don't want a third party app, I want an app from the original company".   I'm hoping (and hopeful) Windows 10 will catch on enough to gain app developers and maybe Chase, BofA and others will come back.  OR hopefully they get Android apps to work on Windows 10 to bridge the gap.
  • We did cover it here on the site.
  • I have to agree. I find many app developers like to complain that no one is using or downloading their app. I also find that they do very little in terms of promotion for their product. I was not aware of this app until its end. I needed this on my vacation.
  • Microsoft really needs to add a download counter for every download from a new download from a Microsoft account that downloads an app for the first time.
  • Apps in and of themselves are not entirely necessary. Pocketnow is a perfect example of pinning the site from IE with live tile updates on Windows Phone as they don't have a dedicated app.. Granted some apps are necessary for special functions. But this gives a lot of sites the ability to make something for all platforms through their site without having to cater to each os. Apple doesn't update as they have static icons. Android only allows pinning a link to a site without updates as I've tried with no luck. This makes WP special and able to offset apps to a degree if website developers allow for this ability. Try it. Let me know what you think.
  • Agreed
  • ​I'm just curious why do they stop working? Is it a radical backend change and they cba to update the Windows Phone app so they just discontinue it or? Sad to see apps vanish from the WP store... ​
  • They could have made an update recently that makes the app check the date or they probably check which device is being used to access the API and can effectively "disable" them by not returning login authentication or data in the response if they notice a specific device.
  • The situation around WP is not that services choose to drop support for their apps on purpose, it's a lack of developers to maintain those apps. I am a single WP developer in my office with 50+ people working on different projects from different companies. And I am an enthusiast, I wasn't hired to develop the app.
  • I want to personally thank you for your enthusiasm and continued support of Windows phone. This is regardless of not knowing what it is you're developing.
  • Same here. I'm the only developer who constantly following and learning WinRT universal app development. Down to the point which they call me "John Connor" because of Google = skynet jokes and I'm the only one not using their services.
  • John, Just a thought/non-contentious observation: Windows Central carriers a lot of clout in numerous mobile development circles, especially when reporting on things like new/updated/discontinued apps. By continuing to frame every single app "shutdown" report in this light of "everyone is jumping ship", don't you think that you might be reinforcing some unnecessarily negative (and I feel, unfounded) perceptions of the platform? Just my $.02
  • Reinforcing unfounded perceptions of the platform? Windows Phone and Windows stores suck compared to iOS or Android ones. It isn't unfounded. It's a fact.
  • You missed my point by a mile. I'm not saying the store is not lacking compared to iOS or Android (I definitely don't think the app selection "sucks"). What I'm saying is that there seems to be this growing (and in my opinion, unfounded) notion that existing developers are all jumping ship on Windows Phone.
  • Many ARE jumping ship, although not all. If people choose to be hyperbolic about it then it's their prerogative. Even as a WP user and enthusiast, I find myself unable to blemish the situation anymore. I'm now genuinely advising people *not* to opt for WP if they care about even the most basic of apps (a la Snapchat).
  • +925
  • If you say it long enough people will believe it. The shut down message is the wrong one to use though. I would like to see Alternatives posted for each story about a particular app that is no longer being supported. And Windows Central championing a new one or developer who had picked up the slack for those who have dropped the ball.
  • That is an awesome idea +1520
  • That would be good.
  • This is the what I would have expected. Ever been to osalt.com? That's what they should be doing. Listing alternatives for these apps that leave, especially if they are "name brands"
  • "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."
    -- Joseph Gobbles, Master of Propaganda, Nazi Germany
    .
    "The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses. The fact that [people] do not understand this merely shows how mentally lazy and conceited they are..."
    --Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Chapter 6
  • You are the master of obscure references.
  • Eh, im just good with my history haha (:
  • @slavrenz I agree. Of course losing apps is not a good thing but of the five apps that have been pulled over the past few weeks, two are coming back and the other three are a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of thousands of other apps in the store. The doom in every article about an app being delisted is kind of silly.
  • None of other apps bother me except bank apps. Because people rely on it and sometimes buy the phone knowing that they will be able to access their bank from a Windows Phone as well, just like they did on lets say Android. Chase and Bank of America are the only two banks I use. Now, both are out. So this is more than just two drops for me. I'm not jumping ship but hoping that the Bank of America website will work properly on Windows 10, cause it doesn't show itemized list of your account history on the current WP8.1's IE.
  • Losing bank apps is a pretty big deal. Those are very important to people who use them.
  • Paul, do you know if anyone reached out to Microsoft for a statement regarding the loss of the banking apps? It would be nice of them to address it for us instead of ignoring the fact that some of their customers are hurt by this. We already have to miss out on apps like clash of clans, etc, but banking apps to me are more essential than a few games.
  • How do we know MS is ignoring the facts?  What exactly is MS not doing to make developement as easy as it can be to promote developer adoption? I would think that their Win 10 event showed that the are not ignoring the problem and they have a plan to improve the situation. Should MS have a statement prepared when any app gets removed from the store?
  • They probably should be doing some kind of outreach when an import app prepares to leave the store, particularly the banks. We don't know that they're not doing that, but it seems unlikely - Microsoft could offer them money or support to stay if it really wanted.
  • Yeah, banking apps are definitely more essential. With an issue like this, the regular PR people we typically deal with won't provide any useful comment as the issue only casts Microsoft in a negative light. You have to get to someone with more agency and freedom of expression, which can be difficult. If we can bring more insight to the situation, we definitely will! :)
  • Agree with john
  • It's only fair if they also report on every major addition to the Windows store (and I think they do, or at least aim to do so). I think Windows Central should be fair and balanced, and I believe it is (for a fan site). As for the news itself, I wonder why the desktop app got killed too. There should be plenty of desktop users. My guess is that without a store they should have done more to market it. And who is to say the iOS or Android app is doing well. Maybe the entire company is perfoming poorly but removing the app from Android would kill their last hope of succes. They may just lack the resources to keep the Windows app alive aas they're struggling to do the same for Android.
  • They definitely should report on apps that are no longer available. What they shouldn't do is say stuff like "just the latest app to be removed" or link back to all the other recent apps that are no longer available. This is what I take issue with, because it establishes a trend of abandonment for the platform where one may not exist (and I don't think it does).
  • A trend is a trend, man. Sticking your fingers in your ears doesn't help. All you can do is hope the trend stops or reverses.
  • Then we have two trends occuring at the same time: WP apps are being added and WP apps are being removed.  There is no general trend.  Just look at the headlines on this site to see the proof. If you want to cherry pick one of those trends and ignore the other, then you could come to a conclusion.  It would be flawed, but there you go. At best, you could say that the app situation is in flux at this point.  Has anyone found out how many apps are being removed vs the amount being added?  That would be interesting.
  • In other words, you want Windows Central to only report positive spins that you want to read; the "head in the sand" approach. Nice. 
  • They may be able to word it differently but I think windowscentral is just trying to do unbiased reporting. This site needs windows phone to be relevant or at least to stay alive. If windows phone fails or becomes completely irrelevant, than so will windowscentral. They can not rely windows desktop to push this site. I personally think this site gets such a loyal following because of the "underdog" label that wp gets. 
  • "We took down the app on your phone but you can check it out on iOS and Android' - Assholes
  • Hahaha right...? The nerve
  • The cheek of them to shut it down on Windows and Windows Phone and they say to check it out on iOS and Android is unforgivable. They think since Chase Bank and Bank Of America is shutting down their apps, they should shut them down too. People from all over who want iPhones and Android phones are not giving Windows Phone and Windows a chance. They think its shit full stop. They don't know that until they have tried it. To all the people who don't give Windows Phone and Windows a chance, I say this "Don't just go for iOS or Android too soon. Give Windows Phone and Windows a try. Don't just think that its terrible. You don't know that until you have tried it for a good while. Just think about that."
  • Microsoft has kept alot of restrictions (for our safety) which causes developers some sort of problem! Well who cares, fuck them! At least, Microsoft themselves should give use something great and unique apps, so that we can say "ios and android cant even come close to windows".
  • Except Microsoft prefers developing apps first and usually better on iOS and android too.
  • Sounds like hate flowing heavily... But why, all of a sudden without a proper reason? Google is that you? -_-
  • I really feel Google is influencing the companies to hate on MS. I'm not usually a conspiracy theorist, but Google actively tries to stunt WP and with their evil practices of late, I wouldn't be surprised if they have dealt with other companies to get then to ignore the WP platform.
  • Have to agree with SeraphX2 the only thing theese companies seems to care is to give the information to the public about dropping WINDOWS and WINDOWS PHONE (the statement say this clearly)
    So it's not a problem about WP but a "war" against MS
  • I wouldnt put it past Google to have employees activily calling companies and offering to promote their app for free in the play store if they kill their WP app. Afterall Apple is high-end, with Windows out of the way Google can grow to become the Microsoft of the mobile computing age.
  • Google doesn't "actively try to stunt WP"(whatever that means) they simply ignore WP. 
  • And also, blaming Google on an app getting pulled from the store is retarded.
  • So who was it that shutdown one of the best made YouTube apps ever on WP?  Oh, right, Google.  MS made a beautiful app for WP and actively denied connections from that app.  And ignoring it *is* stunting it because none of their services are on WP without 3rd party support which can be hit or miss and easily shutdown.
    The MS YouTube app was shutdown was on bogus claims that were full of shit.  They could do the same to any 3rd party app as well.  Strangely enough, some of the apps actually break the developers ToS, but still exist.
  • Would not put it past them..
  • I hated that part most, if they are no longer supporting WP that's it. They must not refer us to Android
  • +1
  • That is the worst part of it. Take your app down if you must, but don't throw that but in there about trying it on iOS and Android. That's just a asshole thing to do. Never heard of this company, but if I ever get in my Delorean and go back in time and need prints I will go out of my way to avoid their service.
  • Also, is it weird that they are all going to end in March? Or is March like the next wave of apps ending support, you know like how Tuesdays are when music or video games are released
  • March is probably when their next fiscal quarter begins and they probably don't to carry the cost of support/maintenance into the next quarter. 
  • The absolute kick in the teeth. So they assume WP users are just going switch to another OS just for this app? Dumb asses..
  • One More Removal, Regretting My Decision Of Buying Windows Phone...
  • Because I'm sure that app makes or breaks it for you.
  • It's not the app for everyone, but when you lose an app you use, you will understand. To someone an app maybe important. Losing chase and bank of America is a huge issue for me.
  • I actually joined Windows phone way before my bank even had an app. So I know how it feels actually. I joined at WP 7.5 Mango.
  • Same I was with Windows since Windows mobile. Coming in you know what's missing, but coming to Windows phone and losing an app is terrible. I am still Windows phone and not leaving but people need to stop brushing these app removals off. It needs to stop, even if you don't use the app. If developers are leaving, that's not going to encourage others to join or to develop. This is a serious problem for the platform
  • Have you forgotten the last few years? There have always been apps leaving the platform. I wish it would stop too, but it's not a new trend. And there are still apps joining the platform. Hopefully these apps will come back in Windows 10.
  • I joined at 7.1 from old WM6.1 days and trust me, app scenario has improved by miles but not enough for those who make "the switch". Microsoft treating WP like shit says a lot about numbers. I don't blame these devs leaving WP. Microsoft treats it like unwanted child, why shouldn't others?
  • Because you used this app everyday, right?
  • Because a couple apps got removed? Yea it sucks, but its not like every app disappeared overnight
  • Ryan, that is a choice left up to you. But, consider this. Was it the apps that got you to decide to try WP, or was it WP itself? While it is unfortunate that some developers have touted the reasoning is low usage, it doesn't change the fact that WP is a great OS. As long as WP continues to serve YOUR purpose, don't be regretful. The future of WP is going to be a struggle, but MS has put too much into it to leave it high and dry. I believe Windows 10 will be the start of a turning point for the platform. However, if WP at some point, fails to meet your needs, then switch back to whichever platform you came from. But, it sounds to me that you were never really vested in that platform, so coming back to WP at a later date is always an option.
  • How often do you use the free prints app? And please don't lie
  • Right now, a lot of awesome stuff is happening for Windows Phone. I don't know why you can't see that.
  • It is like someone makes developers discontinue their windows phone apps. It sounds so artificial. Especially these days when people are interested in windows as never before
  • It's google, fuck google
  • +929
  • Never heard of it....but goodbye nonetheless....
    I think 4 down....about 250000 apps to go
  • *you're a bit off there lad. I think you mean 400K
  • I could be....but I don't think it matters much....
  • 570k+ after the stores merge.
  • Will all those 570K apps work on both Windows Phone AND Windows 8.1? If not, lets boost the number to 10 Million by including x32/x64 binaries, too! Yes, its a shame another app has been pulled. Who knows, IF universal apps on W10 really do make it effortless to write once, run anywhere, PERHAPS these developers will come crawling back to the store. But from the sounds of it, they are far from convinced.  
  • 600K Aftere the stores merge. Its a;ready about 590 atm
  • All I have to say is, "Once you walk out that door don't you come crawling back!".
  • +520
  • Does anyone else smell Google or Apple $$$ to pull from Windows platform?
  • I do + I'm pretty sure!
    Whores
  • Why do they need to bother when Windows is nowhere in mobile?
  • Kill it before it grows? If they let Microsoft be than there is a small chance they will actually succeed. Put a few million of the billions they make into activily keeping MS small and they can assure they dont need to share those billions. I really think MS should alllow side loading of Android apps on WP. Gadgets fans cant do without apps but they dont mind the extra work of side loading apps and they get to check out Windows Phone fo a change. This means more high-end WPs will be sold. Universal apps will ensure that developers interested in developing for WIndows desktops will also offer a app for phones/tablets. At the same time keep producing a wide range of low-end Lumias to keep WP in the front end of stores. Do all these at the same time and word of mouth and sales will pick up and the wheel starts rolling.