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Microsoft rolls back recent Photos app update on Windows 10 Mobile

The other day, Windows 10 Mobile users were shocked to see a brand new update available for the Photos app in the Store, that actually introduced new features! Unfortunately, as we correctly speculated at the time, this update was rolled out in error. Microsoft has confirmed in the past that Windows 10 Mobile is no longer a focus, and as such, there are no new features in the works for Windows 10 Mobile.

The Photos app update that rolled out was released by mistake, and Microsoft has today corrected that mistake by rolling out another update that reverts the changes. Microsoft has no interest in releasing new features on Windows 10 Mobile, and the app update that was released last week did nothing but introduce new features. It brought all the features found in the desktop app to Windows 10 Mobile, causing the app to lag and crash often on phones.

Since Microsoft is no longer focused on Windows 10 Mobile, the company is not putting any resources into optimizing any of the new UWP apps found in Redstone 3 and Redstone 4 desktop for Mobile, which is why the Photos app that accidently rolled out was laggy and slow on phones. Microsoft has no interest in trying to optimize these apps, as the user base for Windows 10 Mobile is just too low at this point. Microsoft has only committed to releasing security patches every month for the platform, nothing more.

Microsoft is now more focused on its next attempt at Windows on mobile devices, with a project codenamed Andromeda. This project is a new mobile device that features two screens, and a new version of Windows 10 built on Windows Core OS. This is said to be Microsoft's "re-entry" into the mobile market, leaving behind Windows 10 Mobile for good.

Zac Bowden
Zac Bowden

Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows 10 on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.

66 Comments
  • I understand that Windows 10 Mobile is no longer their focus but, that's just being petty. So it was released by mistake. They couldn't just let it be from that point?
  • It was crashing and lagging. No point making an app unusable for a few features.
  • Didn't have that experience. But, oh well.
  • So set updates to manual, don't update it and enjoy it. Or find the appx, someone made it for sure.
  • The good thing is I got the appxbundle https://mega.nz/#!jYQDASaS!Q2Xp1uwVUOyySXnmYWHcMUwPo33Ck2gcEemwPqNMHGY
  • There are Chinese tablets with 2GB RAMs and 16GB internal that run this app flawlessly, our phones are better with 3GB and 32GB internal, so is this with the operating system or just the Mobile no longer a focus thing? Cuz I believe they can make make this app run flawlessly on our phones no doubt!
  • Windows 10 moible is DEAD.  get over it!
  • Those tablets run full Windows, not Windows Mobile. Remember when Microsoft and Windows Central tried to argue they are the same thing? Remember next time they try to make that argument for the 3rd time.
  • ...
  • It was not unusable on every device though.  My 950 XL does well with it.  It has crased a couple of times and I did notice a bug or two.  Shame that Microsoft can't fix the app further. I mean it was an insider release after all.  It does not matter though as we can sideload it if we want....
  • Unfortunately for Microsoft they will be releasing "Andromeda" not to a vibrant group of a Windows mobile platform looking to upgrade but to people who have moved to other ecosystems. I don't see the point of "Andromeda" other than some kind of internal desire of Microsoft to have a mobile presence. Even if it's tiny, specialised, expensive, non-consumer, and app free.
  • Honestly, i think they know this. I think this device will mostly be for students/IT guys. I don't even think they care if it brings entertainment to consumers. It's going to be a tool to get things done.
  • @sully9088 and that is a flawed approach, it may have worked in the 90s when PCs were becoming the next must have 'gizmo'. But these days everyone has a PC in their pocket and they are far more capable of replacing every single device in the home. It's not about devices anymore but ecosystems and people can say what they want about Stephen Elop but he got that very early on. That is why Nokia decimated the windows phone market and took if for themselves. Because they built a mini ecosystem around their products, remember the L920 launch? They had wireless charging accessories and media accessories on sale at the same time. Compared to the current pathway Microsoft has taken, it's haphazard at best and as result CES was completely overshadowed by OEMs doing their own thing and actually pushing Alexa over Cortana. Why? Because of the ecosystem of devices, applications and services which allow alot more leverage in terms of data analytics and revenue points. So now Microsoft is now in reaction mode, grasping at straws when they really didn't to be in this predicament in the first place. They had all the pieces and they just screwed it up. Therefore to prevent themselves becoming obsolete they must engage people on levels of the spectrum, put more and more resources into the Cortana team, focus on Polaris and Andromeda not Web apps. That they have to do later not now, because if they go for that now they will fail miserably as in order for PWA to grow they need a robust UWP ecosystem. It's like a train journey, ti get from stop a to stop d you can't avoid going through other stops, you can take alternative routes to get there but invariably you will have still go through stop b and c. That is the transitional play and it is the grounding force of life in totality.  
  • Nokia had no competition with Windows Phone. They were literally competing against no one. Winning that market isn't proof of anything.
  • Progressive Wep Apps is the general direction Apple and Google are gearing towards, not just Microsoft. PWAs don't necessarily have to be rewritten for Andromeda, because most PWAs will run on desktop, and from what I understand about Andromeda, it is MS attempt to bring the best of both worlds (desktop and mobile) to a pocketable device. Therefore, PWAs should run just fine. PWAs will help reduce the amount of storage needed and can be updated from the backend, without necessarily installing updates on the device itself. I do agree that MS has to build a device that can be that catalyst to a new category of mobile devices. It has to do something you can't necessarily do with a smartphone, but progressive enough to be a serious consideration for new or upgrading tablet and low-end PC users.
  • Just when you think you've heard every outlandish and plain weird argument there is out there, someone hits you with "That is why Nokia decimated the windows phone market and took if for themselves." Now Nokia is the one responsible for what happened to Windows Phone. Dont you just LOVE the internet? :D
  • Meh. Switching platforms isn't that hard if you see benifits with it. Sure, you bought some apps you have not used in a while, but you'll get over it rather quickly. People are going to buy a Surface Phone and other simmilar devices, people are going to use MS Store more and more. So, even if the Surface Phone don't have the huge customer base the other two OS's have, the Windows echosystem is still large. Question is, is MS going to be able to get enough apps so people do not feel limited in every day use. And they have much better chances with Windows 10 and Andromeda".
  • There isn't going to be a Surface Phone. MS have confirmed they have pulled out of the phone game. A Surface not-Phone is expected, but that will not be a phone nor will it compete with phones. You are expected to have a phone as well as your Surface not-Phone. Happily I will be able to dump my smart phone, tablet and laptop and just have a not-Phone and a dumb phone.
  • Phone or not, who cares 😁 All I want is a device, that fits in my pocket, runs UWP apps, has LTE, and maybe calling and texting as well. That's why I'm holding on to my 650, and that's why I'll buy Andromeda if it comes out 😁
  • This, all the way.
  • Going from a $100 phone to a $1500 phone. Quite a jump.
  • You know, I'm living the period of my life when I can finally afford these things. I finished university, and have a stable job for almost two years now. Btw, I also jumped from a first gen Xbox 360 to an Xbox One X on its launch day. So here's the answer you wanted so much :D
  • What has UWP done for you...really?
  • Using the same apps on my phone, 2in1, TV and Xbox. Being able to set an alarm on any of my devices, and have it alert me on my phone. Seeing all my podcast feeds everywhere, and being able to continue playing anywhere without doing anything. (There isn't a single podcast app that can sync between android and Windows lol). Streaming my videos from OneDrive anywhere (I have all the seasons of How I Met Your Mother and Married with Children on it, so I use it often :D ) Photo syncing also thanks to OneDrive, using a YouTube app without ads and with downloading (and it actually has a f*cking dark theme :D ). Buying Xbox One games on my phone or 2in1, or any device, Edge bookmarks and reading list syncing, buy an app once and use on all my devices, etc... And finally, it's just nice, that all the options / features are at the same place on all of my devices :D
  • I can DO ALL OF THAT with my windows and iphone combo Random DS.   
  • Wow the stupidest move ever; They killed their only mobile system before introducing the new one...
  • So they could release updated apps but chose not to do it on purpose. They even clearly have the mobile app build generation in their workflow. They are clearly being crappy on purpose, as a punishment. I don't like that.
  • Microsoft continuing to burn and break bridges... not a good sign at all.  
  • I agree with that. It's probably because Ol' Nads got a bit bored and fancied messing with some WP owners to pass the time. Everyone needs a hobby.
  • I doubt that. If any things it's just a knee jerk reaction without foresight. Instead of reverting these changes, they could have turned this into a positive.
    Something along the lines of "Although this was a small mistake in our update chain, as we want our users to have the best experience possible we will polish up the experience and continue to work to make experiences greater based on your feedback. Look forward to hearing about these new experiences at Build 2018". That's all they needed to say.
  • I agree on the reaction point.  Cost cutting and savings most likely was the cause...
  • No, there are not enough W10M users for them to care. Also, W10M must not be similar enough to Andromeda to justify developing apps with it. It would be a total waste of time in their eyes.
  • If you want/need to revive this Windows 10 Phone/Mobile, just put a apps that in the latest update, latest apps, modern, update apps and programs on your store.
  • The comments are so auto negative that its never about the subject headline itself :D
  • Before you said it will be tablet, now you are saying mobile?
  • A mobile tablet? The good thing about the not-Phones is that they can be anything you want them to be (except, and I can't stress this strongly enough, a phone).
  • Tablets aren't that popular, especially with Windows. The growth opportunity definitely isn't with tablets. Without a large screen, keyboard, trackpad and Intel processor it cannot replace your laptop. No opportunity there. Literally the only thing this could do is replace your phone. It is a small screen pocketable PC with telephony. Exact same thing as every smartphone sold today. The issue with this device is Windows. There is only one use for Windows. Legacy PC applications. Microsoft hasn't been able to penetrate any other markets because phones, tablets, televisions, watches, and automobiles aren't what people think of when they hear Windows. Microsoft will never penetrate any new markets using the name Windows.
  • I think it was laggaing and crashing when trying to link onedrive pictures. It got better when I switch to local pic only. But definitely bugs tough. Nice try. keep working on it.
  • Quite a badly written article, lots of repetition in it. On topic, I'm glad to see it reverted, it slowed my Lumia 950XL down when viewing photos and the layout of the app was not suitable for mobile screens.
  • There's lot of repetition in the comments too.  Mostly from fanboys stating 10M is NOT DEAD.....but guess what...IT IS!
  • Not dead for me or all of us that still use it. Got everything I need and will be working fine until the end of next year.
    What are you suggesting? That we should just get rid of our phones and go to the other 2 crappy OSs just because YOU say it's dead?
  • DEAD means MS VIEWS IT AS DEAD.   Just like RT.  It's DEAD.  even though I can fire up my RT devices and they actually work,  but they are DEAD to MS.   NO.  I am saying quit thinking that MS is going to toss all kinds of updates, apps etc to w10m.   It's not happening.  BTW.  they other 2 are Not crappy...just because YOU THINK they are.  W10M is RT all over again.  move on.  
  • You are right, it's dead. Microsoft deliberately killed it, for reasons I cannot begin to understand. It's like they want to push all remaining users off the platform so that they'll upgrade to the new one, only there is no new one. Just awful, unthinkable, archaic 'alternatives' like iOS and Android that haven't evolved in design or functionality since 2007 and are designed first and foremost as vehicles to earn more revenue for their respective companies, either by monetizing users' personal information or through planned obsolescence. My only guess is that Microsoft plans to introduce a new phone-friendly version of Windows (which now actually sounds quite probable), but that still doesn't explain why they would pressure existing W10 mobile users to leave the platform long before its replacement is available. It's either terrible marketing or a concerted effort to distance Windows from the consumer market so that they have an excuse to shift all their efforts to enterprise solutions like Azure, a.k.a. the only thing Satya Nadella actually cares about because it's the only thing he personally worked on prior to becoming CEO. Incidentally, Windows RT wasn't bad in concept or execution; it was no different from iOS or Android except that it added some computer-like functionality that the latter two still lack to this day. It failed because the masses weren't psychologically ready to accept that a tablet can work like a computer, or that a computer can be touch-friendly or in a tablet form factor; when Apple and Google slowly started to follow Microsoft's lead, developers and consumers embraced the paradigm shift, hence Windows 10's popularity.
  • Which is exactly the reason nobody should wait around for an Andromeda device to replace their phones.
  • This update worked flawlessly on my 950. Only thing was slight degradation in scrolling quality. Absolutely no crashes on my device.
  • Crashes and bugs galore on L950...
  • Any news on Live Photo support?
  • Wow, this is too funny.  Accidentally release a new app for a deap OS.  Coming soon, a new Service Pack for Windows 7. Microsoft is REALLY on the ball these days.  
  • oh well...Nadella loves to "Hit Update"...errr I mean "Hit Refresh"
  • You mean Hit REVERSE!
  • Hit retrench?
  • Didnt lag to me and was more better...too bad, it rolled back.
  • C'mon, I know it is know longer the focus, but what about the people who bought the phones before MS declared there were only patches? Throw us a bone!
  • This article needs editing. I thought I was having a stroke reading the same sentences thrice.
  • Nice
  • Since they already rolled it out, they should have left it. I liked the design over the old style. And the ability to write on the photos.
  • Wow, if it wasn't for you Negative Nelly's coming here to taunt and ridicule the articles and the faithful there would be no articles to attract the faithful. You create your own catch 22 and your own audience. Madness I say madness!
  • Why Microsoft. I love WP. Don't kill it.
  • Come on! Just give it to us, why waste it? You already made an update!!
  • It was unusable on Mobile anyways.
  • Unfortunately, this is just another example of nutella just killing any possible goodwill left between MS and their mobile users.  I don't think it will matter what any other mobile OS they release would look like -- the disdain that they have fostered among the MS mobile user base will be a such a level that ANY opportunity for success died many months ago.  Sad, but true
  • While they're reverting buggy updates that don't work, maybe they could roll back to a version of Edge for W10M that can actually open PDFs again...
  • To exemplify the epitome of stupidity, why have an update in existence to then say it was released in error to the masses?
  • Is there any hacky way to get the 'accidental' update on my phone? I don't have it now, and I'm not sure if I ever did, but if any W10 mobile device is able to handle a PC app it's gonna be my Elite X3. As it is, I'm stuck with that phone for two more years and the photos app is already very dated. 
  • Well at least you can get Windows apps on your mobile now. I'm surprise i get one of my once pc only app installed on my mobile. In fact, good thing is OneDrive is the store to access files for the app.
  • Such a joke.
    Also a joke is that every negative comment about windows here,is down voted to death.We should praise Microsoft for their hard work I guess?Thanks.
    So sad that once upon a time,devs created such a great system as windows mobile,then killed it with their ignorance and blamed the app developers afterwards for not working with them..