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OneDrive improves its photo albums for the web, but Windows Phone users will have to wait

Microsoft has just announced some improvements to its OneDrive storage service that will offer users a better look at their photos, along with new search features. Those changes and additions will be added to the Windows Phone version of the OneDrive app sometime in the future.

Microsoft described the new photo viewing user interface for OneDrive, which it is calling Albums. In addition to the web version, it is also being enabled on the OneDrive iOS app today. It stated:

"Unlike traditional folders, Albums let your photos stand front and center. Thumbnails are larger, photos are edge-to-edge, and everything is arranged together into a beautiful collage. When you open a photo, it now fills up the whole screen. Information details are still available, but from a pop-up menu, so now your photos stand out like they were always meant to! Albums also let you bring photos and videos together from anywhere in your OneDrive. You don't need to copy files from other folders. That means you can easily create an album using photos from your phone in your camera roll folder, your camera in your "European Vacation 2012" folder, or from your email, with the photos you saved to your attachments folder. And even more, you can also add to your albums after they've been created and shared."

OneDrive will start using Bing search technology in a new way for both photos and documents. Microsoft stated:

"You can now search for Office documents and PDFs by text inside of them and photos based on time, location, or text that is extracted from images themselves. You can also search for photos based on tags – both ones you manually created and ones that we've automatically identified."

In addition, Microsoft announced that Windows 7 and 8 users will soon be able to automatically import photos from any device connected to their PC to their OneDrive account on a new "Camera imports" folder. Also, any screenshots will be able to be saved automatically on OneDrive in a new "Screenshots" folder. Both these features will be added sometime in the next month.

Source: Microsoft (opens in new tab)

138 Comments
  • That's good news for my tablet
  • Definitely yes.
  • Design is good. But no more option to upload photos. My WP OneDrive app is not working and only solution is hard reset which I don't want. So need that upload option back on web version.
  • FWIW, your photos are in the Camera Roll folder on the OneDrive. I'm not sure if that is what you're looking for.
  • Looks awesome
  • Enabled for IOS..realy.should support your own platform
  • When Microsoft doesn't care about her own platform should we care?!
  • it should be coming with Windows 10 for phones
  • It makes me think about what will be the excuse after Windows 10...
  • Lol. Agreed.
  • Windows 11! :)
  • No ... Will be available some time next week.
  • They'll say, "Oh that was in Windows 9.  Did you miss it?"
  • Or maybe iOS users should have to wait as well.
  • Window 10 is months away, they need it now otherwise by windows 10 they might as well not bother creating a phone version
  • Stop bitching
  • Good grief, can you just give them a freaking minute to get Windows 10 Preview out the damn door?! My goodness, some of you are such whiny babies about all this stuff.   They do care. They care very much, but they have a lot of teams doing a lot of things, and all of the Windows teams are focused on getting Windows 10 ready for all of us to enjoy these things AND MUCH MORE in a short time.
  • Bull.  WP8 will be the OS until W10 arrives so why make WP users wait while iOS gets it now?  It's a continuation of the 'iOS first, WP whenever' mantra that's been coming out of MS lately.  Seriously, can we at least get parity?  I don't even want it first just not later than iOS.  When my brother asks why his iPhone can do it and mine can't and I have a 1520 I have no answer.  It's a bit ridiculous at this point.
  • Because Joe Belfiore already showed that this feature is in Universal Windows 10 Photos app? That's what commenter above meant - they are preparing everything for new app platform and we've seen that already.
  • Then they should have waited to release it for the iOS. It really is starting to get very annoying that Microsoft releases all their app updates on other OS long before they will release it on their own.  In addition to release apps and app updates on other OSes first they also tend to be far supier than the Windows Phone 8 version. Seriously makes me wonder why I should even get a Windows 10 device if they keep pulling this crap. Leads me as a consumer to believe Microsoft would rather I buy a competing OS instead of theirs. I would not mind if they released them at the same time, but to put another OS first before your own tells me they don't really care about theirs.
  •   Doesn't matter.  Until Windows 10 is available on shipping devices that consumers can purchase right now, it's vaporware, slideware or betaware. Google, Apple, and others have all managed to continue supporting their existing platforms while preparing for a new release.  Microsoft, on the other hand, abandons its customers well before the new platform launches.  It's one reason why Windows Phone has been such a failure in the marketplace. Existing customers have suffered through this three times now... WM 6.X to WP 7, WP 7.X to WP 8, and now WP 8 to WP 10.  Considering that a release of WP 10 is several months away at best (an aeon in the tech world), Microsoft should be ensuring that customers on its existing and ONLY current mobile platform, Windows Phone 8, receive a world-class customer experience and parity with other ecosystems in support.  
  • What about the tools MSFT talks about that allows developers to port their apps with minimal fuss over to different platforms. If it's so damn good, why isn't MSFT porting the iOS apps over to WP? "Do as I say, not as I do" seems to be what MSFT wants devs to do.
  • @pw38 you should watch the Jan 21st event in its entirety, there is alot coming with Windows 10. If anything they have reiterated they are taking the "Windows Best" approach. A product doesn't appear out of thin air automagically and plus to fine tune a product does take time.
  • It is not an either or proposition.  Supporting IOS and Windows Phone is not a mutually exclusive endeavor. Microsoft has the cash to update every platform at the same time.  They are sitting on billions.  So it is their choice to make WP users wait.     I am good with it but will never be so presumptuous as to put down people who do have a problem with it.  Don't forget that existing customers have already paid money to support the Microsoft ecosystem.  An IOS person using a free app hasn't paid Microsoft anything.  I get the strategic intent around going after the biggest market. But Microsoft cannot complain about other developers giving Windows Phone short shrift when they do the exact same thing.  
  • On the contrary, I will NEVER EVER endorse or support being whiny, spoiled brats and making DEMANDS that a person/company do something their way or the highway. I will, however, continue to point out when people's expectations are unreasonable, because I support and endorse people being smarter, more mature, and more rational. The rest of your point about not being mutually exclusive I totally agree with, and I don't see Microsoft giving their platform the short end of the stick. I see them prioritizing each platform equally but recognizing what they can release right now and what they have to get a bigger picture release ready for.
  • @GoodThings2Life, well said.
  • Well said
  • I reeeally start thinking that Natya Sadella has an iPhone..
  • Do you really think he mains a Lumia?
  • Why wouldn't he? Microsoft makes a lot of apps for iOS and Android. I'd expect him to have one of each at the very least. Because ultimately it's his responsibility to make sure Microsoft ships a quality product. Not to be a fanboy.
  • I think he's implying his primary handset is probably an iPhone. Wouldn't bet against it.
  • WP users screwed again! Thanks Microsoft!
  • Seems fasterrrr and betterrrr
  • Faster for ios and android, slow waiting game for wp/MS supporters.
  • Is it just me, or is the fact they are pushing the feature on ios now a total pi$$ take. I've been a total supporter and a lover of windows phone for years, but we are constantly left behind by MS in favour of ios and android. Joke.
  • Or they are receiving feedback so they don't screw up the windows phone release. Windows 10 my friend. Windows 10
  • I get it and I am eagerly waiting on Windows 10.  But it kind of gets old.  In the coming months....In the coming days... Soon In the coming months...etc. The answer is always down the road.  I have been a Windows Phone supporter since the beginning and I am a Microsoft shareholder as well.  I'm just saying please give Windows Phone parity with the other ecosystems.  
  • Go to the freaking webpage. I rather have win10 than care about an app on IOS, since we already saw the onedrive app in the demo on stage.
  • Well they know that come 2016 you'll still be around. The iOS market share won't wait though
  • A supporter of Windows Phone wouldn't take every opportunity to cry about something.
  • Have you tried MS apps on ios like office and Onedrive. They're piece of shit! Clumsy and unorganized at best!
  • Idk what you're talking about. I've been using office apps on both iOS & android and they sure are miles better than the "piece of shit" office app we have in wp. OneDrive feels native to both too, unlike in wp, where it feels like a bad iOS port.
  • I meant on the iPad... It's shit to me. I prefer the real deal on windows devices.
  • Now I don't need to create a screenshot album and upload pics in OneDrive... When this feature arrives to windowsphone.
  • windows phone users always have to wait!!!!!
  • That's annoying.... Support your fans that use your devices!
  • What the !!! How come iOS users get it before us ! Whatever !
  • iOS get it now because their app is done. I don't understand all this outcry every time Microsoft make an app for other OS's. Those people are Microsoft customers also. Unlike Google who ignore Windows phone all together. Microsoft has customers on all OS's and is doing it's best to serve them all. The reason I like MS is because they treat customers as customers no matter what platform they are on. Name one Apple app you can download on a Windows phone. Google is the same even when Microsoft made a YouTube app for Windows Phone Google made them remove it.
  • B.S..  Direct your WP team to have their product ready then.  A WP customer is a more valued customer because they are fully buying into your ecosystem.  iOS not so much.  Chasing numbers it seems...
  • I think in this case (happened quite a few times in the past) commentators here are kind of frustrated that MS has released update for IOS users first, for MS's own cloud storage product namely One Drive. Furthermore, I can't notice that anyone on this thread is complaining specifically about MS publishing apps on other platforms. Honestly, can you really blame the WP users for their unhappiness? I do kind of understand MS’s reasoning as IOS platform has massive user base and is where the real money is, however, this is not the first time (probably not the last as well) that WP users get certain features/apps last…
  • My question is, is the number of OneDrive users on IOS greater than the number of OneDrive users on WP? Because I know absolutely nobody on Android or IOS who even uses OneDrive.
  • There is a difference between a "paying" customer and a "user" of a free app.  Windows Phone people represent customers that have paid cold hard cash to Microsoft.  We have made cash contributions to Satya's $84M compensation.  How much cash has Microsoft received from an IOS user using the free OneDrive app?   I am not saying IOS users should not get an app.  I am just saying Microsoft has the cash to update everything at the same time if they "chose" to make that their priority.  
  • I totally agree!!! Microsoft cares about everyone, and we should be proud of it.
  • Soon™
  • Later™
  • Coming soon
  • "Please Understand" - Iwata, Satoru
  • And iOS first again i see. -_-
  • I want Ballmer back.
  • I hope you are joking. He missed the entire smartphone and tablet thing
  • Want to see how he handles Mobile division.Atleast with his presence in events the developers,Press cheered unlike today All silently covering the news like Bots.
  • Too bad the feature is only available in the iOS OneDrive app for the moment, but I'm sure they're working hard on integrating it into Windows 10.
  • You are late microsoft, i have switched to dropbox and soon i will be switching to android phone because windows phone is not so user friendly and have a lot of restrictions....
  • And hopefully you'll switch to posting somewhere else as well....
  • Except there is a Windows Central app for Android.
  • You should probably wait for Windows 10. Pictures experience is not great on Dropbox. Plus I LOVE to watch my pictures on my TV with OneDrive on xbox
  • why do we wait when same thing available on other platform, they are not paying me waiting (time is MONEY) 
  • Is obvious that windows phone users must wait for any MS app features.... Microsoft has a great development team for Android and IOS.
  • This^^
  • True and heart ❤ breaking.
  • Yeah they do then again we are testers.
  • We will always be fucking beta testers.... Shit man since the time I moved to windows phone all the heck I have been doing was testing more testing and shit. Finally when the final thing was released you realize that the final product was the same shit and no notable improvements are made. This is the primary reason windows phone suffers cause the guys who care to try it are either beta testers or guys looking for a good performance phone with low features and apps. Nothing changes now. Lets see where the feedback app takes us and start publishing the build already
  • I want to leave permanently but I can the UI and everything I got use to. Probably switch that Fruit phone haha.
  • Well let ios beta test those features. Want android story like features on OneDrive..gogogo
  • Preview for Developers
    Windows Insider Program
    Techinical Preview
    Consumer Preview
  • Hey, I'm thankful we WP users are getting Windows 10 before iOS. (end sarcasm)
  • If it were possible I wouldn't best against it. Actually wasn't Albums a feature of the new Windows 10 Photos app? Maybe not such a crazy idea after all....
  • Lol you know Microsoft likes to give away goodies to other people while those people don't give back.
  • can we integrate OneDrive with the story teller app. that would be amazing.
  • Microsoft should focus on Windows phone not Android or IOS
  • I'd prefer they do Windows best.  Release for other platforms because hey they are trying to make money but at least give their most ardent supporters (WP users) an equal experience to the other platforms.  It seems we're always hearing "wait until XXX launches, things will get better".  That narrative gets old after awhile.
  • Hahaha that's funny...smh!
  • It looks great. Cant wait to see I on my WP
  • Damn OneDrive is for windows phone and why it gets updated lately and IOS version is update earlier.Microsoft you must focus on your OS but you are with IOS.You let me down with your own app so what to expect from others(Instagram).sucks sucks :( :(
  • OneDrive isn't for Windows Phone. OneDrive is a cross-platform Microsoft service.
  • Yeah but why doesn't Microsoft spread the update in unison? Isn't feasible to do.
  • Deadlines. Business deadlines. Unless you actually know what goes on inside Microsoft, just blindly bitching about favoring other platforms is just that. There is likely a reason the iOS and web app ship first. Yeah, it sucks. But it's happened.
  • http://www.windowscentral.com/bing-rewards-android-ios-coming-soon-windo... And it's happened.
    And it's happened again.
    And again.
    And will happen again and again. see the problem here?
  • I know OneDrive is cross platform but take google(I know everyone don't like google but it is a example) which has google drive it updates it with same features for their OS and for IOS.But in WP Microsoft always supports Android or IOS e.g live lock screen app for WP is not updated since its release but Microsoft updates its next lock screen app for Android constantly.They must support their OS first.
  • Developers are probably busy on new Windows 10 for phone. It's not the end of the world if we need to wait few more weeks.
    I like OneDrive to store and watch my pictures so this is indeed a good news.
  • A few more weeks really means at least summer. We aren't getting this feature, or anything ground breaking new until Win10 is released.
  • "busy on new Windows 10" but not so much busy for iOS...
  • Even tho windows 10 for phones is even not nearly a half baked Os. Still has no Setting for App lock,App hider & F*king Apps. Microsoft fucking promised Wifi direct to be included in wp8.1 & still it isn't present on wp10, The Live lock screen introduced during wp8.1 event isn't updated since July2014. Beta this Beta that.
  • My mum's 1020 is in for repair. When it is repaired, I reckon I'll sell it and put her on an iPhone contract. I've had enough of justifying why she should use a Windows Phone.
    If Microsoft doesn't consider their platform to be their number 1 priority, why should I push it to friends and family?!
    Microsoft, WAKE UP!
  • Looks like Microsoft wants to support only the devices for that phone company that just sold 75 millions phones in three months
  • What is the point in telling us WP users that we have to wait... we now assume that by default unless differently specified...
  • Ha, indeed... Indeed.
  • Seriously??????? If the guys working on the iOS app could get it done why couldn't the guys working on the windows phone app do it??
  • Maybe they're working on Windows 10 for phones.
  • Its things like this that annoy windows phone fans, ios gets a feature before we do on a Microsoft service....
  • Im a windows phone user we love waiting. Makes every update so exciting.
  • And how does this convert IOS users to WP (Windows 10) Microsoft?
  • Why Windows Phone has to wait always. Why?
  • Isn't this the feature being integrated into our native photos app on windows 10? If that's true then it makes sense to not waste both the OneDrive developers' time and the Windows (phone) 10 teams' time on one feature that we will get natively in the coming release. Also its not a huge deal for iOS users to get it first because 1) its a business and marketing move 2) its a "sit tight and wait for something better" moment
  • Good news for my tablet, but what bugs me is that IOS I'd getting the update before windows phone? Wtf? I thought windows phone would be first priority.
  • there goes our love for MSFT, hell, where is my best experience Satya?
  • Mobile, just not Windows mobile.
  • Not again......
  • They already sorry of lost me once as I was forced recently to buy an iPhone 6Plus after finding another 4 adopts I need for my consulting business, plus the apps I need to administer my cloud storage device and my bank's app, were not available on WP and have no ETA. I've been with WP since WP7 launch and actually don't like my Plus at all and still can't streams icon grid interfaces and so I was back to my 1520 within a week. I get a second line for the iPhone. Can't use that ask the time. ​
    But knowing apps are gonna be there. Profound feeling. Microsoft is starting to cause the word sellout and the phrase "bait and switch" to form on my lips. I will not forget it if they force me to give up an OS and phone this good. I've been looking for a "Windows Phone interface" for iPhone like crazy.
  • We're used to it.
  • .
  • these updates for others devices are test, improved once analyzed and corrected common errors is released for windows phone devices! :D
  • you mean like Preview for Developers, Windows Insider Program, Techinical and
    Consumer Previews?
  • It's all good to me. Should be getting my Note 3 today. I'm sure I'll be getting updates before Windows phone. Would've gotten the iPhone, just can't justify the cost. Plus I would have to transfer all my stuff to iTunes. I prefer Zune and that plays nice with Media Player which in turn plays nice with Android phones.
  • Fine
  • I so need this. So many photos on my phone.....
  • Too many fruit phones sold during the holidays, makes sense from MS point of view.
  • How does it make sense to give away a free app/service to iOS and not make that service's new features first and best on devices from people who are paying customers?
  • If Microsoft continues to treat its own OS as a last priority, so will the rest of the world.
  • Always windows phone last. If Microsoft doesn't give priority to its own platform eventually it will fades away. And I will move to other OS. Seems Microsoft care more about iPhone than WP lame
  • It's already fading.
  • Awesome! Been doing the screenshot folder manually so great to hear I won't have to anymore.
  • I get that MS is going after iOS users - after all, they don't seem to mind overpaying for products :) and thus might send some money MS way as well. However, in this particular case, it would have been a much better tactic to flip the iOS app update on ONLY at the same time as the first W10 phone preview version comes out with the same feature in its OneDrive app. It doesn't seem like too much to ask, given that, hopefully, this should not be more than a few weeks from now.
  • Microsoft should support EVERY platform, BUT why should anyone buy Microsoft products if it means you will get updated last. It happens all the time. I have NO reason to brag to my Apple friends when they get everything from Microsoft first! Please wake up before all your LOYAL customers do. Apple appears to have the best of both worlds, Apple's best and Microsoft's. 
  • Microsoft really hate WP, time to decide ios or android for me
  • My goodness, what a bunch of whiners.
  • I didn't quite get the article. Can anybody tell in simpler terms
  • If I had purchased an iPhone or an Android half a year ago I could have enjoyed this new OneDrive update... and the Microsoft Band... and so many other excellent things to come from Microsoft. I cannot be a part of these things because, instead of buying an iPhone or an Android phone, I decided to get a Lumia Icon. Excellent camera... excellent hardware... But the worst possible decision for using Microsoft services and products. For what it is worth, if you actually like to be a part of Microsoft's newest mobile related offerings... get a phone that Microsoft focuses on and not a Windows Phone. I imagine people will say "stop complaining" and "wait for an update" so I will stop complaining now and wait for an update. Have fun waiting for Windows 10 while I dream about Verizon someday maybe releasing WP8.1 & Cyan through Verizon. (Since my company forbids me from doing anything outside of warrantee like Developer Preview.) I'll expect Windows 10 sometime around 2017.
  • 100% correct
  • Yet another example of Microsoft giving preference to supporters of their direct competition, and highlighting the status of their own patrons as red headed step children.
  • I feel like they don't care. Really thinking about switching platforms. It's becoming ridiculous and I'm so damn tired of it.
  • What about living images support in OneDrive for web?
  • iPhone doesn't do living images so what is your point? ;-)
  • luck it guys, i'm going (home) to another platform, where i can get all new stuff and updates without waiting for months and years and with apps with 100% functionality, which were made not just for check and being in list of store. waiting for new Android based Nokia phone and i'm done
  • Seeing that Nokia is owned by Microsoft and they have never made a Android device. You will be waiting for a very long time.
  • Best Cloud Storage Ever!
  • Well, don't know if this update is being staggered or something, but I haven't seen any changes to my Onedrive, but I also haven't seen the supposed unlimited storage office 365 subscribers were supposed to get...back in October, so if the design changes are as staggered as it appears rolling out unlimited onedrive storage is...I suppose I can understand. :/
  • I'm still frustrated that semantic zoom / filmstrip view got removed from the camera app when viewing the roll..