Xbox One gets its very own Microsoft Photos app to match Mobile and PC

Microsoft is busy deploying its many native Windows 10 apps for PC and Mobile to the Xbox One. The latest to arrive this week is the Microsoft Photos app that lets users pull in their pictures and movies from their OneDrive account.

The Photos app was launched on Wednesday night at the same time the Windows Insider Fast Ring version received the latest UI refresh. Microsoft tweaked the UI by ditching the hamburger menu and returning to horizontal navigation. They also improved the Albums layout and added a light theme to the app too, all of which are now on the Xbox One.

The app is perhaps not the prettiest on the Xbox One, but it is functional.

As you can see in my hands-on video, the app plays videos, lets you access OneDrive and more. Having the Photos app available should also let other UWP apps access them for hand-off features in the future.

Microsoft is just getting started with apps on Xbox, and there are some ways to go. The Store is not very complete for non-first-party apps; UI elements still need improving, and navigation is a bit challenging. However, every Store has to start somewhere, and it is impressive to see these apps on the living room TV.

To get the Photos app on the Xbox One or One S simply do a search in the Store or look under My Apps and Games and 'Ready to Install'.

Have you tried the Microsoft Photos app on the Xbox One? Let us know what you think of it in comments and how Microsoft can improve it in later releases.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Pretty cat.
  • OK but are they ever going to fix the freaking blurry rendering  of images? What good is your photo viewing program if it cannot even handle basic rendering properly? I'm a huge MS fan as you all know but, geez, that Photos team is hopeless.
  • Yeah, when you open a photo, it's first blurry, and after 2 seconds it becomes sharp. There wasn't that problem in WP8 & 8.1.
  • That's a different (non-)issue. Problem I'm talking about goes way back to W8 Photos app. What really pisses me off is that a very clear synopsys of this bug was reported to MS on a silver platter (see the link) and yet they still couldn't/wouldn't fix it completely.
  • Ok, didn't know about that problem.
  • So the giant UI elements that popped up on W10 Mobile in the Photos and Store apps are related to them working on the Xbox UI. Seems that they are focused on Xbox more than they are on mobile at the moment. But I really, really hate the giant "downloading" buttons in the mobile Store :(
  • We also got VLC on Xbox right now, and its much better for viewing files from your pc with DNLA than the built in media player. With the only problems I have with it right now being that the developers need to fully taken advantage of the Xbox One Controller to control video scrolling.
  • Also, the VLC app needs to take advantage of the Xbox media remote.
  • I have just downloaded it and it.
    Says coming soon and has a nice.scenery pic.
  • I was able to download the app on Xbox One, but it only says Photos coming soon to Xbox One
  • Me too...unable to use the Photo App just yet on the Xbox One Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Is that turtle legal? Glad the app is avail.
  • Just a common snapper, not endangered/rare/threatened. Fine to own. He's also totally adorable. I rescued him as a hatchling.
  • Does RB navigate through the Pivot menu? or do you need to highlight the option you want and press A? Also, VERY cool turtle! The video walking through the office is awesome.
  • Another one with "Coming soon", it took over a month for Maps to go through the coming soon gestation period, weather took ages as well and I must check my Xbox One every day for Skype preview  
  • Nice to see more apps coming to Xbox One. I'm hoping this can/will be able to set an image as the Xbox background, it always bugged me that you couldn't do that from the original OneDrive app that came w/ Xbox One. One thing I'd like to see improved is the security of this - Whilst it makes no difference to me personally there could be people sharing their Xbox with others in the house (I know people who have their kids use the parents Xbox Account so it doesn't need any configuring) and wouldn't want them to just be able to get access to all their OneDrive photos without knowing. For example, the app is now available that has the option to access your Pics/Vids from OneDrive but not all users will be made aware that they might need to secure their account from others if they have anything private on there. I'm sure it's not an issue for most but with apps automatically becoming available it would be good to inform users who don't have a separate passcode/PIN setup that people could download and access apps that contain their data, as far as the Xbox One is concerned the user is already authenticated via the MSA which was much less of a problem for people in the past when it was just games on there
  • Still shows "Coming Soon" 
  • Anybody know of any way to view a photo slideshow *without* having to upload all of your photos to OneDrive?