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I can't believe how bad the Windows 10 Photos app is



Remember in 2017 when Microsoft unveiled their latest in innovative buzzwords, “Creators?” I sure wish I didn’t. 5 years after its release, the Creators Update is still the worst update to Windows 10 for a plethora of reasons, chief among them being Microsoft’s promises to replace a significant amount of the best software they’ve ever made with even better stuff. Being Microsoft, they naturally failed to deliver on any of those promises.


After using all of the programs introduced in the update (except for the HoloLens that was likely just a figment of Satya Nadella’s imagination) I can say without a doubt that the new Photos app is by far the worst thing about it. Not only is it worse than its Windows Live predecessor, but it’s also horrible compared to just about any other way of viewing photos, such as printing them, using one of those cheap photo keychains from the mid-2000s, holding a piece of that highly explosive antique Nitrate film up to your eye, etc. It’s just an awful, awful excuse for a photo viewer, as well as for a photo organizer.


A reminder of what happened


For a little recap, here's what Microsoft promised with Microsoft Photos:


MS Photos was designed to unify the experience of scrolling through your photo library across all platforms while boosting productivity and quality of life, and after a while you even start to forgive Bill Gates for sleeping with female employees.


Instead, the app made me long for the days of punch card-based computing.


So how bad could it really be? I decided the best way to answer this would be to skim the whole thing for any kinds of redeeming qualities.


User interface


The UI in Microsoft Photos is awful. There’s no nice way of saying it. It’s the kind of UI that would get you under 50% in your middle school graphic design class, or possibly get you kicked out for creating such an abomination; such an insult to graphic design as a whole. It’s the kind of UI that feels like it could’ve been far better if the designers created it with their eyes closed. Whoever decided to make a scroll bar that updates and gets longer as you scroll further down and create a photo gallery where only the bottom half shows the pictures and scroll bar because the entire top half is a banner full of hashtags should’ve never been allowed near a computer.


Okay, maybe saying that about the graphic designer was a little uncalled for. I think a nicer way of putting it is that they deserve to be sent off to a remote country with so little access to the internet that the stores there only just started offering Crystal Pepsi. Not that it matters though, because I know that every time I open Photos I’m thinking hmm.. this surely won’t be as bad as I remember… And then I come out full of rage, thirsty for that so-called graphic designer’s blood.



It crashes.





It has a better face recognition engine than WLX Photo Gallery 2012, but it doesn’t even let you correct it when it inevitably gets a face mixed up. It scans your photos for hashtags that you’ll never search like #BeachDay2014, but it takes several days to scan a decent sized photo library, regardless of your computer’s performance. Oh, and it can’t scan in the background, meaning you’ll have to routinely re-open the app because of how often it crashes. It doesn’t let you import most of the metadata for photos you tagged in Photo Gallery 2012, so you have to redo all that work. It doesn’t support geotagging, third-party plugins, scroll wheels, customized photo importing, auto-collages and many other features from Photo Gallery 2012.




At the end of the day, I really don’t think software can get any worse than Microsoft Photos. It’s not only bad on touch devices because of the tiny scroll bar, it’s awful with a mouse too, because you can’t use your scroll wheel with it. Plus, it's such an eyesore that if you’re going to have to use it and have no other choice, it might just be a good idea to blow up that piece of Nitrate film right next to your eyes first. 


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