Windows 11 Insiders get updates for Photos, Snipping Tool, and Phone Link in Canary and Dev Channels

Kip Kniskern

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Microsoft has released updates to three popular Windows 11 apps, rolling out to Windows 11 Insiders in the Canary and Dev Channels (and more, see below). The new features are detailed in two new Windows Insider blog posts, one for Snipping Tool and Phone Link, and one for Windows Photos.

Snipping Tool – Text Actions

Available to version 11.2308.33.0 or higher

With the latest Windows Insider version of Snipping Tool comes Text Actions, a way to detect, copy, or redatct text from your captured screenshots.

To get started, click the Text Actions button in the toolbar to show selectable text before selecting and copying text with your mouse. You can also click the Copy all text button in the toolbar or use Ctrl + A and Ctrl + C to select and copy all text using your keyboard.

With Text Actions, you can also redact sensitive information in screenshots before sharing. Select Quick Redact from the toolbar to automatically hide emails and phone numbers or select any text and select Redact Text from the right-click menu to hide the text.

Phone Link Remote Capture

Phone Link is getting a new feature that allows you to “access and edit your most recent photos from your Android mobile device in Snipping Tool on your PC.” This feature is rolling out to all Windows Insiders (not just to Canary and Dev).

Windows Photos

These changes should be available to Windows Photos version number 2023.11090.13001.0 or higher.

Background Blur

With the Background Blur effect, you’ll be able to highlight your subject and blur the background with a single click, and also customize the effect by adjusting Blur Intensity or use the Brush Tool to modify the background blur

Content search for OneDrive backed Photos

If you’ve been using OneDrive to store your photos, you’ll be able to search for photos by content, for example “car” or “beach.” Just go to the OneDrive Personal section and enter your query in the Search bar. If you’re new to storing photos on OneDrive, this may not work immediately as OneDrive will need time to process your photos.

Location Search

You’ll also be able to find photos based on location in Windows Photos, whether the photos are stored in file systems, OneDrive, or iCloud.

Motion Photo support (Samsung and Google devices)

Windows Photos will support Motion Photos as captured by Samsung or Google devices

Fixes and Improvements

  • Based on community feedback, we updated our up-sampling logic so that images no longer appear pixelated when zooming in by a large factor.
  • Touch support for slideshow is now available. Swipe left and right to easily navigate to the next photo in your slideshow.
  • Edit and Create Video options are now easily accessible at the top of the gallery view.
  • The previous issue where an app restart was required for iCloud photos to start showing is fixed. Once you have enabled photo syncing in your iCloud for Windows app, you will see photos stored on iCloud start showing up.

Are you happy with these changes and new features? Let us know in the comments below.