I really wanted to title this post “Microsoft ruined the Photos App in Windows 8.1 for me and many others, but if you spend $15, there is a wonderfully elegant app that not only returns the functionality that Microsoft amputated, but adds striking new functionality” but that’s way too long for a blog post title.
I’ve been dismayed since I first installed the Windows 8.1 Preview (and later 8.1 RTM) over the dramatic reduction in functionality, usability, and capabilities of the Windows 8.1 Photos App. Microsoft elected to redesign the app, removing much loved features like Facebook and Flickr integration, the Play To contract (so you can use the Play menu with DLNA capable DMRS’s) and in general ruined the experience for many people, as evidenced by http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1-pictures/photos-app-in-81-loses-most-of-its-best-features/24ae3087-e627-4813-a887-49333a0d12dc.
Microsoft’s implementation of including network folders on non Windows NAS boxes, or lack or implementation also is frustrating.
I’ve spent many months trying to figure out how to replace all the functionality Microsoft removed and for $15, have a solution I’m pretty happy with. If you feel as I do, run, don’t walk, and grab a copy of Cyberlink’s Power DVD Mobile App for Windows 8. Don’t let the name DVD Mobile fool you, this is a TRUE media hub, better than Microsoft’s, and better than anything else out there. There is a 15 day free trial, so you really have nothing to lose.
I rarely review software, and this is, by no means, a software review. I’m posting this because it does all of the things Microsoft removed from the Photos App and adds a few really nice features. I haven’t even tried the Music features yet. But I will I bought this app after seeing what it did for Photos and Videos after using it for 24 hours. It’s that good.
I installed the app and looked around. This app has a stunning visual presentation. The Most Recent screen is a mixed media collage of your collections..
There’s a lot of functionality in the Photos area, and you can view your photos in multiple ways.
There’s a really nice calendar view, and the screen shot below should be self explanatory.
One of my biggest complaints was about what Microsoft amputated from the 8.1 Photos App – Facebook and Flickr integration, and this App brings it all back.
My Facebook albums:
My Flickr Photostream
Bonus points – if your ‘Nix based NAS box has any kind of DLNA server (and many do), this app can display the content.
Microsoft didn’t implement the Play To contract in the Photos App in 8.1. This app does not have that flaw. Cyberlink did it right.
More bonus points: I’ve got some HD mkv files stored on a networked drive. Using Windows File explorer, I’m able to navigate to these network shares, tape and hold to display the shortcut menu and Open with this App, and these videos play with no delay. Better still, I can even stream them using Miracast to my Netgear Push2TV 3000 from within the Cyberlink app. Even more bonus points: HD mkv playback on my Surface 2.