Microsoft Ending Support for Lumia Photo Apps in Windows 10 Mobile

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I was just thinking this morning about how Microsoft will handle the old (Nokia) Lumia photo apps that are preloaded on my Lumia 830. Will apps such as Lumia Storyteller, Lumia Beamer, and Lumia Refocus continue to be supported in Windows 10 Mobile, or will they be phased out in deference to the stock apps that are available to all Windows 10 Mobile devices? I know that Microsoft wants to build a platform with strong OEM support, which implies a consistent Windows 10 Mobile experience, and so I’ve thought that perhaps these Lumia-specific apps aren’t long for this world.

Turns out, I was right. In a post this morning on Microsoft’s Lumia-specific blog, the company had this to say:

In order to sharpen our focus on our core Windows 10 Camera and Photo apps, we are ending support for some Lumia apps. These apps won’t be removed from your devices, but they’ll no longer be available from the Windows Phone Store (with immediate effect), and after October 30, 2015, online services and updates for these apps will end.

What apps will be affected?

Lumia Storyteller, Lumia Beamer, Photobeamer, and Lumia Refocus will no longer have online services available, and they will no longer be updated after October 30, 2015.

Lumia Panorama and Video Uploader will continue to work if you have them, but they will no longer receive updates or support.

None of these apps will be available in the Windows Phone Store with immediate effect, but if you already have them installed, they won’t be removed from your device.

I’ve been running the Windows 10 Mobile preview via the Microsoft Insiders program since it launched, and I’ve found the whole situation a bit confusing. The apps have always been there when I install the preview builds, but I’ve always assumed that’s because they were there in the previous Windows Phone 8.1 installation. Then again, when I update and then perform a reset, they’re still there–which I think implies that they’re included with the preview. Oddly enough, other apps and settings specific to the Lumia 830 (and certain other Lumia devices), such as Glance settings, are not installed with the preview.

I’ve asked Microsoft about things like Glance on Twitter, and will report back with any answers. At this point, I’m okay with losing the Lumia apps discussed in the blog post. I don’t use them, although I recognize that many people do and this will be disappointing news. I do, however, want complete support for all of my Lumia 830’s features, such as Glance and various photo capabilities, and so I hope those are incorporated somehow. Microsoft is a bit unclear on this point, however:

Will Microsoft update the Windows 10 Photos and Camera apps to support all the features that are currently available in the Lumia apps?

Many of the Lumia features are already included in the Windows 10 Photos and Camera apps. While we can’t promise that any particular feature is coming back, we’re committed to providing a great photo and camera experience in Windows across devices, and we’re listening to your feedback as we continue improving our apps.

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