While the changes to Edge and an all-new Books store in Windows 10 are pretty huge, almost equally as massive is how Microsoft have vastly broadened how Windows Ink can be used within the OS, primarily via the Photos app. Less massive are the other changes to its Photos and Movies & TV apps.
Being able to ink over web pages in Microsoft Edge isn’t anything new, but being able to do so across other file types, like images in Photos, documents in Word, and even videos (with the Photos app, oddly), is a welcome addition. Of course, you can share these doodled-up files with friends using Windows 10, too. The Snapchat crowd ought to get a load out of this.
Microsoft has even expanded Windows Ink to its Maps tool. Now, you can doodle on maps and share them with friends to draw out plans. More interestingly, Windows Ink and Maps work in tandem to let you draw out either a straight line or contiguous path, producing the real-world distance of that line, no matter how long. Neat, but also useful for folks that actually enjoy the outdoors and exercise.
Scribbling all over, well, practically anything, feels unsurprisingly natural and responsive, and frankly feels like Windows Ink starting to realize its potential. However, we’re still left wondering whether these tools will meaningfully change how we, say, share photos and videos with friends or inked-up documents with coworkers.
At the moment, each iteration of Windows Ink controls in these basic apps – Photos, Movies & TV, Maps, etc – is simply littered with basic drawing, pointer and color controls; save for Maps. Perhaps that’s enough to get more people using their touch PCs to their full capacity.
Photos and Movies & TV
In addition to what Windows Ink allows you to do with images opened in this app, Photos now automatically attaches searchable tags to all of your photos according to when and where they were shot, as well as the people within them and notable landmarks or items you’ve got on film. While no less a welcome feature, does that sound familiar at all?
The Movies & TV app has been upgraded to support 360-degree video, but more importantly now supports picture-in-picture mode for Windows 10. Finally adopting one of the most exciting additions to macOS Sierra, Microsoft calls this “mini mode,” with a dedicated button to jump between orientations. The switching is super snappy in our brief testing, but a little janky as it repositions the video, with pixelation and exposed splotches of gray.