Microsoft Photo Story has just been announced by Microsoft for Windows Phone 8.1 and 10. Microsoft Photo Story is very similar to what Google built into its new Photos interface announced earlier this year. Photo Story uses algorithms to choose a series of photos from a day or event and group them into a montage presentation that is supposed to look good enough to share with friends and family.
It’s basically the equivalent of a slideshow for smartphones, though Photo Story adds music to the mix. Google Photos does a half-way decent job of making its stories from photos but it’s far from perfect. More often than not, you’ll get some strange photos added to the story that just throw the ambiance off. You know, a blurry thumb here or the back of someone’s head there, just enough to make the experience lukewarm. Of course, you can remove photos and add photos to Google’s version, which is helpful, but I want the app to do all the work for me! (tongue in cheek)
Microsoft is making high claims for Photo Story, saying that the app relies on machine learning and computer vision which they claim gets rid of duplicate or low quality photos. Microsoft also claims their algorithm has the ability to differentiate between photos that are interesting and not interesting. So perhaps no more pictures of blurry thumbs and backs of heads? Microsoft also added its own editing features so if you do get those blurry thumb pictures, you can remove them and add pictures more relevant to the story. You can also choose the soundtrack that is added to the story along with some other features.
Photo Story’s algorithm isn’t just looking for technical quality, such as whether or not it’s blurry or the exposure is correct. It also evaluates for what Ramnath refers to “interestingness.”
Photo Story looks like a great option for Windows Phone users, with options Android and iOS users have had with Google Photos for some time now. It remains to be seen just how well it compares to Google Photos and if Microsoft’s algorithm is that much better at producing great photo stories (without having to edit). It will also be interesting to see if Microsoft Garage brings the app to Android and iOS in the future. If you’re a Windows Phone owner we’d love to hear your experiences with Photo Story and even see some of them. Hit us up in the comments below with your thoughts on the new app and share some of the examples.Source: Microsoft
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