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Microsoft scraps a swathe of camera apps

Barry Collins
7 Sep 2015
Lumia 430
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Six Lumia-branded camera apps are headed for the graveyard

Microsoft is pulling the plug on a number of Lumia-branded camera apps, as the company "sharpens its focus" on the core Windows 10 Camera and Photo apps. In total, six camera apps will be discontinued, some of which will effectively be crippled once Microsoft withdraws support on October 30.

The apps being zapped from the Microsoft Store are Lumia Storyteller (which automatically curates photos and videos into mini-slideshows), Lumia Beamer (which lets you share your phone's screen with any other net-connected device), Photobeamer (a similar concept, which allows you to beam photos to other screens), Lumia Refocus (an app which allows you to adjust the focal point of photos after they are taken), and the fairly self-explanatory Lumia Panorama and Lumia Video apps. 

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The first four will lose their online services at the end of October, which cripples the two "Beamer" apps and severely reduces the functionality of the other two. Panorama and Video Uploader will continue to work for those who already have them installed, but they won't be receiving any future updates or support. All six have been removed from the Windows Store with immediate effect.

Microsoft is warning Lumia Storyteller users who have "stories" saved online to download them from the site before October 30, when it will be switched off. Stories saved on the phone will continue to be accessible.

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The company says it's canning the apps because: "Our goal is to provide experiences that work really well on all Windows devices. In order to do that, we need to focus on making our Windows 10 core Photos and Camera apps great."

Furthermore, Microsoft claims many of the features offered in the six discontinued apps are already in the Windows 10 Photos and Camera apps, although the company cautions "we can't promise that any particular feature is coming back". 

Microsoft is planning to release Windows 10 on smartphones before the year is out, although there are rumours the release may slip into early 2016, as Microsoft struggles to improve the stability of the OS. Windows 10 will offer universal apps that work across phone, PC and tablet.