Recent revelations suggest that Windows 11 is on the brink of receiving an enhanced Snipping Tool and an updated Photos app. These revisions stem from feedback provided by members of the Windows Insider Program, an official community of enthusiasts and testers aiming to refine the OS through continuous development.

Revamped Snipping Tool on Windows 11

A deeper dive into the forthcoming updates reveals:

  • Text Actions: This feature, dubbed as ‘Text Actions’ by Microsoft in their Windows Insider Blog, enables users to efficiently extract text straight from screenshots. Once activated in the toolbar, users can simply select and highlight the text they intend to share or copy.
  • Quick Redact: Addressing privacy concerns, the Snipping Tool introduces the ‘Quick Redact’ function. This ensures users can seamlessly conceal sensitive information within a screenshot.
  • Integration with Phone Link: The Snipping Tool will now integrate with the Phone Link feature of Windows 11. This means users will receive a prompt notification to use the Snipping Tool for markup each time a screenshot is taken. Additionally, it allows immediate access and editing of recent photos from Android devices right on a PC.

Enhancements to the Photos App

Microsoft has paid heed to community feedback and made several noteworthy amendments:

  • Background Blur: This feature automatically identifies and blurs the background of an image. Users have further options to adjust the Blur Intensity and utilize the Brush Tool to choose specific areas to blur.
  • Content Search: An innovative feature, it enables users to search for photos based on their content, likely using an intelligent image detection system similar to Google Photos. It recognizes and tags the photo with searchable labels.
  • Location-Based Search: A step towards better searchability, users can now search for photos based on the location they were taken, spanning across local files, OneDrive, and even iCloud. This means iPhone users can easily search their iCloud storage directly from a Windows 11 device.

Embracing App Synergy: Snipping Tool, Windows Photos, and Phone Link

The Canary and Dev channels of the Windows 11 Insider Program have consistently been a hub of innovation, revealing developments for both the OS and the bundled apps. One major highlight is the Text Actions feature, an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capability now available in the Snipping Tool. Essentially, this OCR functionality discerns text in captured screenshots, enabling easy sharing and copying to other apps.

Meanwhile, Phone Link is also expanding its reach. Microsoft unveiled that Phone Link (version 1.23082.123.0 or higher on PC) would gradually launch a feature enabling seamless access and editing of recent photos from an Android device in the Snipping Tool on a PC. With this integration, users will receive instantaneous notifications on their PC each time a new photo is taken on the linked Android device.

What About Video Editing in Photos App?

While the new features in the Photos app are commendable, many still reminisce about the Video Editor feature from Windows 10’s Photos app. Microsoft had previously removed this feature, steering users towards their newer video editor, Clipchamp. Recent indications hint at possible “Edit and Create Video options” in Windows 11’s Photos app, though further clarifications and tester feedback are awaited.

Community Collaboration: A Key Pillar

Microsoft’s deep commitment to collaborating with its user community sets it apart in the world of technology. The Windows Insider Program exemplifies this collaborative spirit. By leveraging the insights and feedback from real-world users, Microsoft ensures that the operating system evolves in line with user needs and preferences. This not only facilitates the enhancement of existing features but also paves the way for the introduction of innovative functionalities that might not have been conceived without such a platform for feedback.


Windows 11 continues its trajectory of refining user experience by regularly updating its core apps. With inputs from the vast Windows Insider community, Microsoft is meticulously improving features and functionalities, aiming to create a cohesive and user-friendly environment. As enthusiasts eagerly await the full-fledged launch of these features, the consistent growth and evolution of Windows 11 are undeniable, cementing its place as a formidable operating system in today’s technological landscape.

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