Microsoft adds a “Pokemon detector” and lots more to OneDrive photos experience

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While the Windows team has been dotting its I’s and crossing it T’s with regards to its updated operating system and core services, the OneDrive team seemed relatively quiet and or complacent in keeping up the development pace. Aside from releasing an arguably blown up version of the Windows 10 Mobile app for the desktop, it’s been a veritable desert of news or mentions coming from the OneDrive team.

That is until today.

Announced through the Office Blogs, the OneDrive team has updated its photo experience and the new features and tweaks should be rolling out to users as soon as today. Perhaps to keep feature parity with its cloud-based photo storage competition, the OneDrive team seems to have retooled its algorithmic and analytical backend infrastructure to offer a more refined pre-emptive collection and sorting experience for users.

Users of OneDrive will now be treated to several new additions that include enhanced searching features, album sorting, folder delegation, better Windows 10 integration, and even a Poke detector option. Here are the details

Automatic albums

You upload photos to OneDrive so you can easily find and relive memories—whether from another device or by sharing them with friends and family. With automatic albums, this experience is now even easier.

OneDrive detects whenever you take a few photos in a short period of time, in a particular location. The highest quality photos are then selected and put into an album. You are even notified when they’re ready to view and share on, in our mobile apps or via the Windows 10 Photos app. In addition, to celebrate all of the fun stuff you do over the weekend, on Monday morning albums from your weekend photos are automatically created.

Automatic Albums
Automatic Albums

On this day…

On, you’ll also see the new “On this day” view in your All photos page. We love discovering photos we’ve taken in the past, and this view updates every day with images you have taken over the years on that same day. It’s a great way to relive birthdays or anniversaries or to remember old family vacations.

On this day image collection
On this day image collection

Improved search

You can now search directly from the All photos view too. This includes finding photos that have been tagged (such as “cat” or “sunset”) or photos from a specific location (try your last vacation). You can even search using emojis. These searches also work in the OneDrive mobile apps.

Photo folders

We listened to your feedback and now have a dedicated view for your folders that have a lot of photos in them. The new photos view includes a hero image, larger thumbnails and a revised menu to help you quickly create an album or share photos.

OneDrive folder
OneDrive folder

In addition to giving the photos view in our mobile apps a little bit of a facelift, we worked closely with the Windows team to improve the experience in the Windows 10 Photos app. Now, when you sign in to Windows 10 with your Microsoft account, all of your OneDrive photos show up—including albums that were created for you automatically by OneDrive! You can even upload local albums to OneDrive so that those albums roam with you and are available across all your devices.

Poké detector

And finally, we know that the Pokémon* craze has captured everyone’s attention. A lot of players take screenshots of their captured Pokémon to show off to their friends—both digitally and in person. We had to make it easier for you to find all your Pokémon screenshots, so we went to work and partnered with Microsoft Research to bring a Pokémon detector to OneDrive.

Poke Dectector
Poke Dectector

When you have the OneDrive app on your phone and camera upload is turned on, the screenshots you take from the game are automatically saved to OneDrive and 150 Pokémon are identified for your searching and viewing pleasure. You can also search for your favorite Pokémon by name.

The OneDrive updated photo experience blazes a trail for the subsequent Windows 10 Anniversary Update where the two will ideally drive an even more refined computing and photography experience for users.