Microsoft kills off some of Nokia's apps for Windows Phone

The end of apps like Lumia Storyteller and Lumia Beamer is a 'streamlining' of those available

Microsoft announced Friday that it will cease development of several apps Nokia developed for Windows Phone as the company streamlines the photo experience on Windows 10 Mobile.

In a post to Microsoft's Lumia Conversations blog, Editor-in-Chief Tiina Jaatinen said that Lumia Storyteller, Lumia Beamer, Photobeamer and Lumia Refocus will have their online services shut down after October 30, and the apps will no longer be available. The Lumia Panorama and Video Uploader will continue to function, but Microsoft won't be updating those apps any more.

All of the apps have been pulled from the Windows Store, but those people who already have them installed on their devices will be able to keep them. After Oct. 30, those apps that rely on online services to work will cease to function. It's bad news for people who rely on software like Lumia Beamer, which allows users to display a still from a phone's screen on another device, but it's not clear exactly how many people will be affected by the change.

The post said that it's ceasing work on those apps to focus on the Photos and Camera apps for Windows 10 Mobile, the next version of the company's operating system for phones that's supposed to be released sometime this fall. According to Jaatinen, many of the features of these apps are already included in the Photos and Camera apps on Windows 10 Mobile, but not everything will be making the trip.

Case in point: the Lumia Storyteller app, which uses information about when and where a photo was captured to create a video collage of images doesn't have an analog in the current system apps for Windows 10 Mobile. It's hard to say what will come of that app after the shutdown of its online service, which is used for sharing the videos with other people over the web.

Some of the shutdowns make a degree of sense because of new functionality included in Windows 10 Mobile. One of the operating system's marquee features is Phone Continuum, which will allow users to mirror the contents of certain phones to external displays. It's a higher-fidelity experience than what Lumia Beamer currently offers, but will require a dock and new phone hardware in order to work.

The culling of these apps is in line with Microsoft's mobile strategy of late. In July, the company announced that it was cutting 7,800 jobs, primarily in the mobile phone business that it acquired from Nokia. CEO Satya Nadella said at the time that the company would have a tighter focus on creating a smaller number of phones for particular markets, rather than producing a full line of handsets like it used to following the Nokia acquisition.

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Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
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