Photosynth mobile apps being retired


Today we are announcing that we are retiring the Photosynth Mobile Apps. We are doing this because the new Photosynth Preview technology and its cloud processing is a more immersive way to capture a place than the spherical panoramas that our apps produce.
 
What this means to you
If you use the Photosynth Windows Phone App or the Photosynth iOS App you can continue to use it, but it is now officially unsupported, and will not be maintained going forward. Both apps will be withdrawn from their respective stores.
 
Because the app is now unsupported, we strongly encourage people to upload their panoramas to Photosynth.net. Photosynth.net is still maintained and you will be able to view your panoramas online with or without the Photosynth app. Panoramas can be made public, or kept unlisted to protect your privacy. Details of our privacy model are here.

Comments (34)

  1. Borhan says:

    Since this app is unpublished how new users are going to take panoramas? Is there any app for "Photosynth Preview"?

  2. Gordon says:

    Exactly. How do I use my phone to upload a panorama or anything Photosynth now?

  3. There's no app for the Photosynth Preview technology. We tried building one but were unsatisfied by the experience we could offer. We had hoped to use tracking to help guide the user in a smooth path and capture images as necessary. What we found was that tracking with a single mobile phone camera was too fragile to provide a solid experience. The fallback is to take a series of photos on any device and upload them. If anyone wants to build a "dumb" (i.e. without tracking) app that does this, you can use our server API to upload them and kick off the processing.photosynth.net/.../restapi.html

  4. John says:

    Photosynth seems tragically underutilised by Microsoft- the technology is so cool yet seems to have been given little to no application in real world usage.

    Can somebody in the Photosynth team knock on the Bing team's door and suggest that for their next maps redesign they utilise the Walk Synth tech for streetside imagery and maps- even if just for segments of the route if you could playback the images as a movie without constant clicking to progress, pausing and interacting for finer control. This would use the technology and be genuinely useful for people planning their routes.

    Instead it appears that this awesome technology (that I am so happy is at least continuing online) may eventually be entirely shuttered if there's no genuine application for it.

  5. Mike says:

    This seems a real tragedy. The potential applications for this technology are endless. I don't think Microsoft have spent a single Dollar marketing this technology, which IMHO is a big mistake.

  6. Richard says:

    This is by far one of the best panorama apps out there (beyond creating synths). I hope the tech makes it to a new app.

  7. Parvez Alam says:

    Sad to see Photosynth app go, but with the hope of getting better app in future. The response from Photosynth team is little more disheartening they tried building app with preview tech but could not offer the experience ? How difficult it can be compared with panorama features in competitive space of other mobile devices/OS ?

    Just image iPhone 6 panorama images getting used to build Photosynth Preview tech to build 3D space 🙁

  8. masshuu says:

    such a sad shame, I've used this since I didn't even start using a smartphone, when I just used an ipod touch, then I moved to android for many years, and now WP. it's always been great.

    I hope somebody else is making something as good.

  9. mwiththeat says:

    I cried when I read this article. For months I've been waiting for a version of the new photosynth mobile client. Since Blaise left, the vision has been lost and this amazing technology is starting to disappear into the abyss. I fear it will not survive at Microsoft

    RIP Digital Tourism, Seadragon, PhotoSynth - We loved you    

  10. Irene Tosch says:

    On the bright side, I didn't even know about Photosynth and wouldn't even know how to support it if it weren't for the *bitter-sweet headline; I am a huge supporter of photograph & location tech.  Now that I know, I am looking forward to supporting the future Photosynth as a fully developed technologies as opposed to a short-lived camera phone app (I miss using my Nikon & GoPro, but phones are just so... in my hands).  And thank goodness Microsoft is wanting existing users to use Photosynth.net, that's a great sign and follows with their backward compatibility theme and respect for their current supporters.  Hopefully, with the dropping MSN Health & Fitness, MSN Travel, MSN Food & Drink, they will produce technologies that are not just above and sometimes beyond the expectations of the Regular Users, but empowering to the Power Users and everyday developer-minded folk out there.

    Microsoft has a history of discontinuing work in one segment and later surprising an even larger population with an evolved technology being used in a more relevant way.  Especially recently with cross-platform interaction starting with Fable on XBOX One & Windows 10 – and HoloLens presented with Minecraft during E3.  Just when I started to accept that HoloDeck would be 20 more years in the future, Microsoft shows me what they have been working on in the lab all this time – and I love it!

    Back to Photosynth Preview, I think Microsoft's decision to drop the current Photosynth mobile app development & support in order to allow for their current pool of resources and talented development teams to escape the paradigms and limitations of mobile apps so they can envision possibilities without walls and build Photosynth Preview to its full potential.  In the long run, the technology will be more beneficial to the world and its people as a whole.  They provide means (OS, office, coding languages, platforms and MSSQL) for other dreamers out there to become their own organizations and combine the best ingredients (possibly including Microsoft’s open source tech or inspirations from it) to make better phone apps.  They produce the best they can and may not be as well rounded in certain “social interaction” areas such as Apple with its un-ignorable talent for profiting and guiding the latest trends or Google in its superior internet-talent with a search engine so deep with resources earnable only through its age and unique timeline. Still, Microsoft will always be the #1 Technology Geek (the one with the bandaged glasses and stumbles when socializing with the cool crowd, but helps save the world at the end of the movie).  They are honest pioneers with huge history and lessons learned – not just a wealthy company who wants to eat all the competition.  When I see they are discontinuing something, I always read-ahead because it almost always leaves me with a feeling of optimism for what’s next.

  11. Tim Johnson says:

    Photosynth is one of the most compelling, easy-to-use, novel, and useful apps on iOS. The platform is bogged down in thousands of terrible photo apps but Photosynth stands out. I agree this is a shame and hope the full feature set can persist or get integrated into a new offering. I also agree with the comment that it seems under-marketed, making conclusions drawn from reviewing usage numbers very misleading.

  12. Tom says:

    I am sure there are technical economic for this decision but I now have one less reason to like my WP.  MS needs to think in terms of what it takes to get people to like their product over the competition.  Having Photosynth as a lens was a neat thing that made people happy and no one else had.  Customers can use it for now but not after they upgrade their OS since it will be gone from the store.

  13. Jonathan says:

    This was seriously one of the best apps Microsoft has made for smartphones, and now they're getting rid of it?  I don't know of a single app that can be used as an alternative, on any platform.  Even the one other spherical panorama app that I've found in iOS (I haven't seen any in Windows Phone) is made by some developer that I've never heard of and costs money, and it didn't look very functional when I've seen other people try to show it off, thinking that they had the only such app in existence.  If Microsoft is looking for apps to kill off, it should instead be getting rid of things like MSN sports.  Like others have said, I just hope that the features of this app are incorporated into some other service, such as a consolidated photography app- along with all the other Lumia lenses that are currently separately-downloaded apps for Windows phone.

  14. Shubert says:

    So you're discontinuing an app that works, because your new technology doesn't work? That doesn't make sense. I second all the comments here about being gutting we are losing this fantastic app. Could you at least put the source code up on Codeplex so that it can be community supported?

  15. R Hovind says:

    Yes, I second he comments about another fab and unique app that was working superior is beeing killed off.

    I agree with John that it should have been integrated with the Bing ecosystem so that it would be a fab addition to streetview imagery

    I certainly hope someone will be creating a new synth app for android/win mobile before I have to resett my phones....

  16. Joe says:

    This is very disheartening. I couldn't believe it when I read this. I don't understand why they couldn't just leave it in the stores and just telling us no more updates? It costs them next to nothing to leave it in the respective stores and support photosynth uploads. It wasn't like they every actually maintained their app to begin with.

    It is the most fun camera app, and coolest, I ever used. My family and friends are always amazed how the little app was capable of doing this sort of stuff. The photosynths came out ok simply BC I didn't practice enough. The ones that came out great were awesome to showcase. Yet another loss of tech from Microsoft.

    This goes with Bing Vision as a growing list of cool tech that's now depreciated/unsupported. Why do I feel like its like playing whack-a-mole with each Windows release as far as features removed while others added? I don't get it and its a reason why WP remains at a stale and distant third place. Don't get me wrong, I love the platform as a whole and been a supported since the old Windows Mobile days, but I feel like my patience is beginning to run out.

  17. Michael says:

    I just learned of this awful news after replacing my damaged Windows Phone and noticing that the Photosynth app is no longer available after restoring my data. In addition to my dismay, I am profoundly perplexed. Could someone please explain to me what in the world "Photosynth Preview technology" is? Without the spherical capability, it does nothing that any video recording device can't already do. I looked at some of the samples, and they are basically videos featuring manual advance and rewind with choppy frame rates. You've killed the single most compelling feature of Photosynth!!! Is this a belated April Fool's joke???

  18. Chris says:

    What the hell.  I tried to use the app today on my phone and it was not there (new phone, haven't used the app since I got it a couple of weeks ago. This was one of the more useful apps on my phone.  I would routinely take photos of my construction sites so that I could look at the site while I was designing.  I'm running out of reasons to keep the windows phone.

  19. Gerson says:

    La verdad no entiendo por quĂ© hacen esto, si la aplicaciĂłn a mi parecer funcionaba excelente, tal vez la deberĂ­an de dejar en la tienda aunque sea sin soporte por que para mi era Ăștil pero como restaurĂ© mi telĂ©fono perdĂ­ una muy buena aplicaciĂłn.

  20. Cesar Cunha says:

    Estranho o procedimento, pois, o funcionamento tem sido bastante satisfatĂłrio. postei recentemente duas fotos e nĂŁo hĂĄ o quĂȘ desmerecer a qualidade do aplicativo no Windows Phone 8.1 ( Nokia 1020).

  21. Brad says:

    Your reason for retiring the mobile app is ridiculous. So what if the Photosynth Preview Technology and cloud processing is more immersive. That's no reason to *TAKE THE APP AWAY*. To the least, the app should remain available just make it clear that the app is no longer supported by Microsoft and point to the more immersive solution as the recommended alternative. You failed at updating the app to your satisfaction...ok, we get that but again, don't remove the success for which you previously created!

  22. Paul says:

    This is really bad. It was the only good app for creating panoramas on WP. I used it for fun and for work too.

    @Chris - "I'm running out of reasons to keep the windows phone" - feel the same way too!

  23. Roland says:

    Come on Microsoft. Don't throw away an app that works very well and replace it with something that doesn't work (yet). I love the Photosynth app. Please return it to the app stores until the new alternative works properly. Better yet, just keep it in the stores always.

  24. Diego Sousa says:

    I was sorry there was no longer available in the app store. It was the best photo application 360 that had used , including letting users of other operating sitemas jealous of my Windows Phone. It worked perfectly well , so I think the decision to remove it from the store was a misunderstanding and / or ill-conceived . I hope analizem again the possibility of creating a new photo application 360 or return the "old " so we can enjoy it . There is no other application for Windows Phone to do the same as the Photosynth did, and certify that the way it was looked great , and trying to improve worsened everything disable it.

  25. Moule kumar says:

    Photosynth app is very good app for taking long panoramas, no applications are b beat this, but it is very sad that is retiring the photosynth, this Microsoft is doing all this type of bad things,

    Hoping again photosynth will come fastly to store,

  26. Massimo says:

    This is VERY bad, I had to refresh the phone and now I cannot install anymore the app.

    Please put it back on the store.

    It was really the best app for 360 panoramas!

  27. JK of Seattle says:

    Thank goodness I saved all the desktop apps on my discontinued WHS server, will have to go back to using my digital camera and creating my own panos again and save them to my website with an embedded viewer.

  28. javier says:

    perdi esta aplicacion de mi celu y es una gran perdida  la mejor app que he tenido ,porfabor reestablescanla pliissss

  29. Stan says:

    Horrible.... ! Rendez-nous l'application number ONE sur Windows Phone.... PLEASE !!!

  30. cdmikelis says:

    Ok, this is absurd. I reset phone and now I'm without Photosynth on WP8.1... Someone would have to spank someone at Microsoft. What reason must be to remove app from stores. Making usefull panorama (or romm preview) is 30 seconds work with original app. Just open it, click the button and move around and it clicks. Now with web app, it's 10 minutes work, internet charges, and scrolling is nowhere near smooth; what it does it just disolves between pictures. Grrr. I can than scrool pictures in camera roll instead. And I will...

    Maybe they figured out that we use the app professionally for everyday life, not making panoramas and upload them; so they limit us and allow only web stuff... so they really want traffic to their site, that is is. They do not wnat we would use it localy for our own needs.

    I understand development costs - so they could SELL IT. I have no problem paying for usefull app.

  31. Bart M. says:

    I'm really appalled by this as well. Why on earth or you discontinuing an existing app that works because you couldn't create a new one? That does not make any sense to me at all.

    "Hey, we couldn't create a new car so we're retiring the old model as well..." So now you can get...no car at all.

    Also; how on earth am I to create PhotoSynths when I'm in a remote location? The coolests and most memorable Synths I've made are all in remote locations (mountains, valleys, forests etc.) with bad or no internet reception...

    Seriously, who made this decision? Bad, BAD! This is another example of Microsoft having wonderful technology but being unable to bring it to market correctly. Why aren't Synths shown on bing maps? Why aren't you integrating this with Streetview? Why aren't you regularly featuring Synths on the Bing home page?

    What...the...hell!

  32. Noah says:

    Please can you persuade whoever is responsible not to retire the Photosynth app? It is one of the best windows mobile apps and, as others have said, could be such an asset to maps if integrated with streetside.

  33. Noah says:

    Here is the windows user-voice petition thing: windowsphone.uservoice.com/.../8805214-dont-kill-photosynth please add your votes!

  34. Herb says:

    Is retiring existing apps the new way to close the App-gap to Android and Apple?

    Just recently besides Photosynth, Lunia Panorama, here Transit and MixRadio have been retired - what's next? Outlook?

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