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Microsoft brings back PhotoSynth in its Pix app for iOS

Microsoft is updating its PhotoSyth photo-stitching technology and making it part of its Pix camera app for iOS devices.

Photosynth -- Microsoft's technology for stitching photos together to create striking panoramas -- is back.

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft announced in 2015 that it was halting support for its Photosynth app, which was developed by its defunct Live Labs. (Microsoft officials said in this week's blog post that Photosynth was created in 2008 and decommissioned in 2017.)

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But on December 20, Microsoft revealed that Photosynth is back -- as a feature for the Microsoft Pix for iOS app. By panning and capturing from side-to-side, up-and-down, and back-and-forth, users can create a panoramic image view.

Company officials said the version of Photosynth in Pix "shares similarities with the original (Photosynth)" but provides faster and smoother capture, plus auto-enhancement to improve white balance, tone correction, and sharpness.

Microsoft also added another new feature to the Pix app, called Comix, which identifies the most interesting frames in a video to generate a comic strip. Microsoft officials said Comix uses deep learning and performs "AI processing" on the device to score and select three high-quality frames. Users can add and edit speech bubbles in the strip.

Pix is still for iOS only. The newest version (1.3.2) of Microsoft Pix, released this week, includes both these new features.