Microsoft is releasing a new Photos Companion app for iOS and Android today, designed to make it much quicker to get photos from a phone to a PC. The new app is available immediately, and it’s being released as part of Microsoft’s Garage project which lets employees release experimental apps. Microsoft’s own photos team has been working on the app for several months, and it links directly to Windows 10’s built-in photos app.
If you’re a OneDrive user or you already backup phone photos to another cloud service, this new app probably isn’t for you, but Microsoft has primarily designed this for students. “The biggest hurdle many classrooms faced was getting the content students had captured with their phones onto their project PCs,” explains Microsoft’s photos team. The app works by temporarily linking (via QR code) to the Windows 10 photos app. You can send multiple photos over the same Wi-Fi network, and they appear immediately in the photos app.
While the app doesn’t permanently link to a Windows 10 PC, it’s useful if you don’t automatically back up your photos to a cloud service. I’d personally like to see the ability to use the iOS or Android share features to send a photo quickly to your default Windows 10 PC, making it permanently easier to get photos you’ve taken straight onto your laptop or desktop machine.
You can download the Photos Companion app for iOS or Android right now. If you’re not seeing the “import from mobile over Wi-Fi” option in the Photos app for Windows 10, you might need to enable the “show additional preview features” option in the settings section of the Photos app for Windows 10.