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Microsoft Garage launches Photos Companion app for Android and iOS

Microsoft Garage has taken the wraps off of a new app aimed at syncing your photos from your phone to your PC. Called Photos Companion (opens in new tab), the app is available for Android and iOS, and it works in concert with the Windows 10 Photos app to wirelessly transfer your photos between devices.

The Microsoft Garage team behind Photos Companion says that it was originally created to serve the education market. The team noticed that educators were increasingly incorporating video in their lessons, but would often run into issues getting student-created content from their phones onto PCs. The goal with Photos Companion was to create a simple app that could wirelessly transfer photos to any Windows 10 PC.

Microsoft Garage launches Photos Companion app for Android and iOS

Photos Companion works over Wi-Fi and is fairly simple to set up. Once you've downloaded and opened the app on Android or iOS, you'll be asked to open the Photos app on Windows 10 and select the "From Mobile over Wi-Fi" option from the "Import" menu. You then scan a QR code to set up the connection between devices, select the photos and videos you want to transfer, and they'll be on their way.

To make sure the option to import over Wi-Fi is available, you'll have to head into the Photos app's settings and toggle on the option labeled "Help Microsoft test the mobile import over Wi-Fi feature."

Photos Import

If you're already backing photos up to cloud services like OneDrive, Photos Companion may lose a bit of its luster. However, if you don't trust your pictures in the cloud, or just want a quicker way to get them into the Photos app to start doing some editing on any PC, Photos Companion looks like it could come in handy.

If you want to give the app a shot, you can download it on Android and iOS now. Keep in mind you'll have to have Photos version 2018.18011.13110.0 or later installed on your PC.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

12 Comments
  • Nice. But having the full app and being able the sync pictures using it would be even better.
  • One step at a time 😉
  • Doesn't photosync with Onedrive functionally do that though?
  • If you mean the upload feature no, and onedrive still couldn't do that, since on onedrive you share a link of the item you have at the cloud and want to share etc.
    This app uses your local network to send to the other device the pictures with no accounts needed since you scan a code and you are ready!!
  • Just gave it a whirl - worked as advertised on my Moto G5+
  • Doesn't appear to be available on Android in the UK. I resisted changing to Android for as long as possible, then resisted changing to Google Photos for as long as I could, but finally gave up last week.  This app doesn't even replace the Photos app, which is a major missing piece in the Microsoft app jigsaw.  It is YEARS overdue. The experience of looking for a specific old photo in OneDrive on Android is truly horrific.  What are you supposed to do except scroll for eternity? The absence of Microsoft Films/Movies & TV is also very annoying, but after what happened to Groove, I think we all know what is coming next.
  • A total waste of time. OneDrive upload would be better, and it's not a quick option for those that don't want to use cloud storage. A cable would be much faster than a wireless connection. Wireless would be fine for a couple photos, but a lot of photos or a couple videos would take a lot longer.
  • 403 Forbidden error
  • Indeed, why not use OneDrive on Android. This is great to create confusion. What would be really nice is to corner out of the OneDrive for Android app is the photo functionality in its own app, i.e. the Windows 10 Photos app on Android. But well, this is Microsoft, failing overall co-ordination for quite some time as it comes to service and app functionality.
  • Because not everyone uses OneDrive? My wife just removed 20GB of photos from her phone and she doesn't want to pay for cloud storage. Something like this is perfect for a lot of people
  • I can't seem to make the QR code appear even after turning on the feature in Settings and restarting the Photos app and the PC itself. Still left with this:
  • Damn was hoping it would be an app for viewing OneDrive photos on Android - Basically want the Windows 10 Photos app but for Android phones, since W10M was killed off it's something I miss - The OneDrive app has a photos tab but it's not that elegant