Microsoft has made available for download Photos Companion app for iOS and Android today, specially designed for Windows 10 users to let them transfer photos from their devices to PCs.
The app is available immediately, and it’s being released as part of Microsoft’s Garage project that lets employees release experimental apps. This is developed to pull all the pictures off multiple iPhones and Android-powered mobile devices and store them locally on a central Windows 10 machine more easily.
First of all, it has been circulated among beta testers, and now, Photos Companion links with Windows 10’s built-in photos app by way of a QR code, after which multiple photos can be sent over the same Wi-Fi network, similar to ShareIt.
Microsoft hopes the app released today will appeal primarily to students who don’t back up their photos to a cloud service such as the company’s own OneDrive, but again, need a convenient way to get content from their smartphones to Windows machines in an education setting.
The app itself is part of Microsoft’s wider mobile strategy to improve its iOS and Android offerings, now that Windows 10 Mobile hardware is no longer a focus for the company. Microsoft officially ended support for Windows Phone back in July and is also no longer developing new features or hardware for Windows 10 Mobile.
We began developing a simple, experimental app for iOS and Android to see if we could unblock educators and help them begin using the Photos app in their classrooms. We knew that students often captured on multiple phones or tablets, but leveraged a single “project” PC to assemble their media and create their final project. We also knew that Wi-Fi access in the classroom was great between devices, but that any solution that required the cloud for transfer could be blocked by overloaded networks.
Our solution was to build an app that would support direct wireless transfer between any phone or mobile device and the Photos app on any Windows 10 PC. This would enable students to transfer media to their own computers … or to a shared, project PC … without worrying about network speeds or mobile data charges.
Important to note is that 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. But the ability to use the iOS and Android share feature 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 is likely.
Microsoft’s Photos Companion app for iOS and Android can be downloaded 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.
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