Microsoft Garage releases plenty of new projects with some being wacky and some more interesting with potential to grow into a real Microsoft app. The latter is the case of the new Photos Companion, an app that does what its name suggests: it's an Android (and iOS) app that lets you quickly transfer photos from your phone to the Photos app on a Windows 10 PC via WiFi. It works very well from my experience and might become my go-to way for sending screenshots to my computer.
To get started, you'll need to get the app from the Play Store onto your phone. Then, from my experience, you'll need to open the Photos app on your Windows 10 PC, hit the three-dotted menu at the top right, select See more then Settings and scroll down to enable Show additional preview features. If you don't do this, you may not see the option to import from your mobile phone.
Once that's done, tap the Import button in the top right and choose From mobile over Wi-Fi. Your phone and PC need to be on the same network for this to work and it will show a small pop-up window with a QR code on your screen.
Now moving to the Android app, open it and you're instantly asked to scan your computer's barcode. Do that and you'll be taken to a thumbnail grid of all images (photos, screenshots, downloads, etc) and videos on your device. You can multi-select the ones you want to send, then tap Done in the top left.
The transfer is super fast. You don't have to worry about how things are being sent: they just are.
And once it's over, your imported images will show up in your Photos library as well as in the Imported from Photos Companion folder in your Pictures folder on Windows. So you can edit, move, rename, and do whatever you need with them.
Photos Companion is fast and worked well over the few times I tried it, but I did run into a few Force Closes on my OnePlus 5T on Oreo 8.0, especially when trying to send more photos. Another annoying issue is that you need to scan the QR code each and every time you open the app. If it could remember a few trusted computers and initiate sharing without that, it'd be great.
Photos Companion is free so you can easily give it a go if you have a Windows 10 computer and an Android phone. It doesn't require any special permissions beyond Camera and Storage. This is one Microsoft Garage project I'm rooting for and keeping on my phone.
- Microsoft Garage