With Windows Phone out of the picture, Microsoft has revised its strategy and is focusing on improving cross-platform browsing and sharing experience between a Windows PC and an Android or iOS device. After the Continue to PC feature, which allows users to share web pages and links from a smartphone to PC quickly, Microsoft has come up with a photo sharing feature to let Android and iOS users share photos from any smartphone to a Windows PC in a matter of seconds without involving USB or other similar cables.

How to set it up

The photo sharing works between the Photos app on Windows, which comes pre-loaded on all Windows 10 PCs, and the new Photos Companion app for mobile, which is available on Google Play Store and App store as a free download.

Users can connect an Android smartphone or iPhone to the Windows PC by scanning the QR code on the PC with the Photos Companion app. To do this, open the Photos app on PC and click on the Import button on the top right of the page and select the “import from mobile over Wi-Fi" option. If the option is not showing, go to the Settings section in Photos, scroll down and enable the “show additional preview features button". This will show the QR code. Once the code is scanned, the smartphone will be paired with the PC and the option to share photos will be available. The only catch is that both devices should be on the same WiFi network.

Is it better than other file sharing options?

The new photo sharing feature can be a very effective tool for users who have a Windows PC but are using an Android or iOS smartphone. Sharing files wirelessly is available only through cloud storage solutions such as One Drive. But they take a bit longer as users have to upload the images on cloud and then download to use them on the PC. With the new tool, the photo will be directly shared from the smartphone to the PC.

Lenovo’s ShareIt is a slightly more effective tool when comes to sharing photos from an Android smartphone and Windows PC. It is not available on iOS yet. Instead of relying on an existing WiFi network, ShareIt creates a wireless network of its own to connect the two devices. Microsoft’s app would have been more effective if it was not bound to the same WiFi network and had created a network of its own on the lines of ShareIt.