Microsoft Photo Apps Updates and How Your Agency Can Use Them

Pictures and videos are great tools to use when you are trying to explain difficult concepts or show property and location information. Just about every outside producer now carries a smartphone with a camera and video capability. In addition to the built-in camera and video capability of your smartphone, there is also a myriad of third-party apps that extend your phone’s camera capability.

I have been using the Microsoft Pix app for a while. It is very capable, and Microsoft continues to expand and develop the program. It is available for both iOS and Android devices. You can read more about its capabilities in a prior TechTips here.

Microsoft has recently updated the Pix app with an exciting new feature. 

Microsoft Photo Apps: Pix Photosynth

Microsoft recently added its previous web-based service Photosynth to the app. I originally wrote about Photosynth in a TechTips way back in 2009. The new upgraded version of Photosynth is now part of the Microsoft Pix app. Photosynth allows you to take multiple pictures of a scene and automatically stitches them together into one photo. This is similar functionality to the built-in Apple panoramic camera view. The difference is Photosynth allows you to take pictures vertically and horizontally, so you can capture the entire scene.

This new version of Photosynth is also faster and allows for smoother capture.

Microsoft Photos Companion App

Now that you have taken great pictures, the next task is to smoothly move them off your phone and onto your computer so you can use them in your document.

Microsoft has created a new app for smartphones – called Photos Companion — that works with their Windows 10 Microsoft Photos program to make it easier for you to move photos from your phone onto your computer.


Photos Companion is a Microsoft Garage project. It transfers photos and videos from a phone to a PC over Wi-Fi. You do need to make sure the phone and PC are on the same Wi-Fi network. You use your phone to scan a code on your computer monitor to start the transfer.

I had not played around with the new Windows 10 Photos Program until I was researching this functionality. I found it quite capable.

If you are running Windows 10, the latest version of Microsoft Photos is found in the Microsoft Store.


In the fall of 2017, the Microsoft Photos app in Windows 10 was reimagined, with new functionality, to automatically organize media and transform photos and videos into compelling stories and amazing video projects. As part of that rollout, the product team began visiting classrooms in the U.S. and Europe to better understand how educators were currently incorporating video into their lessons and to ask them to give the Photos app a try.

What surprised them most was that the biggest hurdle in the classroom wasn’t helping students decide what to include in their videos, or even editing the video itself. The biggest hurdle many classrooms faced was getting the content students had captured with their phones onto their project PCs.

Out of that hurdle came the Photos Companion app. The app would enable students to transfer media to their computers easily… or to a shared, project PC … without worrying about network speeds or mobile data charges.

While the Photos Companion was built with students and educators in mind, I think it will be useful to anyone who needs to get photos and video from their phone to an easy editing platform.

Let me know what you think of these improvements. What other tools do you use to move photos and videos from a smartphone to your desktop to edit?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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