Windows Photo App

bluespark

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This is a software question about photo apps, but since it relates to Windows, I thought the Mac Hardware Alternatives forum probably would be the best place for it. (Mods, if it belongs in the Digital Photography forum instead, please feel free to move it.)

Anyway, I'm considering making the jump to a Windows laptop and wondering how I would re-create my Photos experience. I used to use Aperture, but really like the Photos app now that it has had time to mature and now that it accepts plug-ins. In particular, I like that the photos on my iPhone and Mac are in sync, that the actual masters live on my Mac, and that edits on the phone are synced through iCloud to my Mac (and vice versa). Is there a Windows program that can re-create that experience? I'd ideally like something that works with iCloud, but at the very least something that does the same thing.

Frankly, the more I think about the ecosystem, the more I realize how locked in I am. I also love iMessage, for example. As much as I want some ThinkPad hardware goodness in my life, switching may be harder than I anticipated.
 

maflynn

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[MOD NOTE]
Moving it to the Digital Photography forum. You'll get more advise in this forum about photo applications in Windows.

Taking my moderator hat off and putting on my member's hat. I'd say you have a number of options though none will mimic the UX of Apple's Photo App on macOS.

Given you must haves, like cloud based, plug-ins mature, non-destructive editting, with mobile phone support. I'd say the best option for you is Lightroom.
 

bluespark

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Thanks, maflynn. I used Lightroom years ago on the Mac and really liked it. How does it interact with iCloud? Or should I be managing my phone photos a different way if I use that option?
 

mpfuchs

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Thanks, maflynn. I used Lightroom years ago on the Mac and really liked it. How does it interact with iCloud? Or should I be managing my phone photos a different way if I use that option?
Lightroom doesn't interact with iCloud at all.
Depending on which way you set Lightroom up, you can use the subscription payed storage from Adobe's creative cloud to sync your photos to all your devices, just like iCloud does for you now.

Your best bet is probably Lightroom CC on the Windows machine and Lightroom app on your iPhone/iPad synced trough creative cloud. The basic photography model (Lightroom and Photoshop) cost $9.99 per month and includes 20GB of cloud storage.
 
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Darmok N Jalad

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On Windows Photos, you’d use OneDrive for the most painless experience for cloud syncing. It won’t be as seamless on an iPhone and native Photos, as Apple has a pretty tight syncing process (like edits) among its own devices. I’m also not sure if MS Photos does non-destructive edits, so you’d want to check for that if that matters to you. Also, MS Photos uses a more traditional way to file photos, as opposed to Apple Photos pkg approach.

You could also use Google Drive, but I believe some hacking is required to get GD to play nicely with MS Photos. For some reason Photos doesn’t like the directory GD creates, and you have to add permissions, or at least you did last time I checked.

Personally, I think you can do it, but I also think it might require more work for you. I’m not a big fan of OneDrive or MS Apps, as I have always had reliability issues with both. If I were to leave Apple’s ecosystem today, I would not go with either of those options. I would also not go with google, so I’d likely use Adobe’s CC plan to cover both cloud saves and syncs and also to manage my library. When it comes down to it, for me, I just find Apple’s system to be the easiest and the cheapest to work with. It’s just the initial hardware purchases for Apple that make it seem more expensive. I just don’t want to put time into fiddling with things like I used to, and Apple’s model serves me well.

Good luck to you in whatever you decide!
 
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maflynn

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Thanks, maflynn. I used Lightroom years ago on the Mac and really liked it. How does it interact with iCloud? Or should I be managing my phone photos a different way if I use that option?
It doesn't, I mentioned cloud, Adobe has its own cloud, but it offers desktop/cellphone integration and I think its really the only one that checks off most of your items on your wish list.
 
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bluespark

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It doesn't, I mentioned cloud, Adobe has its own cloud, but it offers desktop/cellphone integration and I think its really the only one that checks off most of your items on your wish list.
Got it, thanks. Sounds like that won't be quite the seamless solution I hoped for, but on the other hand I will enjoy the power of Lightroom. That also means I can try out the workflow on my Mac before deciding whether a platform switch is viable for me right now. Appreciate the advice.