Managing Photos with Windows Phone 7

January 20, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Barely a mobile phone is sold these days that doesn’t include at least one on-board camera, and with the proliferation of such devices comes a need to organize the photos we take.

We might arrange our images in a single folder on a PC, upload them to Facebook or leave them on our phones, and the importance of snapping and saving pictures to mobile devices has led to one of the major elements of Windows Phone 7, the Pictures Hub.

Thanks to this feature, photos snapped by you and your social networking contacts are accessible on your phone, and any images you create can be uploaded to Facebook, and Windows Live (and thanks to additional apps, other online repositories). Additionally you can set images as backgrounds and even save images from web pages to your phone.

Using the Windows Phone 7 Pictures hub

Viewing Photos on Your Windows Phone

Using the Pictures Hub has been made into a pleasurable experience by the Windows Phone 7 user interface developers, and this begins on the Start screen where the Pictures Hub tile displays your current favourite image. Tapping this opens the Pictures Hub where you can view images by Date, select All to see them arranged by folder and choose your Favourites.

Note also that you will see images in the Pictures Hub that have been uploaded by your contacts to social networks that you have setup on Windows Phone 7.

When you select an image to view Windows Phone 7 allows you to pinch zoom and scroll left to right to view other images in that folder, while the ellipses menu offers the opportunity to delete the image, Add to favourites, upload or share (see below), and set the image as your phone’s wallpaper.

Upload Photos to Facebook and Windows Live

With Windows Phone 7 you can literally snap and upload a photo to Facebook in under 5 seconds, allowing you to provide a real time account of your life for your online friends.

This is easily done via the camera – after a photo is taken, slide your finger across the display to scroll back to it and select Share… > Upload to Facebook. You might also select Upload to Windows Live, although you can automate photo uploads to this service via Settings > Applications > Pictures & Camera > Auto upload to SkyDrive.

You can also choose between SkyDrive and Facebook as your preferred Quick Upload Account in the same screen.

Saving Images from Webpages

If you’re browsing the web on your Windows Phone 7 device using the Internet Explorer browser, you can add images that you discover online to the Pictures Hub.

Once saved, these images can be set as backgrounds or uploaded to a gallery on Facebook, Windows Live or any other supported service.

Saving the images is easy – simply browse to the page where the image is stored and tap and hold the image. In the contextual menu, select the Save picture options to store the image on your phone.

Note that you can also choose to Share the image, prompting Windows Phone 7 to offer you your SMS and email accounts to choose from to send the image to a friend.

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