Kudos to Samsung for pushing the boundaries on hardware and getting One UI to where it is today. There has been some nice progress over the last few years and that's great to see. But….
Given the continued focus on camera capabilities and taking photos and videos, it's puzzling that management of the same is so sub-standard. Sure, it's easy enough to take photos and videos. Managing them and sharing them with family and friends? Very awkward, inconsistent and lacking in features. Other than basic file sync with OneDrive, there is no continuity across mobile (Samsung devices) and desktop (Windows) at all. I don't think my requirements are very unique. Just want an easy way to manage photos and videos across mobile, cloud and desktop for myself and my family. With that in mind, here are some of my gripes and suggestions for improvements:
- If OneDrive is the cloud storage platform of choice then:
- Why isn't there a two-way sync of Gallery albums and OneDrive albums? I shouldn't have to worry about managing separate sets of albums between Gallery and OneDrive. They should mirror each other.
- Why don't Gallery shared albums use OneDrive?? When I create a shared album in Gallery it uses Samsung Cloud and the app tells me I only have 5GB available even though I have 1TB OneDrive space quota and plenty of available storage.
- Why is it so hard to tell what happens when photos are added to a shared album? Are they copied in original or reduced quality? I am assuming they are copies of local (device) and synced OneDrive photos, why? Just because I share a few photos I shouldn't have files in three different locations.
- Why are members in a shared album only able to download files to their device as opposed to add/import them to their personal collection/library? Or simply see them as part of their overall collection/library? Why isn't there a concept of a library that seamlessly spans mobile, cloud and desktop? Basically all we have is a set of folders syncing with OneDrive. If one OneDrive photos are moved out of the fixed Samsung Gallery/DCIM parent folder then there is no longer any connection between Gallery and moved items. While this is good for freeing up space on the local device it completely breaks the idea of a unified, complete photo library (since one can't see those photos via Gallery anymore)
- Why isn't there a concept of a shared, family (or group) library (using the same cloud sync mechanism as the personal library) where photos can be moved and managed by all members? Everyone needs to see all of their photos as well as shared, family photos without unnecessary duplication of items. It's a no brainer requirement.
- As a family photos admin, why is it so hard to ensure that, if everyone in the family has Samsung devices, all photos are stored using a consistent approach, without duplication across Gallery, OneDrive, shared folders and albums, etc??
- Why isn't there a smarter way to automatically share photos with chosen people (e.g. all or only some based on certain criteria - facial recognition, location, etc, similar to Google Photos and Apple Photos)? As a Samsung and Windows user, why do I need a third ecosystem (Google) to have at least some these features?
With the introduction of Shared Libraries Apple completely nailed the fundamentals of family photo sharing and management. And they made it easy for the vast majority of common use cases. I hope someone at Samsung and Microsoft is studying this closely. Microsoft has a lot to learn too. They just introduced a new Photos app that happens to have less features than the one they replaced! What a mess overall!
What you need to remember is, you're talking about 3 different companies: samsung, google and Microsoft. Microsoft and Samsung is working together to make some functions between a Galaxy and Windows a lot smoother. This includes a smoother file transfer and many more.
I do hope the engineers take heed of your post and improve things further though!
- this is already happening when you enable the Sync with OneDrive setting right? According to this link: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/samsung-gallery-and-onedrive-99c4e77b-8e63-4ddc-aede-19f8...
No. Gallery uses folders as albums. If you create a new 'album' in Gallery it will create a new folder on your device and either copy or move pictures into it (depending on what you choose). The new folder is then synced to OneDrive however it does not show as a OneDrive album when viewed via OneDrive Web or mobile app.
In OneDrive you can create albums without affecting the folder structure. An album is essentially a different type of concept in OneDrive. If you create an album in OneDrive it does not sync to Gallery.
Photos and videos should be able to exist in multiple albums without worrying about duplication of the actual files. So arguably OneDrive has the correct approach here, but of course this doesn't really help as, when viewed through the lens of end-to-end workflow, it just doesn't work due to the differences mentioned above.
OneDrive is not only for Samsung Gallery. It can also be used for multiple purpose. So it cannot just behave on how you work with your Samsung Gallery.
So it works more of like Google Drive. Actually Google Drive is worse before since your photos is under Files > Google Photos and folders are date stamped by year. Your albums created in Google Photos also doesn't exists in your Drive. That is before they stopped storing your Google Photos in Drive.
Even my Synology Photos works the same with OneDrive behaviour. I don't know any apps that works with what you are looking for. 🤔
First of all, it's great to see a good discussion here. I was hoping to 'stir the pot' a bit with my lengthy (but well intended!) post :)
Look, I get all the points around different companies (Samsung and Microsoft), products (Gallery, OneDrive, Google Drive, Google Photos, etc), but this is actually one of my key points. User workflows and expectations go across mobile and desktop experiences. Samsung and Microsoft are 'in bed' together because they need to be. Samsung has gaps on the desktop and Microsoft on the mobile. Samsung is encouraging users to sync with OneDrive. If that is the case then they need to work together with MS to make the overall experience better.
Don't get me wrong, it goes both ways and Microsoft has just as much blame here. They overlaid photo features on top of OneDrive which, as correctly pointed out earlier, needs to work across a bunch of other, more traditional file management use cases. People have been asking for a dedicated MS Photos app for mobile for some time precisely because of this. As it is, OneDrive is a poor replacement for a dedicated photo management app.
For context, I've been in IT for a long time designing and managing complex systems. So I totally get how product roadmaps and cross company integrations work. But this is no excuse in this day and age. As long as the end-to-end experience is fragmented people will be drawn towards alternatives. And then both companies (Samsung and MS) miss out.
On the question of Google Photos - yes, I am very familiar with it and have used it for years. The thing is, why do I have to rely on a third provider/ecosystem?? It solves some things but complicates others. Like I said originally, I don't think we are talking anything too unusual in terms of requirements here. Pro photographers and videographers will have their specific needs. We're not talking about that here. It's just basic, consumer level photo management. I don't want to be re-creating albums multiple times, sharing in different ways and apps from mobile and desktop, worrying about duplicates, etc.
For context, I'm an IT too.. Internet Troll. kidding. 😜
But to be fair with Samsung and Microsoft, this move from Samsung Cloud to OneDrive only happen last year. So given it's only a year, I think the core functionality is there and working fine.
Let's see in the coming updates. We all know that they will not give us all the good features and functionalities at once. They will do it gradually per OS release. It maybe basic functionality for you, but might be a good to have only for others.
Baby steps mate.. Baby steps.. 😁