Photos have become an important part of the smartphone experience, be it taking them, sharing them or displaying them. Therefore it’s no surprise that Android phones come with a gallery app by default, but the quality isn’t always up to par. The default gallery on my HTC phone, for example, aims to misbehave whenever I have the gall to try and view my photos.
Once again, third-party apps come to the rescue. Almost everyone needs a gallery app, so it’s little surprise that many are available. I’ve gone through and found three that I think are the best any Android owner could ask for.
Gallery 3D (2.2+)
If you’re looking for a feature-filled, quick, beautiful gallery, there’s one particular app that everyone should check out, and that’s Gallery 3D.
Based off the gallery that ships with the Nexus One, Gallery 3D is named because of its 3D-enhanced appearance. Functionally, the 3D effects don’t add much, but they are attractive and give this app a professional look that other gallery apps lack.
Look deeper, and you’ll find more than a pretty face. There’s a wide range of features including easy photo cropping and rotating, two album views (a simple thumbnail view or a date-based view) and intuitive navigation.
Gallery 3D is free, and compatible with Android 2.2 or newer. It has not been updated since October of 2010, but despite this, it remains the smoothest and most attractive gallery app.
A relatively new gallery app that is enjoying frequent updates, Fishbowl takes a different approach to displaying your photos. Instead of placing them in a thumbnail grid where every photo is equally sized, Fishbowl crams as much on your display as possible. This is called “Fishbowl View” and it’s quite useful. On today’s largest Android phones, which have excellent displays, a thumbnail doesn’t need to be large in order for you to determine what photo the thumbnail displays.
Navigation is also interesting thanks to this app’s unique gestures. Swiping in any direction across the center of a photo will scroll to the next, while touching the edges will give you the opportunity to zoom in or rotate the photo. While there’s a bit of learning curve associated with this, the unusual navigation feels good once you’ve learned it.
Fishbowl requires Android 2.1 or better and offers Honeycomb support.
Photo Days (2.1+)
Gallery 3D and Fishbowl will cover most of your gallery needs, but if you’re interested in browsing through your photos chronologically, Photo Days could be an excellent choice.
This app is extremely focused. It’s all about viewing photos in the order they were added to your device. By focusing on this, the app is able to provide an intuitive interface that lets users quickly switch between different periods of time (days to months, for example) and also scroll through the photos available. Of all the apps here, Photo Days felt the quickest, and its appearance is only slightly less impressive than that of Gallery 3D.
On the downside, Photo Days doesn’t have rotate or crop features, so its functionality is limited. Not all users will need this app, but those interested in what it offers will find that it works better than the sort-by-date feature of Gallery 3D.
After combing through many apps, I’m confident these three will take care of the needs of most readers. However, if you believe you’ve found a neglected Android gallery app, feel free to let us know in the comments!
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