All Android handsets come with an image viewer, typically the stock image gallery app provided by Google. The problem is many times these image viewers are slow and buggy. For example, on my Nexus S the stock image gallery takes a noticeable amount of time to search for new image files; and often times it bugs out and cannot even find them. You know as they say… when it is broke you must fix it. We have search Android Market far and wide, found free image gallery replacements, and listed the best ones for you here.
Take note that downloading a free image viewer from Android Market will not automatically replace the image viewer app that came with your phone. You will have to manually set the new image viewer as the default app for viewing images. (After you download an image viewer app, you will be prompted the next time you try to view an image as to what app you want to view the image with.) Even after you set the new image viewer as the default app, the stock image viewer app that came with your phone will not be uninstalled. Keep this in mind if you are low on storage space and can’t afford to have two apps installed that perform the same function.
Table of Contents
App Name: JustPictures!
Download Size: 861 KB
Version Reviewed: v5.9.5
Requires: Android 1.5 and up
- Allows users to view local images (the ones on phone’s internal memory and SD card) and images from Picasa, Smugmug, Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, Tumblr, and Deviant Art.
- Supports all the standard image gallery features (pinch-to-zoom, rotation, deletion, full screen view, slideshow, share images, etc.)
- Can do some actions in batch, such as rotate, delete, and share.
- Can read EXIF data for images that have them.
- Displays geolocation of images, if applicable.
- Well designed interface.
- Supports app2sd.
- Does not support animated GIFs. (It will show animated GIFs as unanimated still images.)
- Doesn’t automatically change screen orientation (horizontal vs vertical) based on image size.
- Can only connect to one account per online image services (i.e. can only connect to one Picasa account, one Facebook account, etc.)
- You can view images from and upload images to online image services, but you cannot delete images from online image services.
- JustPictures! doesn’t appear in the menu that shows up when the “Preview” button is used when viewing a Gmail e-mail with an image attachment.
- Doesn’t always detect new images – sometimes the user must manually hit “Refresh”.
JustPictures! is an image viewer that allows users to not only view images stored on their phone/SD card, but also images from Picasa, Smugmug, Flickr, Facebook, Photobucket, Tumblr, and Deviant Art. JustPictures! supports all the standard image viewing functions, such as pinch-to-zoom (Android 2.0+ only – other devices do one tap to zoom), rotate (local images only), delete (local images only), view in full screen, view as a slide show, share (via e-mail, SMS, bluetooth, or any other app that accepts image inputs), make images favorites, etc. Additionally, JustPictures! can read and show EXIF and geolocation data for images that have them.
When viewing images, JustPictures! makes the screen brightness to full by default but this setting can be disabled. Additionally, JustPictures! has the ability to automatically rotate images based on the orientation mentioned in the EXIF data (if applicable). While JustPictures! can rotate images based on EXIF data, it does not have the ability to rotate images based on image size (i.e. it doesn’t switch to horizontal/landscape orientation for images that fit better in that orientation).
For the most part JustPictures! works very fast. However, I did notice there is some minor lag when loading the thumbnails of new images (less lag than the stock image gallery app, however). Furthermore, I noticed that sometimes JustPictures! does not properly detect new images – users have to hit the “Refresh” button (press the menu key -> “Refresh) to tell JustPictures! to look for new images. In defense of JustPictures!, finding new images after hitting the “Refresh” button is done very quickly.
Everything mentioned above is done with no ads.
Overall, I find JustPictures! to be a very good image viewer and an excellent image gallery replacement. Although I personally use QuickPic, JustPictures! wins first place as best image viewer because it integrates with online image services.
App Name: QuickPic
Download Size: 246 KB
Version Reviewed: v1.1.5
Requires: Android 2.0 and up
QuickPic is a brilliant image gallery replacement. Although it only works with local images (i.e. images on your phone’s internal memory and SD card), QuickPic is blazing fast: It finds new images without breaking a sweat and image thumbnails are displayed almost instantly.
Like JustPictures!, QuickPic provides users with all the standard image viewer functions, such as zoom (pinch-to-zoom supported), share, delete, rotate, slideshow, etc. One of my favorite aspects of QuickPic is it has the ability to automatically change screen orientation based on image size. For example, a 600×200 image will be shown in landscape mode while a 200×600 image will be shown in vertical mode.
For people that have “private” images, QuickPic allows users to set images/folders as “hidden” and toggle viewing hidden images on/off. There is even the ability (optional) that requires users to enter a password before “hidden” images/folders are shown. While you are better off using an app like File Locker to protect images you don’t want others to see (because “hiding” images only makes it so an image viewer does not index them; the images themselves are not password protected and can be accessed from file managers), having this sort of functionality is still useful.
Furthermore, QuickPic has additional features such as make screen brightness full when viewing images, exclude specific folders to not scan for images, include specific folders to scan for images (by default the whole SD card is scanned), and to hide the system notification bar when in QuickPic.
The best part of it all is that QuickPic is ads free!
Unfortunately there is a dark side to QuickPick: It doesn’t support animated GIFs and it doesn’t support app2sd.Still, even with these two caveats, QuickPic is a terrific image viewer and a wonderful choice for image gallery replacement.
On a personal level, even though QuickPic is in second place as best free image viewer, I prefer QuickPic over JustPictures! because I find it to be superior when viewing local images. If you are like me and don’t need to view images from online image hosting services, than you too may want to consider QuickPic over JustPictures!.
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