Francisco Franco, of franco.Kernel fame and several other root applications, has just released a new media gallery browser for Android: Focus. Designed by our very own Liam Spradlin (#halleliam), Focus brings a big, erm, focus on design, usability, and efficiency. It's decked with Material Design elements and animations, but it still keeps a unique look and approach to image, gif, and video viewing.
Focus' differentiating feature is that you can see all of your images, literally ALL of your images, from the app's main screen. No need to delve into submenus, open folders, go back, and try again until you can find that one cat photo you took three months ago. Photos are organized by collections, which seem to follow the folder hierarchy on your phone and SD card, and thumbnails are scrollable horizontally to display every media item a folder contains.
If this sounds too daunting, there are two ways Focus simplifies browsing. First is the date organizer which shows up when you open a collection and divides photos by the month they were taken in. This is handy for your Camera folder and Focus' automatically created Videos folder. Second are tags. Open any photo or multiple select any batch of photos and you'll be able to assign one of 11 preset tags to it like Family, Food, Nature, Me, Pets, and more. Tags then show up among your collections or in the side menu, for an easy way to jump to that mouth-watering Shake Shack burger pic.
If the included tags are cramping your style, you can create your own custom tags, but that requires an IAP. This also unlocks several advanced features of Focus, including a dark theme, the option to hide collections from the main screen, a scroll lock that prevents anyone from swiping to view other photos, and Muzei integration.
Yet there's more to love about the free version of Focus. Like the fullscreen photo viewer that hides everything you don't need so as not to disrupt your experience, and the "Advanced details" EXIF data that shows you all the nitty gritty of each photo you're viewing. However, the app remains a first version release, and I did come across a few bugs and force closes. There's also no way to crop or rotate a photo inside Focus, and not even a shortcut to use other apps' editing interface, no way to rename or move photos, no built-in video player, and no way to reorder photos or collections. I also wish the tag icon that shows up when viewing photos took you to the corresponding tag view to see similar pictures.
Even though many of Focus' features are locked behind the IAP, you're still getting an incredibly fast and efficient photo gallery app with the free version. Considering that I have more than 5500 photos on my phone, and that Focus was able to show them all in one screen without crawling back to its compiler and weeping its code lines out, I'd say the app deserves more than a tip of the hat. To give it a try, grab it from the widget below.