Google intends people to use Google Photos as a repository for more or less every photo they've ever taken. It works great in that regard (assuming you don't mind paying up for the best quality), but if you're a shutterbug, you'll quickly find your account filling up with thousands of photos.
This story was originally published and last updated .
For years, QuickPic was one of the first applications I would install on my phone, without even bothering to use the phone's default gallery app. It was small, fast, efficient, and free, but has sadly disappeared at the end of 2018. For a while, I've been trying to find a decent replacement, and some of the below apps are great candidates to become your next go-to gallery app.
We've updated this post with a few more apps, which we didn't cover in the initial post.
The facial recognition software built directly into Google Photos is already fantastically accurate, distinguishing your friends and family from even the blurriest of pixels. However, like any AI-driven tool, it's not perfect, and sometimes it just doesn't know who's actually in your pictures. Thanks to our friends over at XDA Developers, we now have our first look at an upcoming manual facial tagging feature that's currently hidden away within Google Photos 4.32.
Android Messages just hit version 3.0. While hitting a new major version number might be an occasion for big things in some apps, this one appears to be a simple incremental step up from version 2.9. While there aren't any immediately obvious changes on the surface of this update, there are some things happening under the hood. It looks like support for KitKat has been dropped with this update, leaving behind about 12% of previously supported Android devices. There are also clues about changes to notifications about pictures and videos, enhanced chat features, and making purchases.
Instagram has always allowed you to add previously-taken pictures and videos to your Story, but the app imposed one limitation - the media had to be less than 24 hours old. I honestly never noticed that, but it seems silly. Instagram now seems to think so too, and has removed that limit from the mobile apps.
Over the last few months, the team working on Google Maps has been making it easier for users to browse photos of different landmarks and businesses. Each location includes a space set aside for pictures, but a few types of businesses also sport dedicated albums. Some of the examples include pictures of the food and atmosphere inside restaurants. A new album just joined the list: photos representing the amenities available at hotels and other similar lodgings.
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
A new update to Google's Maps application is out, but the wait for offline navigation must go on. This is a relatively minor version bump, so we're not going to see the big features mentioned at I/O, but that doesn't mean there aren't still some pretty good things in this release. We now get to enjoy a new photo gallery view, car rental bookings will be shown, and there are a few pleasant improvements in Settings.
New Photo Gallery View
Left: old photo view, Center: new photo gallery, Right: new single photo view
A few weeks ago, Google made some subtle changes to the interface for uploading photos for locations you had visited.
The Android team has been hard at work replacing old code that hasn't scaled well with newer and more powerful hardware. We've long known that the camera API was destined to see a massive update, but we were missing details like a release date or exactly what was coming. Thanks to the L release, we can finally see what has been in the works for all these many months.
One of the most important aspects of the new Camera 2 API is a dramatic increase in performance over the previous interface. The Camera 2 system is now capable of delivering full resolution images at the same speed the hardware can capture them thanks to a fully synchronized pipeline model.
Handy Photo is a mobile photo editor that can seemingly work magic with such features as un-cropping, the ability to remove objects from a photo, and the option to apply any number of its impressive filters. We put version 1.0 of the app through its paces last year and saw a lot of promise. Now Handy Photo is making the jump to the big 2.0, and it's bringing with it a new UI.
This is a photo editor, so most of the other changes get pretty specific. We're talking about the ability to selectively adjust tones, partially apply filters, and move or scale textures.