Last week, CyanogenMod GalleryNext beta was announced and a public beta was opened to the community. So far results have been mixed. Many people love the the replacement app, touting how much better it is than the standard AOSP gallery. Others are a bit more conservative in their praise. So we decided we were going to go hands on and take a quick look at GalleryNext to see what it was like for ourselves. Note, you can read our assessment below or watch it above. Your call.
Okay since this app is still in beta, we’re just going to go over the functionality and design pretty quickly so you can have an idea of what this is all about. As you can see, this is a gallery app so it does gallery app things like viewing photos and videos stored on your device.
As advertised you can sign into a few services to get your cloud-stored photos as well. This includes Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, and Dropbox. Signing in is easy enough and everything loads as quickly as you can reasonably expect it to.
Once everything is loaded in it can then be sorted a few different ways. You can view everything all at once in a tiled layout, view by album, and view by Moments. Moments is simply a bunch of photos that are grouped together by common things like date.
Of course, there are the basic functions of a gallery app that are present as well. There is a sharing function, the ability to view photo details, and support for photos, videos, and gifs.
In terms of design, CyanogenMod keeps it simple. There’s a left side slide out menu that lets you navigate around the app and everything is viewed in tile format. It’s color neutral so you don’t have to worry about it clashing with any themes. That’s really it folks, nice and simple.
So here’s a quick list of things we liked about it.
- It’s very simple. There’s no complicated menus to deal with or weird, unfamiliar user interface elements. Just open the left side, pick the category you want to view, and then view content. Easy peasy.
- The Moments feature works on all of your photos at once, or each source individually, which I thought was kind of cool.
- Signing into the various cloud services is pretty easy.
Usually we do a list of things we didn’t like, but since this is a beta and some features may not be fully implemented and all the bugs may not be fully squashed yet, we’re going not going to give the app the same scrutiny we would give a fully released app.
- There are some bugs that still need squashed. Again, it is a beta so this is expected but I did experience a crash or two while I was checking it out.
- The only other thing are the number of cloud services available. Right now it’s just the four which is Facebook, Dropbox, Picasa, and Flickr. While that’ll be just fine for most people, support for additional services would be nice to see.
Overall, this is going to be a very solid gallery app offering when it’s finished. It’s simple and modern with enough functionality to put it head and shoulders above the standard AOSP gallery app. In most cases it’s quick and we’re sure bug fixes and optimizations will make it even better before it’s released.
If you want to check it out, we have a link to the Google+ community you can click this link and follow the instructions. It’s fairly easy, just join the community, become a beta tester, then download it. Keep in mind that this is not a finished product yet, so bad things will happen while you use this app until all the bugs get fixed. So if you’re not into being a beta tester, we recommend holding off for now.