CyanogenMod needs no introduction when it comes to the custom ROM scene of Android. Over the past couple of years, the team behind the ROM has augmented it with several apps, and we have covered a few of them already, including CyanogenMod Messaging, CyanogenMod File Manager, Chronus (cLock) widget and CyanogenMod Screencast. For the next version of the ROM, its developers are working on a new gallery app aplty named GalleryNext, and to give users a preview as well as get their feedback to help with its development, the team has decided to release the app as a public beta on Play Store, that you can install and take on a spin right now. Let’s take a closer look at the app and its features.
The UI of the app follows the new Android development guidelines, using a navigation drawer to access all of the app’s sections. By default, you’re shown the media view, which is simply a grid of all your photos. Tapping any thumbnail here opens up the image, from where you can share it, delete it, or use the menu to view its details or set it as your wallpaper.
In addition to the Media view, there’s also a neat Moments view that automatically organizes your pictures based on their metadata such as dates they were snapped, and the location where you took them. The Albums view, on the other hand, presents them according to the folders you’ve organized them in on your phone’s storage.
In addition to accessing images from your phone’s local storage, you can also integrate some popular cloud services with the app to access your images stored on them. To do so, tap ‘Add Media Source’ from the navigation drawer and select the service you want to add. Currently supported services include Flickr, Picasa, Facebook and Dropbox. Once added, the sources appear in your navigation drawer, and you can choose to view all images together, or only images from the source you select.
The app is still a bit rough around the edges; loading albums and generating their thumbnails takes so long that it simply gets annoying to wait. Furthermore, loading full images and scrolling between them is also far from being snappy. And while we could easily add all other sources, trying to integrate Flickr with the app always resulted in a crash.
So, while GalleryNext does look promising, it’ll take a lot more work to make the experience smooth enough for daily use. Though if you just want to try it out or help with its development by suggesting features or reporting bugs, feel free to give it a shot.
In order to install the beta app, you must first join the GalleryNext Beta Google+ Community, followed by the GalleryNext beta test, upon which you’ll be provided with the link to install it from Play Store.