There are numerous Android photo sharing apps available in the Google Play Store, and quite a few of them are based on the concept of real-time photo syncing or streaming across multiple devices, both over the same network and over the internet. Previously-reviewed Familiar is arguably one of the finest solutions in this regard, as it supports cross-platform private photo-syncing with friends and family in real-time. Fresh out of the oven, Tapestry is another promising app from the genre. Although not as comprehensive as Familiar, Tapestry lets you privately share your photos with required contacts in real-time over Wi-Fi as well as the internet. Streaming takes place in full-screen, where the sender has control over switching, zooming and panning of images, and the recipients can effortlessly enjoy the stream, and download their favorite photos with a mere swipe. Besides being a handy photo sharing tool, Tapestry can also serve as a nifty alternative to the stock Android Gallery app.
There is no restriction on the number of users with whom photos can be shared simultaneously; however, it must be ensured that each recipient has the app opened on their end to successfully pair with the sender. When launched, Tapestry scans your device for all the local images, and displays them on grid. In case you’re acting as the sender, all you need to do is tap the images that you wish to be included within the stream. Once the required images are picked, hit the Curate button at the bottom, select your contacts (other Tapestry users), tap the Start Show-and-Tell button and you’re good to go. The selected contact(s) will then be prompted to join the stream by pairing with your device.
That’s all there is to it. You may now zoom or switch between images, and the changes will be reflected in real-time across all recipients’ screens. As mentioned earlier, the recipient has the option to download required photos to their devices by just swiping down the screen. Downloaded photos can be found in the Tapestry folder on your SD card.
Having tested the app extensively over multiple networks, we felt quite a bit of lag in switching between images. Be it over the home Wi-Fi network or over the internet, the app doesn’t seem to perform as smoothly as one would expect, neither while zooming nor when switching between photos. If you just want to enjoy all the photos on your own device, long press an image thumbnail and swipe sideways to switch between photos in full-screen.
So all in all, we feel that there is plenty of room for improvement in the app’s existing features and an even wider scope for addition of new ones. For instance, the lack of an automatic slideshow feature means that the sender has to manually switch between selected photos in order to show the entire stream to the recipients. Other features that, if added to the mix, could do Tapestry a world of good are a desktop client and the option to curate a slideshow, sharing it with the desired recipients, and putting them in control of playing around with the photos as they wish. Also, in my personal opinion, no sharing app is complete without the feedback aspect. Therefore, it would be nice if the future version of Tapestry introduces us to some sort of commenting and/or liking on shared content.
Tapestry is compatible with devices running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) or higher, and can be downloaded for free from the Play Store via the link provided below.