The additions to the generic Android Gallery in Ice Cream Sandwich are pretty great, but of course, they don’t do much for the 90+% of user which don’t have access to Android 4.0. If you’re a shutterbug who wants better experience that the unfortunately slow 3D album from Android 2.3 or whatever replacement your manufacturer has provided, have a gander at Scalado Album, which goes for 99¢ in the Google Play Store. It’s fast, easy to navigate, and a has a few unique features that even the ICS gallery could use.
Upon opening Scalado album you’re greeted with an organization scheme that’s somewhere between folders and tags. The two primary options are the camera roll (whichever folder your phone or tablet puts its pictures in) and All, which scours your phone for every single JPEG it can find. Elsewhere your photos are divided into those taken nearby, photos taken by month, photos taken by area, and last (and from Scalado’s viewpoint, least) the actual directories on your phone or SD card. It’s a unique way at looking at your photos that’s very geo-centric… and makes me wish I had actually geotagged any of my photos.
Navigating through your photos is fast and natural, even with hundreds on your phone. Hi-res photos from the camera and relatively low-res screenshots get the same snappy response. Zooming and navigating uses the same swipes and pinches that you’re used to, and Scalado takes the liberty of removing the notification bar (but not Ice Cream Sandwich’s navigation bar). You can select multiple images to rotate them, delete them, or share them via Android’s built-in share function. There’s no real editing to be had.
The unique aspects of Scalado come when you tap the “Map” icon in the home screen (next to the “Camera” icon that immediately takes you to the camera app – Scalado Album is designed to be a complete replacement for the Gallery). You’re then taken to a Google Maps interface with your current location highlighted, and albums overlayed on the areas where you’ve taken groups of photos. It’s a pretty unique way of organizing your photos, and for certain types of users it will be very useful indeed. Video thumbnails are something we haven’t seen on any other app.
Scalado Album could use a little more in the editing department, but as a pure viewer app it’s well worth the entry price. If you’re tired of the default Android Gallery and need something that’s easy, flexible, and most of all fast, give it a shot.