Tested version: 2.3.9
Latest version: 3.4.24
Requires Android: from 1.6
I’ve discovered a few apps thanks to blog and forum posts here on AndroidPIT. Floating Image is one of these apps, and I’m glad someone recommended it to me. Why is that? Find out in today’s test review.
Features & Use
Floating image is no ordinary image gallery. It lets pictures sail by; clicking on a picture enlarges it, whilst the other pictures continue to float by in the background.
You can determine the folders from which pictures are shown, but also choose images from other, individual folders. Until you deactivate this folder, only pictures taken from this folder will be shown.
Aside from viewing images from your memory card, you can also select photos randomly from Flickr.
Hence, Floating Image is best suited for browsing, rather than looking at photos in the “normal” fashion. And that’s what’s really fun about Floating Image.
That being said, there were a few things I felt to be missing from this app, and that you may miss, too—e.g. it isn’t possible to zoom in or forward images. This is only possible to a certain point, and only crabwise. You’ll find more info in the “Screen & Controls” section.
Floating Image is still quite a nice app—let’s hope it’ll be developed further.
Screen & Controls
As soon as you start Floating Image, pictures start sailing by at moderate speed, from left to right. You can influence the speed and the direction the images are floating in by using your finger and sliding it to the right or left on the display.
The following options are listed when you click on the menu button:
• About (infos about the app)
If you select „Fullscreen“, the information "Titel“ and "Path“ won’t be displayed in the lower margin (usually, these infos are always shown)... That is to say, images are displayed fullscreen. :)
If you click on “Show” you can access and browse through your SD card via an Explorer, and make it so that only images from this folder are shown. In order to do so you have to press the folder you want for a long time and then press “select folder”. Once you’ve chosen a folder, the option “Show” turns into “Cancel Show”; that way you can deactivate said folder.
You’ll find the following options under “Settings”:
• Manage local directories (you can determine or cancel image folders)
• Use random images (you can switch photos from Flickr on or off)
• Use local images (you can switch photos from your phone on or off)
• Rotate images (images are not show symetrically)
• Cache images (the floating of the images becomes less consistent)
• Clear cache
If you click on one of the pictures floating by it’s displayed in big. As I mentioned earlier, it isn’t possible to zoom in or forward pictures within Floating Image itself, but you can make it work by pressing on the image you want for a long time and the selecting “go to source”. Of course, this hinges on what kind of device you’re using, as well as which other image apps you’ve installed on your phone. When I tested this using the G1 I wound up in the standard gallery straight away (where it is possible to zoom in and forward), whereas the Nexus One gave me a choice between Astro Image Viewer, Gallery and Photo BURST. The standard Nexus One Gallery wasn’t able to display the image, and neither was Photo BURST. Only Astro Image Viewer was able to open the image I’d selected, as well as allow me to forward it. It wasn’t possible to zoom in, though.
Despite the fact that there are a few downsides to Floating Image, it is, nonetheless, a different kind of photo album, which is what makes it so appealing. Especially the optics – the fact that the images literally float by – is quite something. That being said, I’m not (yet) awarding it an A (4 stars)… Here’s hoping that the app will continue to improve, that we can upgrade it’s score at some point.
Speed & Stability
Floating Image runs smoothly and fluidly, even on a G1. The only problems occurred with the Nexus One Gallery. Floating Image doesn’t seem to get along with it.
Floating Image can be downloaded for free from the Android Market.
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