500px: The Best Photography on Your Tablet

If you’re a lover of beautiful photography like I am, then you often visit the great photo sharing site 500px (If you’ve never visited the place, then by all means do!). I really love the community there, much preferring it to that of Flickr, and have been an avid user of the site for almost a month now. One day I thought to myself “I wish this community had a native iPad app” but I forgot to search the App Store until about two weeks ago.

When I did get a chance to discover the free iPad app, I instantly fell in love with the design and unique feel of it. So, today I’m going to give you a tour of the app and hopefully show you some features that you never knew existed…

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Sliding into the world of photography.

Before you start, you may want to create a 500px account. You don’t need one to use the app, but if you want to like, favorite, or comment on anything, then I’d recommend creating one here.

You can either create an account using your first name, last name, email address and by providing a username and password, or you can just use Facebook to sign up. Once you’re finished with this, head over to the App Store and download the 500px iPad app here. Once that’s finished, open the app and slide the main screen to the left to begin discovering beautiful photographs.

Adding Your Account

The login screen of 500px for iPad.

Next, if you’d like to add your account so that you can participate in the community, tap the little gear in the top right corner of the app. Once you’re in the settings pane, you can either sign up now by tapping “Sign up” or log in with your current account by tapping “Login.”

If you tap the former, then you can create an account just like you would using the web interface – either by filling out the required fields or signing up with your Facebook account, in which case you will be brought to the Facebook app (if you have it) or the Facebook website where you can grant the app permission.

If you tap the latter, then you’ll be presented with two fields where you must enter your username and password; you can log in using Facebook if you wish. Once you’ve completed one of these tasks, then you’re ready to participate in the community! Go explore!


Commenting on a photograph.

Here’s a full list of the features that I’ve managed to discover within 500px for iPad:

  • Ability to create an account within the app: As I mentioned above, you can create an account within the app as an alternative to using the web method.
  • Ability to filter nude photographs: This is set to on by default, but you can disable it in the settings menu if need be.
  • Ability to participate in the 500px community: You are able to like, favorite, or comment on photos using this app.
  • Refresh the stream with pull to refresh: This very popular iOS feature has been implemented well in the 500px app. All you must do to refresh the current photo set that you are in is swipe right and let go – provided that you’re all the way to the left of the stream.
  • Pinch a photo to go back to the main screen: I’ll bet you didn’t notice this little hidden feature. When you’re in viewing mode on a photograph, all you have to do to go back to the browsing screen is pinch the photo like you would in the iOS Photos app.
  • Search: You can search the 500px community using the app’s built-in search, which is located in the sidebar to the left.
  • View friends’ photos: By using the built-in friends browser, you can skim through the people that you’ve followed on 500px. This obviously requires that you be logged in to your account.
  • Browse favorites: When you’re signed in, you can browse your personal favorites using the “Favorites” tab at the bottom of the app.
  • Slideshow: If you want to show your friends some of the beautiful photography on 500px – perhaps even your own – then all you have to do is start a slideshow by tapping the play button beside the settings button and then tap “Start Slideshow.” Both the transition type and time can be adjusted. In addition, the app allows you to play a custom playlist of music during the slideshow.
  • Email or share to Facebook, Tumblr, or Twitter: If you’re like me, then you love to share the great photos of the day with your friends on social networks. All you have to do is tap the photo to display the menu bar and tap the little arrow in the top right corner of the app, followed by choosing which network you wish to share the photograph with. You can say something about it if you wish, otherwise just tap “Send to [network name].”
  • Manage your 500px account: You can change any of your profile details within the app by going to settings and tapping your account. Strangely, even though the app allows for account management, there is no way to delete comments or your own photos (yet).
  • Display EXIF data of photographs: Depending on the photographer and processing of a photo, you may be able to view the EXIF data of an image by going to the comments screen and swiping left.

Lacking Features

The comments list of a photograph

There’s really only one thing that I wish the developers would have included in this app, and that’s uploading capability. In its current state, there is no way to upload a picture to your account using the app – you can only view your own photos. This is strange, too, because 500px is a photo sharing community and their tablet app should allow you to share your photographs with the community on the go.

Even though the official app is lacking this feature, Carlos Mejia, the developer of FlickrStackr, has released an app that will temporarily solve your troubles – for $.99, that is. PhotoStackr for 500px not only allows you to upload photos to the 500px community, but it also allows you to browse the community on your iPhone as well since the app is fully universal. So, if you’re looking for a solution to uploading your latest photographs to 500px on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch then head over to PhotoStackr’s App Store page to discover a potential solution. I’m not going to go into too much detail on the app here, but maybe we’ll review it sometime in the future.

One other small feature that I wish the app had is the ability to delete your own comments. Right now, all you can do is comment on someone’s photograph, and if you make a mistake then there’s no way to delete the comment and start over. It’s kind of funny that they’d leave out this feature because it seems like something that’s vital to the app since there’s a lot of conversation that takes place on the 500px community…


Notice the transition time area is highlighted blue.

In my rigorous testing (and I don’t say this lightly because, during my testing, I happened to stumble upon many, many bugs that no one else seems to notice), I’ve found that there are a few minor bugs that the app has, but nothing too major that would prevent you from using the main features. Here is a small list which I recommend the developer tend to as soon as possible:

  • Cannot write a comment due to white text in comment field: During my extensive testing, I have found that I cannot comment on something because the text that I’m typing turns white in the text field, making it impossible for me to see what I’m typing. I’m not sure if anyone else is having this issue, though I hope to see it fixed eventually.
  • Transitions time slider turns solid blue when tapped: I mistakenly tapped the transitions time slider in the slideshow options panel and noticed that it gets stuck on solid blue if tapped.


Just another example of how amazing the photography on 500px is

For a free app, you obviously can’t expect it to have everything and be completely debugged. I really like this app and see great potential in it. Hopefully the developers will bring new features and bug fixes with future updates. So, if you’re a user of 500px and also own an iPad, then I’d highly suggest downloading this app as it will prove very useful for photo discovery and inspiration.


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