Gather Photos From Various Sources in a Single Beautiful App With Cooliris

Haven’t you spent hours looking for a picture on your online photo storage and social networks with no success? Don’t you find it annoying to have to browse pictures your friends post on various social networks from different apps? We’ve got the perfect application for you: Cooliris — a great piece of software to view photos from multiple sources — all with an outstanding user experience.

Like this article? Stay up to date with the latest changes by subscribing to our RSS feed or by following us either on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or App.net.

Getting Started

Before using Cooliris, you will have to connect the application with the various social media and online photo storage services you use. This way, the application will automatically index your albums and let you access them from a single location. Cooliris currently integrates with Facebook, Instagram, Google Drive, Picasa, Twitter, Flickr, Renren, Yandex Fotoki, Dropbox and SmugMug. The developers have also told me that the application will support SkyDrive and other services in the next release.

The main screen is where you select which source you'd like to browse

The main screen is where you select which source you’d like to browse

The application itself is extremely easy to use and very nicely designed. Not only does it look great, it’s very smooth and reactive, even if you’re browsing an album with many photos in it. When you open an album, Cooliris will instantly download thumbnail previews of your content, so you can quickly skim through it. The interface remains simplistic, with just three options at the top to return to the previous screen, share some of the photos or switch albums.

The album view is very straightforward and easy to use. There are great effects when you scroll through an album

The album view is very straightforward and easy to use. There are great effects when you scroll through an album

Talking about switching albums, Cooliris will let you display your own photos, your news feed — for social networks, such as Facebook and Instagram — and someone else’s albums. The app will usually show your own sets first, but it’s easy to look someone up — a Facebook friend, an Instagram follower, etc. — and check out what they posted.

It is easy to switch between various albums and to search for someone's photos

It is easy to switch between various albums and to search for someone’s photos

Interacting With Photos

Conversations are a convenient way of sharing photos and talk about them within the app

Cooliris is not just a mere photo viewer; it lets you interact with the photos and albums you browse. At the top of any set, there’s a direct shortcut to share — several — photos from an album, either via Facebook or Conversation. The latter is an in-app feature that allows you to share pictures with people and notify them by email. If they use Cooliris, they’ll be able to view the photos within the application, comment them and even share their own pictures. If they don’t have the application, they can still open the message and the images in their browser, but won’t be able to participate in the conversation.

Cooliris lets you save pictures locally on your iPad or on Google Drive, no matter which source you open them from. In case you like several pictures from an album, or simply want to transfer them to Google Drive, there is also an option to save images in bulk: simply tap and hold a picture and select the ones you want to save.

Lastly, the app has a built-in Google Image search engine, which combines Google’s great image search functionality with Cooliris‘ eye candy interface and great features. You can therefore browse images in the same fashion as any other album and even save images seamlessly. You can’t, however, share images to Facebook or upload them to Google Drive when using this module, even though you can simply save them locally to share them from another album. Hopefully, this feature will be implemented soon to make sharing easier.

Cooliris comes with built-in support for Google Image Search

Cooliris comes with built-in support for Google Image Search

Limitations

Although using Cooliris is a genuine pleasure, some improvements to the user experience seem to be needed. For instance, while integration with Facebook and Instagram is great, it’s impossible to like photos, no matter if they’re yours or not. There is still an option to open the picture in its native application, but this seems to go against a seamless and well-integrated experience. What’s even worse is that Cooliris displays the number of likes and comments for a given image, but won’t let you comment or like it!

Another missing feature is the ability to delete photos, no matter where they are. It does make sense that you can’t remove a picture from an album that’s not yours, but Cooliris won’t even let you delete local images! This once again forces you to use another app if you want to get rid of a picture, instead of simply being able to do it from the application.

There are other minor annoyances that the developers should look at. The first one is more of an inconsistency, as Cooliris lets you search for people, but won’t display a search field when viewing someone’s albums — even yours. This means you have to manually scroll down through a list to locate the album you’re looking for. Lastly, even though the app lets you post content to Facebook, it doesn’t let you neither add a caption to the photo nor tag people that might be on the picture, further damaging the user experience.

Conclusion

Despite a few shortcomings, Cooliris is an excellent photo viewer that comes with a bunch of useful options. Not only does the app look great, it’s smooth, responsive and easy to use. In short, it’s the best way to view photos and to impress your friends!

The application is still relatively young, and the great team of developers are very responsive and eager to receive user feedback. Hopefully, they’ll work on the points that annoyed me and get even closer to perfection.


Summary

Gather your photos from many online and offline sources in a single beautiful app with Cooliris. You can even save content locally and share pictures with your friends straight from the app.

9

Comments are closed.