Syncing Photos with Android

Today, I learned that the 'stock' android gallery is actually a Google App. There's an open-source version that doesn't include picassa photo syncing. I learned this because, in Jellybean the gallery and camera are actually one app and since Cyanogenmod 10 makes changes to the camera, they don't/can't include the picassa syncing in the gallery. This makes me sad because I have a buttload of pictures on picassa. Pictures are generally small enough that you don't notice that you're downloading them as you browse through your gallery.

Rather than bitch about this, I thought I'd offer a constructive idea: a photo syncing API. Just like contact syncing, flikr and instagram could create folders in your gallery. This way, the gallery couldremain open-source and picassa (or just Google+, c'mon kill it already) could just be a proprietary app that adds picassa photos to the gallery. They'd even have a little icon to indicate where the gallery is from, while still being collected in one place. Like this, sort of: Android21-gallerystacks_medium

You can see that on-device pictures have a folder icon, while picassa pictures have a picassa icon, though really, you don't care or notice where a picture is stored when you want to look at it. Even app specific on-device photos (like the ones cranked out by Afterfocus or Perfectly Clear) could use these branding badges.

If google builds this type of integration in, it might stop OEMs from making thier own truly evil gallery apps. I remember Blur had some cool integration options, but it was an absolute nightmare to actually use. For the user this could be as simple as checking a checkbox during app setup:

  • Sync Contacts
  • Sync Photos

All we would need is devs to build the function into their apps, like contact syncing *coughFacbookcough