Sure, your smartphone comes with its own photo management app–but that doesn’t mean it’s the best photo app for you. We found three alternative photo managers that make your Android or iOS stock photo app look like yesterday’s news.
Tidy (Android, iOS)
There’s a lot to like about Tidy. First of all, it’s free, so the price can’t hold you back. And it works on iOS and Android devices, so neither side can complain about feeling left out. And it’s a slick, simple solution for organizing the hundreds or even thousands of photos you have stored on your phone.
Tidy relies on the metadata attached to your photos to organize them for you. It will create albums based on the metadata automatically, but if you’re a control freak like me, you can decline this option and create albums on your own. Tidy uses filters to sort your photos, and the handy menu lets you decide which photos to see. You can group them by photo shape, location, date, distance, or more, and then can swipe to create an album or to archive the photos if you so desire.
I like that Tidy makes things easy to customize, as you can quickly add or delete photos from going into any album you create. I also like that this last step is optional; Tidy makes it easy to pull out the photos you want to see at any time, without requiring you to store them in a specific folder.
Once your albums are created, Tidy displays the photos in a fun collage-style display, but you can easily swipe through them, too, or change the style of the display to a more standard 3- or 4-column design. You also can change the theme, though the only available choice as of this writing was a Dark, a “cool and relaxed design” that was available as a 99 cent in-app purchase.
Tidy makes it easy to share individual photos via email, MMS, or social media, but, unfortunately, it’s not as easy to share entire albums. This feature would make Tidy, already a very useful photo tool, a must-have.
QuickPics Photo Manager (iOS)
One of the most frustrating aspects of the built-in iOS photo manager is how hard it can be to find a specific photo that you just know is in there–buried beneath thousands of others. That’s where QuickPics Photo Manager can help. This free, iOS-only app (an Android version is in the works) helps you organize your photos, but you have to do most of the work.
QuickPics automatically arranges photos by date. You can add tags and names to the pictures so that they’re easier to find. This can be time-consuming if you want to give different names to thousands of photos, but QuickPics does let you select batches of photos and tag them all at once. Once your photos are tagged and named, you can easily search for them within the app, or sort and view them by tag.
QuickPics also includes a camera for snapping photos, and a photo editor, which allows you to do some work on the photos you’ve already taken. You can crop, enhance, and adjust the colors in your photos, or apply fun effects, like filters, focus areas, stickers, text, and more.
Individual photos can be shared via MMS, email, or social media, or uploaded to the cloud, via Dropbox, Google, or iCloud. Unfortunately, batches of photos can only be uploaded to the cloud or printed, not shared directly with another person. QuickPics photo manager isn’t as automatic as Tidy, requiring you to put a little more work into organizing your photos. But investing your time results in a photo collection that’s well organized according to your own specifications.
QuickPic (Android, iOS)
It’s easy to see why you might confuse QuickPic, a free, Android-only app for managing photos with QuickPics Photo Manager, the free, iOS-only app for managing your photos. The similarities, after all, go beyond the name. Both of these apps are comprehensive solutions for organizing even the most sizable collections of snapshots. Both offer photo editing tools with some fun features, such as filters and other effects. And both let you share photos via cloud services like Google Drive and social networks like Google+.
The Android version of QuickPic, however, lacks some of the fine-tuned photo management features that its similarly named iOS rival offers. QuickPic doesn’t let you add tags and names to photos, and its sorting features are limited because of this. You can sort photos by moments, but not by location or other criteria, as you can with Tidy. I do like how QuickPic neatly organizes your photos into folders, though, requiring no work from you.
I also like some of QuickPic’s additional features, like the fact that it displays your pictures beautifully, in full resolution. And how you can set pictures as private to hide them from view. And how you can share photos easily via WiFi or using photo services like Picasa. With all of these features available, it’s hard to think of a reason why you’d rely on Android’s stock photo manager instead.
Liane Cassavoy is a veteran technology and business journalist. She contributes regularly to PCWorld and has written about business issues and products for Entrepreneur Magazine and other publications. She is the author of two business start-up guides published by Entrepreneur Press.