August 14, 2010 | by Lars Aronsson
Would you use an app that just moves pictures across your screen? It probably doesn’t sound that enticing, but Floating Image may surprise you. It’s a gallery application that gathers photos stored locally on your SD card, and it can collect pictures from various web feeds as well, such as Flickr, Picasa and Facebook. The app then makes these images float gently across your display, while an effect is applied to give the impression that some pictures are farther away than others.
You can speed up the photo stream by flicking the screen, and you may scroll back and forward as you please. If you want to get a closer look at an image, just tap on it. You can then longpress the picture to visit its source, set it as your homescreen wallpaper, save it to the SD card or share the image URL. When you have zoomed in on an image, the stream keeps flowing in the background, which is a nice touch.
There are traditional slideshow transitions available in addition to the photo stream: crossfade, slide vertical/horizontal and fade to black, to name a few. However, these display modes come across as dull compared to the stream, and I don’t know why you would want to use them. To make sure there’s a steady flow of photos, the app caches images on your memory card by default.
What I enjoy most about Floating Image is its ability to show the Flickr Top 500 (Explore) photo stream. It’s a serene way to discover interesting photos from all over the world. These images usually have captions, and they’re displayed when you tap on a picture. In this regard, Floating Image can give you a glimpse into other people’s lives, by showing their photographs; memories and moments captured on film. If you give free rein to your imagination, the app can actually provide an experience close to visiting an exhibition – but instead of looking at pictures on a wall, they float across your Android’s screen.
Unless you have a fast Internet connection, a downside with Floating Image is that it may take a while before the app has collected an adequate amount of images: there are generally just a few pictures in the stream at first, and they are shown over and over. Floating Image is not meant to replace your standard gallery app, but it can prove to be an interesting, and as far as I know rather unusual, complement.
- Beautiful interface
- Shows a stream of photos in 3-D
- Can grab images from the Flickr Explore feed
- It takes a while for the app to gather pictures
- Two major bugs on the HTC Desire: the Facebook/Picasa feeds don’t work
App: Floating Image