Have a hundred photos languishing on all your different photo sharing sites? Woven for Android and iOS promises a simple solution. Read on to see our impressions of this free photo browsing app.
**2012 Best Photo App**
Woven for Android, iOS, Nook, and Kindle Fire devices is a free app by developers litl LLC that bills itself as a "delightfully simple photo album viewer." After using the app on both Android and iOS phones (we haven't tried it on iPad, Nook Color, or Kindle Fire), we're certainly inclined to agree.
The premise of Woven is simple: pull all your photos from your phone, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, etc. accounts under one roof in a simple interface that you can easily browse on your phone. Want to show off a great Facebook cover photo, but don't want to bother logging into the bulky Facebook app? Done.
The app doesn't pull in photos from other people's accounts, so Facebook stalkers are still going to have to do the legwork to creep on people. But if you have a bunch of different photography accounts, Woven neatly pulls them all into one stream.
When you first boot up Woven you are given a sparse interface with an invitation to press the small "+" button at the top. This brings you to a screen where you can tap the icons of your favored photo accounts, log in, and let the app do its thing. You can also grab all the photos from your device's camera roll, after which you are prompted to make a Woven account.
The worst problem we found with the initial setup is just remembering all your usernames and passwords (where's the simple-to-use password app?). After that, it's a breeze to navigate, free from the cacophony of buttons and icons that often clutter photography-app interfaces.
Once you load in your various accounts, the hard work is done. The app's main page presents you with all your photo albums stacked vertically, with a title and a little icon in the corner indicating what service they're from. Press an album, and you're given thumbnail views of all the photos in that album. Touch a picture and it will enlarge to fill the screen with all the usual swiping and pinching gestures available to you.
We did find that the app sometimes had trouble pulling down certain photos from Facebook, but that could very well be our connection. Most of our photos were there after just a few seconds and Instagram and Flickr posed no problems. One thing that will be frustrating to many people is the obvious low resolution of Facebook photos, which isn't Woven's fault at all, but something to keep in mind next time you're uploading those dream vacation shots. Shots from our Flickr account were much better, as that site better preserves the photo's native resolution.
All in all we found Woven to be incredibly simple and straightforward. It doesn't have a hundred bells and whistles, but it does one thing and it does it very well. It's free, its design is intelligent and easy to figure out, and for the time being it's definitely our app of choice for organizing and browsing through our many, many online photo albums.