Simple Gallery Pro for Android is a local Google Photos alternative
Simply Gallery Pro is a free photo management application for Google Android devices that works well as a replacement for Google Photos, provided that sync functionality is not required.
I'm in the process of replacing Google's default applications on Android with alternatives that are better for privacy. While there is not always an app available that matches all functionality, a good application is usually available.
Google Photos is the default photos management app on many Android devices. It is convenient to use, and supports the syncing of photos and videos with Google's online photo storage service. Users may have privacy concerns, or prefer to use local applications that don't contact remote servers at all. If you fall into the category, you may be interested in trying out Simply Gallery Pro.
Simple Gallery Pro for Android
Despite its Pro in the name, it is a free app for Android that runs locally on the device, at least when you download it from F-Droid. The Google Play version costs $1.09 and helps fund development. You may also donate to the developer to help fund development of the apps.
It is a photo management application with photo editing options and some interesting features added on top of the core functionality.
You can grab it from F-Droid or from Google Play; the app has zero trackers and requires some permissions to work correctly. The application opens quickly on the device and displays the local media in folders such as Camera, Screenshots, Whatsapp Images, or Download. Each folder displays the most recent image as the thumbnail image. As far as image and video file support is concerned, it supports major formats including JPEG, PNG, MP4, MKV, SVG and others.
A search is provided to find files quickly, and you may also use filters to display only certain types in the interface. New folders are created from the menu and you may use these to better manage the media on the device.
The recycle bin is displayed by default, but you may hide it. It may be used to recover accidentally deleted photos or videos.
A tap on a folder lists all media in columns in the interface. One great feature of Simple Gallery Pro is the ability to increase or decrease the column size. Instead of displaying three columns with images or videos, you can use the increase option to display five or ten columns at once and thus lots of image or video thumbnails without scrolling.
Simple Gallery Pro displays quite a few options when you select multiple images. Open the menu to run the following operations on the selection:
- Copy or Move To
- Set As
- Add to favorites
- Fix Date taken value
- Select all
The options make common operations such as moving, deleting, or rotating a breeze, as it takes just a few taps to run the operations.
A tap on an image or video displays it immediately, and you may then use swipe actions to flip to the next or previous one. You can delete individual media or multiple items by selecting them in one operation, use share functionality, favorite images, or open the built-in image editor to edit the image. The editor supports the usual options, e.g. rotate, resize or filters, but not advanced options.
You can look up detailed information of images, e.g. EXIF values or original resolution, create slideshows, or use the built-in hiding option to protect media on the device. Photos and videos that you hide may be protected with a pin, pattern or fingerprint scanner, and you may furthermore protect the app in its entirety or on some of its feature, e.g. to only allow deletions if the pin is entered successfully.
Simple Gallery Pro is an excellent photos management app for Android devices. Users who don't require syncing, or get their syncing from another app, may want to give it a try. It is easy to use yet powerful enough to manage lots of photos and videos on Android devices.
Now You: which photos app do you use on your devices?
1) it’s not free. it’s $1.09. almost free is not the same as free.
I downloaded and installed from F-Droid, there it is free. I update the article to clarify.
One can also download the Releases from the developer’s GitHub repository for the software:
1) it’s not free, it’s 1.09. Almost free is not free.
2) that’s all. thanks
It is free on F-Droid.
“Despite its Pro in the name, it is a free app for Android that runs locally on the device.”
It doesn’t show as free to me. It appears on my google play store as costing a bit over one dollar. Super reasonable for sure, but not free.
Maybe it only appears for free in certain regions, or for certain phone models?
there are 2 versions. F-droid version is 100% open source and free. Play store version is not free (pro version) and has some closed source tools.
Funnily enough, I also recently started using some of these Simple apps and replaced some default Android apps, so far I’m liking them, the only thing that’s somewhat annoying is that orange color combined with that dark gray, not really ideal, but they work fine.
Yeah I’m also in the same boat as I started using these apps recently, and they are totally worth the asking price though not from from Google Play(evil Google taking 30% of every purchase).
There is an option to change App theme as well as App icon colour to your liking.
I’ve been using this app for quite some time and I’m all satisfied with it.
Really great app! Superduper!
I agree that Simple Gallery Pro is excellent. I use it together with Google Photos, because sometimes it’s nice to be able to view local files only. One use case is if you hand your phone to your kid to look at photos, but don’t want them to use up your mobile data. :)
The developer has created a full suite of open source apps. See here for more info:
Note that the developer is trying to earn enough money from these apps to allow him to work on them full time. Therefore the apps are not “free” if you download them from the Play store. They are still very inexpensive though. And they are available for free on F-Droid.
If you like the apps, please consider donating to the developer. There are multiple ways to do it:
* Purchase apps through the Play store
* Purchase the “Simple Thank You” app via the Play store
* Donation links at simplemobiletools.com
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the developer, I just appreciate his work and I hope development will continue.
Thanks for the hint might give it a try, I have tried F-Stop and seems quite ok too.
“I’m in the process of replacing Google’s default applications on Android with alternatives that are better for privacy” That line is just perfect.
Sadly Play Games doesn’t have an alternative but apart from that there are very good alternatives for every Google app.
The Pro version is free in F-Droid but not in Google Play? That’s odd! :(
+1 for Simple Gallery Pro, it’s a very capable photo manager app with an extensive feature list. Be sure to delve into the app’s Settings menu to customize and optimize it to suit your needs. Along with the editing features, there are a lot of options to tweak the user interface too.
Simple Mobile Tools, its developer and maintainer, has a number of other really good, also ad-free apps too (i.e. file manager, phone dialer, calendar, etc.)
I’d recommend the other programs made by this developer, including simple file manager. If it loads my giant music folder in 1/4 the time of other file managers it must be doing something right.
I like and use Gallery nearly every day.
I use Simple Mobile Tools for everything on my phone. No ads and open source.
Simple Gallery Pro takes more time to load storage photos, also takes so much time if I go through thousands of pictures, plus it’s buggy & laggy too.
I prefer QuickPic Gallery (WxT). It’s fast & fluid. UI is also as same as like Simple Gallery Pro. And it’s more convenient.
Simple Mobile Tools are open source and are available on GitHub. The F-Droid version is crippled compared to the Play store and GitHub versions, also F-Droid always has an old version on offer sometimes taking WEEKS to publish the latest one. So yeah, Simple Mobile Tools are generally great, I really appreciate what the developer is trying to do so of course his hard work should be rewarded by purchasing his apps. We all have bills to pay you know.. That being said, I do not think all of the apps are worth money, simply because they are not quite “there” yet, there are too many apps and I think the developer can’t quite keep up maintaining them and developing them all. However, Simple gallery Pro is probably his flagship app, deservedly so, and really is the best one you can get your hands on. This is also something many con-artists have noticed, the Google Play Store is filled with many gallery apps that are just taken from Simple Gallery GitHub and slapped on a new icon, changed the default colours and shoved full of advertising. Many of those “stolen” apps still feature in “best gallery apps for Android”-lists year after year which is absurd..A while back some of this was halted due to the fact that the developer included a new picture editor which was not free for him, so the stolen versions on Google Play do not have the new editor and you can clearly see that all of them haven’t been updated for a while =) Nice move I say! In conclusion: The developer of Simple Mobile Tools is doing a great job that we all benefit from, so please consider buing at least one of them so that he can keep doing this. It would suck bigtime if he couldn’t.
Check out some of the stolen and repacked ones here https://www.reddit.com/r/SimpleMobileTools/comments/csfw00/help_us_getting_rid_of_fake_clones_of_simple/
People have no shame.
I have been using Simple Gallery Pro since it was actually free and have donated (buying the “Thank You”) to support a good dev.
Simple gallery is pretty good. I managed to get a free copy from him at the time as I had been using the free version long before the release of the pro version. The developer was pretty cool about launching a Pro version by allowing existing user to update for free to the Pro version. One could have simply downloaded the free one at the time and then taken advantage of the free Pro license so I can’t really fault him on that.
I do feel like it needs a bit of work but at least it is an ongoing project. I do use QuickPic Gallery (WxT) and have been for some time now and agree with what the person above said however it is limited to what can be done to it as the developer does not have access to the source code to make those changes so its pretty much limited. Small things about it annoy me like the lack of ability to loop video playback but that is not the mod developers fault.
It is a really smooth app though and I still enjoy it.
Good to see another Android Smartphone Related Article!
I also use and love the Simple Mobile Tools Apps!
I have most of them.
And use the Gallery every single day!
A few tips and thoughts on it…
– – –
“… increase or decrease the column size. Instead of displaying three columns…”
Works for Both the Folders view and the Thumbnails in a Folder!
Further those settings are Independent between Portrait and Landscape mode!
(Max Customization! Gotta love it!)
You can also have it display as little as just 1 Column for Graphics! (or Folders.)
Can be handy and helpful for Comparing Closeby Graphics!
Doing this looks and works kind of like a Filmstrip.
Access from Menu.
Or Pinch and Unpinch!
(Your fingers on the screen silly! Not the person next to you! :)
– – –
“Each folder displays the most recent image as the thumbnail image.”
Alternatively this Cool Feature:
“Change Cover Image”.
You can Set a Specific Graphic to Always Display for Any Folder!
Even the Recycle Bin!
I create and edit many small graphics for this purpose.
It’s easiest if you place the graphic in the folder.
Tho you don’t have to. You can browse to a graphic in any folder and use it as cover image for the selected folder.
How To Tip: Do Not open the folder. Rather, at the Folders View long press to select one folder, then go to the Menu and select “Change Cover Image”.
– – –
“The recycle bin is displayed by default, but you may hide it. It may be used to recover accidentally deleted photos or videos.”
Careful! – This Recycle Bin ONLY works for Graphics Deleted in and using Simple Mobile Tools Gallery!
I further suggest that you do Not trust it beyond a few minutes!
Ie: Don’t “Store” graphics in it for hours or days.
In my testing (over a few years) I occasionally find the graphics it to have disappeared. With no action taken on my part.
Its pretty rare. Tho eventually always seems to happen.
Of course I just leave a few unimportant graphics in it for kicks. Long term testing.
However (hold onto your hats)…
This Recycle Bin allows an interesting workaround for the Undesirable Android File Modified Date & Time behavior when Moving Files!
(imnsho: Incompetent! Negligent! Known for Decades among some operating systems!)
Aka: Lack of File Date & Time Preservation when Moving Files!
Android follows in the footsteps of Windows, and iirc MS-Dos, in Changing/Updating a File’s Date & Time to the present one upon Moving it!
On Android this Wreaks Havoc (especially) for Management of Graphics & Photos!
The most common and user-friendly method for Displaying them is by File Date & Time, or for Jpegs, by the “Taken/Captured” Date & Time.
Eg: On my phone the Pre-installed Gallery app only has (allows) One Combined Sort Method:
> By Jpeg Date & Time (if a jpeg, and if it has those in it).
> By File Date & Time for all other supported graphic formats.
(Note1: I know, on Windows it Varies… Might preserve them when moving on the same drive and partition, etc? Tho it’s still far from perfect. Last I used it anyway. And then there is Copying!… Another Can of Worms!)
(Note2: On my Phone with Android 7 Nougat I can find no Separate “File Modified” and “File Created” Date & Time.
It seems to only have one of them!
Even when looking at the phone thru a computer, if they do appear, they are the same. Much the same for a Memory Card used in the Phone!)
The Workaround (finally! :o)
Use SMT Gallery to selectively Delete and Immediately Restore certain Graphics to create the order you want for them.
The Dates & Times will be Reset to what they are when you Restore the Graphics.
Restore them Separately for Fine-tuned Times.
The Dates & Times will be very close to each other for graphics you do in one sitting. Tho this can be better than having them scattered Amok Time! :)
Best to keep up on this regularly. The longer you wait, the further they will be from the original date & time.
Cautionary Tail (wagging):
You are taking a bit of a chance in doing this!
If something goes wrong you could Lose whatever graphics you are messing with.
I personally do Not do it with Any Graphics or Photos that are Important to me!
I typically only do it for some of the Plethora of Screenshots I take of Informative Webpages (did someone say Ghacks! :), and of install info screens for Apps (eg: in F-Droid and Aurora Store), and for Phone & App Settings, etc, etc.
– – –
“The editor supports the usual options, e.g. rotate, resize or filters, but not advanced options.”
“Playstore version is not free (pro version) and has some closed source tools.”
The Google(!) Playstore version has a Proprietary (Non-Open Source) Graphics Editor!
It is More Powerful.
(I don’t know if there is other Non-OSS stuff in it, as implied above.)
Decide for yourself how you feel about this.
– – –
Simple Mobile Tools Gallery…
“No ads and open source.”
In fact: No Internet and Network Permissions at all!
– – –
On the other hand, for those that don’t fully understand Open Source keep in mind, when looking into and installing, that any OSS Developer / App Could still:
Charge Money for the app.
Track, ie: Spy! (Tho I suspect much, most?, of this stuff would not be compatible with OSS.)
Contain “Analytics! Potential for Tracking/Spying. (Tho again there is the question of it being OSS.)
Contain Ads. (At least of a sort?)
Access Non-OSS Websites, Servers, or Services. (Ironic, I know.)
Many OSS Developers are opposed to some of these things, esp Tracking & Spying, Ads, and do not do them. However… they could! And a few do do them. :)
Free Open Source Software is tricky to understand! To learn (and teach) just exactly what it is, means, does, and can do.
– – –
Photography buff I assume. :o)
Lol! “F-droid” is Great! I love it.
And for those wanting to use the Google Playstore withOut Registration, and the extra tracking from that, see on F-Droid the app named:
And to decrease Tracking & Spying consider Netguard firewall app.
(Free version available on F-Droid.)
Uses the Android VPN function.
Creates a _Simulated_ VPN to Block Apps from connecting to the Internet! It does NOT connect to any actual VPN website or server! That is not the purpose of Netguard.
(Note that on Android you can only have one VPN, real or simulated, running at the same time.)
I’ve no affiliation with… anything.
I’m a figment of your imagination. :p
– – –
This was furiously written off the top of my head right after reading the article and comments. I apologize for any possible mistakes.
Sorry for the long post.
Hank in Tennessee
What nobody mentioned is you can also use Play Store and F-Droid/Github versions together and blend them for different tasks, they won’t overwrite each other. The developer has changed icon layouts frequently, so I prefer an old Play Store version as my workhorse and a more recent F-Droid build for editing.
F-Stop Gallery has hierarchical browsing capabilities that most Android image browsers lack (including Simple Gallery), less headache-inducing for people with lots of folders and images. Plus advanced tagging, precise zoom levels and capability to hide the UI completely for screenshots.
Both can handle very large files.