April 15, 2024

I tested Fossify Gallery to see if it is the perfect replacement for Simple Gallery

By now, you’ve probably heard of the purchase of Simple App Tools, a former open source editor that provided an entire library of brilliant apps that worked as alternatives to standard stock options on any Android device, one of which was the popular Simple Gallery app. It was originally free and provided an incredible upgrade to your standard gallery app, with superior image browsing, identification, editing, and sharing settings. But then the purchase happened and users woke up to find a price tag and title change on their beloved app, Simple Gallery Pro.

The single app has been split into two: one containing all the features and conveniences of the original app behind a paywall and a stripped-down free version. While former Simple Gallery users are understandably angry about Simple App Tool’s move toward paid services, others have stepped up to fill the void left by the original Simple Gallery. Fossify Gallery is an imitation that ticks all the boxes.

Source: Fossify

Fossify Gallery is a high-quality fork (copy) of the original Simple Gallery created by Naveen Singh, a former Simple Mobile Tools developer. This separate entity provides an intuitive interface and features similar to the original Simple Gallery, with a few new ones thrown in for good measure. This is just one of several forks created by Fossify to emulate the experiences that Simple App Tools used to provide, including a file manager, SMS messaging, music player, and more. After testing the app for a long time, I can confirm that Fossify Gallery hits the same notes as the OG, presenting a convenient and intuitive interface for browsing images.​​

In short, gallery apps isolate the image files stored on your device and compile them into a single interface designed specifically for them. Common features include:

  • ✅ An efficiently designed interface to explore the various image folders stored on your device.
  • ✅ A search engine to find a specific item or folder, skipping the tedious manual search.
  • ✅ A useful set of photo and video editing features that allows you to change the shape, size, color and content of an image.
  • ✅ An extensive menu of useful settings designed to make your experience more personalized, in addition to maximizing the efficiency of the application according to your preferences.

Simple App Tools Hero

Simple Gallery and Fossilfy Gallery are very similar in terms of aesthetics and features, but they differ in a few factors. The two apps offer identical interfaces and photo editing options and the same items in their Settings menus, except for one slightly strange omission: the language indication. This option does nothing when you tap it and simply displays the language the app is currently using. But it also borders on redundancy, since you have to change the language manually in your settings and therefore you already know the language the app uses. This feature is also present in the free version of Simple Gallery, but not in Fossify. That’s not to say my experience with Fossify Gallery has been perfect; I found a couple of oddities while using it.

One aspect that could work better in Fossify Gallery is the subfolder mechanic, which frequently crashed and refused to create folders within other folders, making proper organization a pain. I also encountered a strange issue in the pictures folder menu, where the app insisted that my “Screenshots” folder didn’t exist, but this was only an issue on an older device. These issues aren’t deal breakers, but they do sour the experience a bit.

Fossify Gallery outshines other gallery apps available on the Play Store in terms of convenience, providing instant access to your recent images, an option to toggle image text labels, and allowing you to seamlessly switch between your entire image library and your folder library. images. I found switching between these quite useful for searching and re-tagging vacation photos, something I had almost stopped doing elsewhere. You don’t need to worry if you’re not familiar with other gallery apps besides the standard version; The Fossify Gallery layout can be obtained very quickly by playing with it casually.

Given Fossify’s open source status, you can literally dig into the code yourself. Additionally, the app development plan depends on user feedback, allowing developers to focus on the most important issues first, the ones that are important to users. So if you use Fossify Gallery and encounter any problems, be sure to voice them because the strong community support gives this platform a lot of possibilities. Simple Gallery’s quality is largely due to it being open source, giving users a liberating experience that emphasizes autonomy and privacy, all for free. The Fossify fork maintains the quality of Simple Gallery Pro, with the welcome reintroduction of the community-moderated aspect, free of top meddlers. Fossify also protects your gallery data with three optional security checkpoints: opening the app, viewing hidden items, and manipulating files. This puts you in charge of your images, evading external threats.

As for the future of Fossify, we know that the app is connected to a number of similar open source forks, so it appears to be in good hands. Development on this particular fork started very quickly and has been steady since early last December, maintained by people with a history of programming with Simple Mobile Tools and other services like Tensorflow. However, because so few people manage the fork and it relies so heavily on community support, its future depends on public interest and participation, which can quickly fade. Simple Mobile Tools also exists and while its buyer, ZipoApps, is unlikely to reverse its monetization strategy, it is a similar competitor that is available on the Play Store. There are also concerns that Fossify could one day suffer the same fate as Simple App Tools, sold to the highest bidder. For now, the developer behind Fossify has a Patreon open for donations, but it doesn’t seem to be getting much attention at the time of writing.

promotional image used by fossify

Source: Fossify.org

From what I’ve seen in the short time I’ve been using Fossify Gallery, it’s worth supporting and preserving. It’s a fantastic gallery app that provides all the features you could need to store, share and edit your images and videos, and there are no ads in sight or any monetization. I certainly recommend that Android users check out the Fossify Gallery app and the Fossify fork library in general. You can download the app right now via F-Droid, an open source app launcher designed for Android devices.

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