Developer: Christoph Arnold
Price: $4.99
Version: 3.2
App Reviewed on: iPad

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

When it comes to viewing photos on the iPhone, well, it has been a fairly hands off approach. Most apps have you loading up photos, setting up some transitions, and that is about all there is to it. Time to change all of that with a new way of viewing photos: your own personal art gallery. At least that is what 3D Gallery is looking to accomplish.

Firing up 3D Gallery for the first time will almost instantly give you the idea this is not a normal photo-viewing app as you start in a 3D room with a few menus. This is where I would suggest the first thing you do is go into the help menu, as this will give you a greater understanding of how to setup the wealth of galleries you are about to embark on setting up.

There are three galleries to choose from, and each gallery has multiple rooms. Each of these rooms is unique not only in structure, but also in presentation and how many photos you may have hanging on the walls. Some rooms enjoy colorful ambient lighting, while other portray an open, and airy, outdoor setting. Navigating from room to room happens by “walking” through the doors that separate them via a virtual directional pad. To look around, just drag a finger around the screen to move your virtual head. The controls are intuitive, and almost immediately comprehendible.

Putting photos into each room is just a matter of a few taps. Hit the menu button to select the gallery you want to work in, which photo set you want to edit, and what course of action you will take. The editing option will allow you to move, resize, and rotate images with ease. You may edit multiple images just by double tapping on them. The picking option is used to replace the default-loaded images with images from your photo library. Those who want to fully load a room with photos have the option of just picking photos and letting the software decide where to put each photo. Finally, the viewing option allows you to walk from room to room, tapping on images to blow them up to a full screen view.

3D Gallery packs in a few more fun options outside simply hanging your works of art on virtual walls. Some rooms come with a picture frame that cycles images based on what you have hanging on that rooms walls. While this is a small touch, it is a welcome addition to overly abundant static images. Those who want to put up more risqué photos in your galleries can password protect the app for that added bit of security. It would have been nice to password protect specific galleries, but at least there is some form of protection.

This is a great start to changing how photos might be viewed, but it is not without a gripe. It is fun to walk around a gallery, but many of the walls feel like apartment white paint is coming into style. The outdoor scenes also feel as though they are simple backdrop ripped from FPS games like Doom. These sub-par textures do dwindle the overall experience some due to the overall odd feeling they put into some rooms.

3D Gallery is ultimately a unique and immersive way to display your photos. If you are like me and use your phone as a make-shift photo album, this is a great way to let people view your images in your own art gallery, minus all the need of playing dress up. Those of you who fit into this photo-centric category, this is well worth picking up.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Photography, Reviews

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