If your photos on your cell phone are a confusing jumble you have to scroll through to find the one you want, check out Carousel, a new free app from Dropbox. No more swiping through hundreds of tiny squares to try to find a photo you took three years ago. Carousel organizes your photos and makes sharing with others easy and efficient.
Carousel combines the photos on your phone with those you have stored in Dropbox to present them in an organized display that makes viewing and sharing photos simple.
Carousel is simple to use, just download the app, sign in to your Dropbox account, and give the app permission to access the photos on your device. The app walks you how to use it with a helpful tutorial, guiding you on how to use it. Carousel also has a Help section within Settings that can assist you. Tap on your profile picture in the upper left corner of your screen (it’s a circle with your initials if you haven’t added a profile picture yet) to open Settings.
This video shows you Carousel in action:
If your photos are already synced to Dropbox on your phone, Carousel will load and organize them within a few seconds, even if you have thousands of photos.
If you haven’t enabled automatic photo upload to Dropbox from your phone, loading your photos on to Carousel may take a bit longer. When you first sync Carousel to your Dropbox account, be sure to use Wi-Fi so you don’t blow through your monthly data allotment. You can go to Settings => Backup Options => Wi-Fi Only to restrict Carousel syncing with Dropbox to when you’re connected to Wi-Fi.
Carousel has two key features that make it appealing: organization and sharing.
The longer we own smartphones the more photos we accumulate on them, which makes finding the one you want increasingly challenging. If you’ve ever tried to scroll through years of photo thumbnails on your phone, you know that finding the photo you want is mostly a matter of luck.
Carousel organizes your photos chronologically into groups then gives you a spin wheel at the bottom of your screen so you can easily choose the month and year when the photo was taken. All your photos taken at the same time are arranged into a group with labels for the date and the location where the photo was taken. Being able to search photos according to location would be a handy feature but is not currently available.
Carousel then uses a smile score to figure out which photo has the happiest subjects and enlarges that one in the group.
Carousel also makes sharing your photos simple, whether you want to share one or multiple photos. When you’re viewing photos in groups, tap on any photo you want to share and a check will appear. You can also tap the share icon next to the date of the group to share all photos from that group.
When you’re viewing an individual photo in Carousel you can swipe up on the photo to share it.
The app allows unlimited sharing via email, text message, Facebook, and Twitter. Tap on the three dots to the right of the name space and you will see the available sharing options appear.
You can share as many photos and videos from Carousel as you want, without limitations on size that usually apply for email attachments. Carousel lets you share photos with others even if they do not have a Dropbox account.
If someone you’ve shared with responds to you, the conversation will appear on Carousel. You can continue conversations with an individual or a group on Carousel as new responses appear in the app. If friends send you a photo in Carousel you can add the photo to your app and it will automatically save to your Dropbox as well.
Since Carousel includes all of your photos stored in Dropbox, you may want to, ahem, hide some photos before you start showing off the app to everyone. (That picture of you and your ex you never got around to deleting would be a good candidate for the Hide feature.) Tap on a photo to open it and then swipe down to hide it from view in Carousel.
The photos you hide won’t be deleted from your Dropbox account. If you change your mind and want to show off your hidden pictures or want to keep track of which pictures you’ve hidden, don’t worry, they’re not gone forever from Carousel.
Tap on Hidden Photos and Videos to reveal what you’ve hidden. I’m thinking this setting might get passcode protection in a future version of the app…
What Else You Need to Know
Carousel is linked to your Dropbox account so the size of your photo and video files in Carousel is limited by the available space in your Dropbox.
The Carousel app is available for free for:
The app is not currently available for the iPad.
Carousel is only available via an app, not on your computer, though Shared photos may be viewed on a computer.
Have you ever struggled to find a photo on your phone? Do you like the idea of instantly organizing your photos? What features would you like to see in Carousel? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!