Galleries is a Windows Phone 8 photography app that will let you build custom photo galleries and generate collages, pin your galleries to your Start Screen and more from the pictures within these galleries.

Need to create a slide show from photos of your kids, Galleries will do just that.  Need to generate a collage of your favorite scenic images, Galleries will do just that. It even has a clock function that transforms your Windows Phone into a digital clock personalized with your own photos.

While Galleries has a lot going for it, there is room for improvement.  Still, it's a nice photography app for your Windows Phone 8 devices that is worth a try.

When you first launch Galleries you are greeted by a blank screen with a "+" button sitting at the bottom of the screen. Up under the three-dot menu you will also find options to rate the app, view the "how to use" screens, and access the app's settings.

Galleries gallery view, gallery page, and collage maker

Galleries settings cover how the gallery tiles react to touch (open gallery, open digital frame or open the clock), lock screen sequencing, digital frame settings, clock settings and viewing an about screen.

To create a gallery, just tap the "+" button, name your gallery and you are ready to start adding photos. The gallery listing on Galleries main page has five options (button controls) that are displayed out besides the thumbnail. The buttons include:

Collage building: The collage builder has eighteen patterns that you can use to build collages from your photos. Images in the collage can be randomly generated or you can tap an image frame to pick your own image. Finished collages can be saved your Saved Pictures folder in your Windows Phone Pictures Hub. Collages can also be shared within the app to your typical Windows Phone sharing outlets (tap+send, messaging, email, SkyDrive, other apps, etc.).

Clock: Galleries has the option to display a digital clock with your images rotating in the background. You can choose to display a collage of images or a single image at a time. This feature turns your Windows Phone into a nice bedside clock that supports landscape or portrait display.

Slide Show: Turn your Windows Phone into a slide show viewer that automatically rotates through all the pictures within a gallery. You can change the interval timing, sequencing, and how the image is displayed (fill screen or uniform) in Galleries settings. This feature turns your Windows Phone into a digital picture frame of sorts.

Lockscreen: If you want Galleries to be your Windows Phone lockscreen utility, tap the button with a padlock on it. This will rotate your lockscreen image from that particular gallery.

Pin: If you want to access your gallery quickly from your Windows Phone Start Screen, just tap the pin button.  The Live Tile will display images from your gallery.

When you enter a particular gallery you will see thumbnail images that populate the gallery. To add a photo, just tap the "+" button at the bottom of the screen and you'll be sent to your Windows Phone Pictures Hub to select your photos. If you need to import multiple images, there's an option beneath the three-dot menu to do just that.

Galleries digital frame and clock settings and clock view

Galleries also has the ability to launch the native Windows Phone camera app to capture a new photo for the gallery. Additional options include the ability to edit (delete) specific images from the gallery, delete the entire gallery and rename the gallery.

The one feature that Galleries lack is the ability to view a single image. Sure you can view your images with the slide show feature but you can tap all day long on an image thumbnail but nothing will happen. It would be nice to be able to view single images and maybe share them from Galleries.  Another minor nit is that while the clock feature can be useful, there is no alarm feature. You'll need to set an alarm through other means.

Lastly, while Galleries is a free app with no ads you will  randomly see a pop-up window appear inviting you to rate the app in the Store. It's a way to give the developer feedback but unless you rate the app, this pop-up window won't go away. I understand the need for feedback and ratings but developers should be able to take no for an answer. The pop-up should time itself out after, say, three "cancel" responses.

When all is said and done, Galleries isn't a bad photography app. It has room for improvement but if you have the need to build galleries that can be used for slide show viewing, collage building and a digital clock...Galleries is worth a try.

Galleries is a free app for Windows Phone 8 that you can pick up here in the Windows Phone Store.

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