Resco Photo Viewer 7 seems to be a fast study. Just a few weeks ago we reported on the Alpha version being sighted and now Resco has up and released a public Beta version of their popular photo viewer. We were very impressed with the Alpha version ("awesome" according to Maltesta) and unless Resco really dropped the ball the same level of quality is expected with the Beta.
Admittedly, I'm more comfortable with my Canon DSLR and Photoshop but I understand that camera phones and portable image viewing can be equally important tools. I don't always have my digital camera with me but it's rare that I don't have my AT&T Fuze with me. If I need to show a potential client examples of my work or simply need to update a contacts photo, a photo viewer can come in handy. A good, feature rich photo viewer will compliment your camera whether it be a stand alone digital camera or the on-board camera on your phone. To see how well the Resco Photo Viewer 7 Beta measures up to the "awesome" status, follow the break.
The long and short of it
There is a lot to this photo viewer and for those who like to skip to the conclusion, the short version of this review is that Resco Photo Viewer 7 is, just as Maltesta described it, awesome. Even in Beta form, it may very well be the best photo viewer available. The longer version's conclusion doesn't stray far from the short version. It just has a lot more detail.
From the Resco Press Release on Photo Viewer 7 Beta the new features include:
- 3 main User Interfaces:Users operate in 3 main interfaces (Browser, Viewer, Slideshow), each with own rules and options of use.
- 4 main Image Databases: My Documents, Camera Roll, Favorites and My Albums.
- Support for Devices with GPS Module: User is able to add GPS position to any image. The position can be, afterward, located on map (using Google Maps).
- Upload Images straight to Flickr, Facebook, Picasa or Twitter.
Navigation is touch oriented, smooth and responsive. Screen transitions were fast and screen layouts simple, yet effective. On the main page you have the four databases displayed and to the bottom of the screen a menu bar to browse your device, activate the camera, and pull up the menu options for the photo viewer.
As you drift further into the viewer, the menu bar adjusts as necessary adding options such as a "home" icon that sends you back to the main page, "action" icon that allows you to perform image or groups of images actions (e.g. delete, send, upload, rename, etc.) and the "up" icon that returns you to the previous screen.
Keep in mind that this is the BETA version of Photo Viewer 7. It is still a work in progress so glitches, bugs, and crashes can happen. For the most part, the BETA was very stable. I did have two instances where the application locked up while transitioning from thumbnail view back to folder view. Simply closing the application and re-starting things resolved the conflict.
As mentioned, Resco organizes your images into four main databases. Two of the databases are pre-defined and two user defined.
"My Documents" is simply access to any image file that is found in you "My Documents" folder and presents them on a thumbnail page. "Camera Roll" is a collection of images captured and saved by your phone's camera.
"Favorites" is a collection of images folders that you tag as a favorite. You simply browse your phone for image folders and once you settle in on one, tap the menu button and select "add to favorites". The folder will now appear in your "Favorites" database.
"My Albums" appears to be a means to create albums and where you select image folders for the "Favorites" database, you select images for the albums. On the Beta Version, this database is not implemented so we'll leave this one to conjecture.
In tapping on the folder, you pull up the thumbnail views of the images. Through the menu options you can determine the level of information you want to appear with the thumbnails.
At the bottom of the database listings is where you can browse your device for folders containing images. Just below this, on the menu bar, is the browser icon that essentially performs the same function. The key difference seems to be that the icon pulls up a directory tree for your phone while the "browse your device" feature pulls up a menu styled directory for your phone. Seems a little redundant and I would have preferred an additional database (maybe "storage card") listed. Either that or swap the "browse" icon with a "help" icon.
Folders that contain images, will show a representative image on the folder (much like your PC/Mac will) and tapping the folder will pull up a thumbnail view of the images. These images can be viewed in a slide show, individually or edited.
There's not much you can say about the slide show feature. It's a slide show with options that will allow you to customize the transition times, styles, direction and showing image notes with the image.
From the individual view of an image you tap the screen to reveal an overlay that will allow you to edit the image, send the image via email or MMS, upload the image and view the image properties. Resco Photo Viewer 7 supports screen rotation nicely, keeping the overlay's aligned with the photo. Rotation was synced nicely with the Fuze's G-Sensor and there was no lag transitioning between views.
Resco will allow you to do minor adjustments to the image (brightness, contrast, colors, cropping, etc.). In the editing screen you can also upload the image to Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and Picasa as well as emailing the image.
Users can pull up the image properties from the menu button on the individual view screen. The image property screen is essentially the Exchangeable Image File Format information (easier to just say EXIF) that is recorded at the time the photo was taken. The EXIF information includes such information as the file location, date/time the photo was taken, the camera used, and the camera settings.
At the bottom of the image properties screen there is a menu bar that allow you to add notes to the image, scroll back/forwards between images, and pull up menu options which includes tagging the photo with GPS coordinates. These coordinates can be pulled up on Google Maps directly from the Photo Viewer.
While still in Beta, the Resco Photo Viewer 7 is a very impressive application and is a comprehensive tool for the management, viewing and sharing of your photographs.
The Beta application was fairly stable with very few bugs evident. The album feature was disabled so I'm a little curious what all that will entail and there wasn't any help references present. Navigation was a piece of cake with screen transitions smooth and fast.
I can't think of a single Windows Mobile phone that doesn't come with a pre-installed photo viewer. So why go with a third party application at a cost? Comparing it with the native photo viewer on my AT&T Fuze, Touchflo 3D doesn't allow you to edit photos or upload to Facebook. You can manage your images with your file explorer but you can't tag your favorite folders and you can't create albums.
If you have a need for managing, viewing and sharing your images from your Windows Mobile phone, Resco Photo Viewer 7 compliments photography very well and is definitely worth considering when the production copy becomes available. Until then, you can enjoy the Beta version by downloading it here.