Smartphone cameras have come a long way. In fact, some business users now use Android smartphones to snap photos for promotion purposes and other marketing material. Thing is, you can wind up with a vast amount of photos saved on your device — so many that they become hard to find. However, thanks to apps like Impala, finding images should never again be a problem.
Impala is one of those apps you use and think "Wow, how does it know?" With a built-in camera app, Impala tags photos as you take them. I tested this out, and Impala quickly and correctly tagged:
Impala is one of the more impressive apps I've tried in a while. It does what you expect it to do — specifically, it helps you tag your photos so that they're easier to locate. With that said, let's install and use this app to see if it just what you've been looking for to keep that ever-growing collection of company photos in check.
Note that Impala does not alter your photos, nor are they stored on a server. You won't notice any difference when you view the photos — only how the photos are sorted and saved.
The installation procedure is simple. Just follow these steps:
- Open the Google Play Store on the device
- Search for Impala
- Locate and tap the entry for Impala (by Euvision Technologies BV)
- Tap Install
- Read the permissions list
- If you agree with the permissions list, tap Accept
- Allow the installation to complete
Once it's installed, you'll find the app launcher within the app drawer (and, depending on your device, the home screen). Tap the launcher to open the app.
Using Impala is simple — like using the built-in camera app. You point and click. As you take the photo, you'll notice tags appearing in the upper left corner. I did notice the #hands tag appearing more often than not.
The main window has two buttons: Shoot and Find (Figure A).
Impala running on a Verizon-branded HTC M8.
To take a picture, tap the Shoot button, and you'll find yourself viewing at a fairly standard camera app. The key to using Imapala is to frame the photo and give the app a second to figure out the best tag. Once you see the proper tag, snap the photo (Figure B).
Correct photo tagging with Impala.
Once you've taken a photo, tap your device back button to get to the main window. From there, tap the Find button. Here you'll see all of your photos categorized into tags (Figure C).
Photos tagged and sorted.
Impala only has a few settings. From the overflow menu (three vertical dots in upper right corner of the main window), tap Settings. In this new window (Figure D), you'll see two sections: SHOOT and FIND.
Impala settings window.
There's one setting that interesting — Pixelate when seeing hands. What this does is pixelate the screen and disable the shutter button when hands are visible. This can be tricky as the app often sees hands (either by shape or color). So, this option is best left out.
Although the tag #hands pops up a lot while taking shots, there isn't a categorization for that tag in the folder structure. I think it's more a warning than anything (probably because peoples' hands so often get in the way of taking photos with smartphones).
If you're tired of having to constantly swipe through a vast array of photos on your smartphone, you should definitely give Impala a try. It's free, and it's amazing at its ability to tag your photos to make them easier to find.
What do you think? Is this an app you could benefit from? Do you use your smartphone camera at work enough to warrant something like this? Sound off in the comments below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.