Thanks to the advent of digital cameras, the experience of shooting and sharing photos has become so effortless and inexpensive. Mobile phone cameras make the entire process of capturing important life moments further more convenient. However, at the end of the day we end up with a whole bunch of images and sharing them all becomes a painful task.
Email attachments are way too clumsy. Facebook and Twitter are way too open. The solution lies somewhere in the middle. That’s where LiveShare comes in. LiveShare makes it quick and easy for groups to share photos live either privately or publicly. Ready to take it for a spin?
LiveShare makes it easy for you and your friends to snap photos at parties, picnics and other social events and share them all in one place, in real time. With this app installed, you don’t have to sift through emails, social networks and photo sites to see everyone’s photos. There is also a companion web app that lets you create and view photo streams from your desktop too. LiveShare is a free download and is compatible with devices running Android 2.1 and up.
Ease of Use
What makes LiveShare more compelling is the fact that you don’t have to be a registered user to start sharing photos with friends and family (or that’s the impression they create). From the launch screen, you can sign up for or log in to your LiveShare account, or just start sharing right away. The app lets you share existing images, or you can share images you shoot with the built in camera.
But once I chose an image to upload, I was asked to log in to complete my action. Not cool, guys. So to avoid the nag screen, I decided to sign up from the app itself. Thankfully it was quick and simple and I was taken straight to the public photo stream.
Creating a Photo Stream
The user interface of the app is refined and clutter free. This being a photo sharing app, it must have been hard for developers not to give in to the temptation of drowning the user with a flood of images. Instead there is just a row of images from the public stream at the top, with comment and sharing icons, indicating what the app is capable of.
These images from the public stream are updated in realtime. Tap on a public stream to view all the open streams in chronological order. I discovered a lot of cool collections, but noticed that more than half of the streams were created by the LiveShare team themselves!
You can create a new closed photo stream on the fly from your phone or the web app and invite anyone you wish to add photos into your stream, comment and more. If you try to create a personal stream, the familiar Choose Sources screen will pop up. I chose to go with existing images from my albums.
All the albums are promptly listed and you are asked to choose a single item to add to the stream. Give the stream a name and start adding people who should be have access to it. As you start typing, names from your contact list will start showing up. From that list, you can choose those who can see images from this stream. Invites can be sent via SMS or email.
On other hand, if you plan to make the stream visible to everyone, just check the Make this stream Public option. Create as many streams as you like for groups, big or small. Each stream can be seen only by friends you invite and those your friends invite.
What good is an image stream without funny banter? Your friends have to just tap on the image in the stream to pass a comment. Those who have access to the photo stream can vote on the images too! And you don’t even have to check each and every image for a comment or a vote. From the home screen, you can keep an eye on the number of votes and comments each image of yours has received so far.
For some reason, I couldn’t download this free app from the Android Market or from AppBrain. I was shown a “device not compatible” notice even though my Wildfire is running Android 2.2. So I got around them by downloading an APK, which worked perfectly! If there are any restrictions imposed wouldn’t it be appropriate to let users know why they aren’t allowed to download the app?
Not being able to upload multiple images at the same time is another major irritant. Making users go through multiple steps to add images to a stream takes the user experience level a few notches down. Besides that, LiveShare is a fun and easy way for groups to share photos around any topic or event.