The evolution of Photos section

Photos section evolution

Because of multiple feature request on the Photos section of the android application, may I suggest to discuss about what the Photos section should be and how it should evolve ?

Questions

For now, in addition of file management and thanks to developers, the Nextcloud Android App is also dealing with Photo/Video backup … but what’s next ?

Keeping in mind that server side Photos app is also evolving with many interesting features and features requests (eg. virtual album, face recognition, etc.) what about Photos section :

  • Future of it:
    • Should it be keeped as a very simple gallery display ?
    • Should it be enhanced as a “Google Photo” alternative
  • Where:
    • Should we kept enhancing the Photos section in Nextcloud android app ?
    • Should we create a standalone “Nextcloud Photo” application (thinking about Nextcloud Talk) to deal with Photo backup/edit/display ?

My Opinion

As an end user : now that Google Photo announced that the free tiers is gonna end (2020-07-01), I’m looking for a real alternative and I really hope that nextcloud will be able to support one with same features and without the need to deal with file management.

Depends what “google photos” replacement means.
For many people that means many different things.

  • Automated backup
  • Flowing display
  • Editing Tools
  • Photo tagging and categorisation
  • Facial Recognition
  • Easy internet sharing
  • Virtual Albums (adding a photo to an album without moving the physical media)
  • Automated Moments (videos and slideshows)

Just to name a few features of google photos. For me the Tagging can categorisation is a feature I’d be interested in, even with help where i categorise things.

I’m not sure about a new app vs integrated in the files app.

I think what we need in both cases are

  • show photos and videos quick an easy
  • timeline view

What about being able to do all of those features with nextcloud ?

Well of course. I’m using photoprisim currently as a replacement. I guess it depends if someone wants to take all those tasks on and implement them.

Over the last years I’ve seen an number of requests to change / add / modify behaviour of photos and particular the photo upload.

Besides the main use case to acces Nextcloud files and documents on mobile devices (if possible with integration into standard files app on the mobile device) I see these main feature sets users are requesting / expecting (on both Android and iOS):

  • Backup photos and videos. This is mainly important for people not using Android/iOS cloud space.
  • Have the photos/media be a replacement of Android/iOS photo / media apps, including syncing of files (e.g. remove a photo from Nextcloud storage if removed on a device), or: Just use Nextcloud as storage with the standard media implementation (e.g. Photoroll on iOS).

Basically, those two requirements are different.

  • First is a simple detect files and upload / store on Nextcloud. This works mainly well on Android and still not really on iOS devices.
  • Second is more complex. On iOS I see the Nextcloud folder in the Photo roll (it’s including the hidden Nextcloud folder into the photo roll). I see this matching the ‘photo library’ requirement the most.
  • On Android I don’t see a way to include Nextcloud as storage for Google Photo library. But I assume that other apps would be able to include Nextcloud.

I would suggest to:

  • focus on files integration and backup/upload of detected media
  • See if there are other media library apps that may use Nextcloud as backend and maybe get in touch with their developers.
  • See if there is a way to simply use Nextcloud as storage backend for system media library apps.