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Android Lollipop Update and an App Surprise December 5, 2014

Posted by Mrs. J in the Library in Tablets & Apps, Tech Tips.
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The Nexus 7 and 10 tablets in our library are still some of the most used tools for information literacy, and one of their features that I like best is the automatic updates, direct from Google.  Because they are “native” Google devices, several of them have already updated to the new Android 5.0 operation system, nicknamed “Lollipop.”

After excitedly installing the update, however, I noticed something that I think educators will want to know.  There is no longer a Gallery app for viewing and managing media on the tablet.  Instead, there is a new Photos app with a pin wheel icon, and Google is trying hard to force the user to sign up for and use Google+ in order to use the app.  It’s possible to use it without Google+, but the Photos app also isn’t very intuitive or easy-to-use.  Obviously, this poses a problem for elementary students, who are legally too young to use Google+ and who need an easy way to upload, edit, and delete photos from a device.

Use QuickPic instead of Photos app in Android Lollipop to avoid Google+ | Mrs. J in the Library @ A Wrinkle in Tech

The QuickPic photo viewer and manager app for Android tablets and phones offers a nice alternative to the new Photos app that requires Google+ signup.  Image from Google Play Store.

So the solution I found is to disable the Photos app entirely, and use a different photo viewer/manager.  For elementary tablets, and especially ones that are shared in a school library, I recommend QuickPic.  It’s simple, intuitive, has fabulous reviews, and it looks a bit like the old Gallery app I liked so much.  Plus, it’s not automatically hooked up to any social media (unless you want it to be), so it fits our library’s needs perfectly! 

Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments!

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