How to simplify your messy photo collection

Woven is an app that can pull from different sources for a one-stop photo gallery.

Woven is aiming to create some order out of the chaos that is your photos.

If you're anything like me, your collection of photos are in a number of disparate places, from Facebook to Instagram, as well some stored on a smartphone, with others on a PC. Sure, there's Dropbox, but who's going to pay for that much storage?

So Woven, created by a Boston start-up called Litl, is a nice, if basic, start to the organization of all your albums, drawing from a variety of different sources. It's designed to be a one-stop shop photo gallery. I've tried the app for a little bit, and it's not half bad.

The app, available on iOS, Android, the Kindle Fire, and the Nook, draws from within the device, Facebook, Dropbox, Flickr, Instagram, Photobucket, Picasa, Shutterfly, SmugMug, and Microsoft's SkyDrive. It also has an uploader tool that allows you to send iPhoto images from a Mac. Litl is working on a similar tool for PCs as well.

Woven accepts several sources of photos. Screenshot by Roger Cheng/CNET

The collection of photos is nice, providing the same pinch-to-zoom function and filed under boldly written folder names. I did, however, have a hiccup drawing in Facebook photos. I'm still waiting for the company to respond to the issue.

Still, I found the app a little lacking, and it isn't that much of a hassle to pull up the iPhone's photo gallery or the Instagram app. Steve Jungmann, vice president of product for Litl, said the company is working on bulking up the features for Woven, including ways to help combine and group different photos to create a narrative, a sharing option for galleries, and even facial recognition.

Woven's photo gallery wasn't the only thing that interested me; I was intrigued by its debut as well. Unlike most apps, Litl chose to debut the app on the Amazon Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble's Nook tablet around Christmas last year. It's an unconventional route that Jungmann said paid off with a stronger presence on the popular products.

It wasn't until January that Litl released versions for Android, and then iOS. The company is working on a version for Windows Phone 7 in the next few weeks (like other developers, it doesn't yet have access to the Windows Phone 8 software development kit).

The company has seen moderate success with the app. In total, there have been 50,000 downloads of the app, with about 5,000 to 6,000 downloads a month. The Fire and Nook users remain a bulk of its base. Jungmann said the company plans updates to work with the updated tablets.

The app is free, and Litl currently makes no money off of it. The plan is for the company to slowly introduce premium services, running off of a freemium model like so many other apps.

"We believe arranging your photos in helpful ways could answer some basic needs for the user," Jungmann said.

I like what I see so far, but I'm eager to see what's next for Woven.
 

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