What is a photo gallery

The information portal for safe cell phone use

Starting position

Gallery apps are preinstalled on all Android devices. Very often this is Google's photo manager: the Photos app.

"Photos" has an automatic synchronization function: the app advises users to always copy all pictures and videos immediately to their Google account via the Internet. They are not necessarily safe there, as a data leak in November 2019 showed.

Data transfer

You can refuse the synchronization with the Google account, but even then the "Photos" app transfers data to Google every time it is opened, including device data (model, Android version) and various identification numbers. It requests access to location, contacts and phone.

Other pre-installed gallery apps also require permissions such as the location and only work smoothly if you agree.


If you want to keep the "Photos" app, switch off the synchronization and limit the access rights as much as possible. We recommend deactivating the app entirely and replacing it with an alternative.

Gallery apps recommendations

  • Simple gallery (F-Droid, Play Store): Open source app from the Slovak programmer Tibor Kaputa. Belongs to the highly recommended series of Simple Mobile Tools against Bloatware. In F-Droid, the app is available for free; you can donate to the developer. In the Google Play Store, the app receives an additional image processing tool from a third-party provider - which means that the version to be found there is not completely open-source. It can be purchased there for a cent.
  • LeafPic Revived (F-Droid): Developer is the Italian Donald Shtjefni. The app is open source and free of advertising.
  • A Photo Manager (F-Droid): Open source, ad-free, geo-tagging app. Donations to OpenStreetMap are welcome.
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