[Review] 500px for Windows Phone: Official app is now available in Windows Phone Store


If you are photography enthusiast or even a beginner and have interest in online photo sharing networks, you most probably be familiar with “500px”. And if you are a Windows Phone 8 user, then there is a good news for you. 500px is now available in Windows Phone store for Windows Phone 8 devices.


Image and video hosting website, Flickr app has been on Windows Phone store for Windows Phone 7 and has never been updated since long and doesn’t work well on the current version of Windows Phone 8. On the other hand another premier photography community “500px” has been the target for more enthusiasts as well as amateur photographers to share their work online. For the comfort of users in the current age of smartphones and tablets 500px has been available on all major platforms including iPhone, iPad and Android. They recently released an app for Windows 8 and Chrome too.

500px, being my personal favorite online photography sharing network for quality photos exploration and sharing as well as uploading my own content to the network, made me always search for an official app on the Windows Phone store which led me with no results ever and I was stuck using 500px on my machine and iPad. However the third party 500px clients were already there on the Windows Phone store for quite a long time e.g. My 500px, the official one always come with some flavor of authenticity. So when it’s official, it’s good.

Now when I got the app in store I just took it down to the Nokia Lumia 1020 as it’s free. Currently there is no support for uploading new photos to the community via the official 500px app. That’s the same factor with official 500px apps for either of the platforms. Other features may vary from one platform to another. But what makes the use of Windows Phone 8 integration system is to let the app interact with the users via Live Tiles and Lock Screen. Official 500px app brings the Live Tile and Lock Screen support in the initial version for Windows Phone.

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Live Tile shows off fresh and inspiring photographs to your home screen in all big square and wide tile size. Small tile size prints only the 500px icon. On the other view the Lock Screen is still presenting me the same image since the very first time. Of course there may be some bugs to be fixed in later updates hopefully.

User Experience is quite similar to what is available on other platforms however the User Interface is Metro as it is with standard interface in other Windows Phone apps. With an important feature to interact with the community is to like/favorite or commenting on the interesting content as well as to share it to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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For that purpose 500px includes the option to signup and/or sign in with your account credentials at the community and play around. “Notifications” screen is the key element to know about what’s happening on your photos in the community.

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Main interface includes the main links to application settings, your profile and the community photos. The screens on the main interface include “flow” – a news feed presenting content being liked/favored/commented by the users you are following, “following” – presenting photos from the users you are following, “favorites” – contains photos you have in your favorites, “popular” – photos which are currently popular across the community, “editor’s choice” – obvious from the title. That is pretty comprehensive in the first glance.

“profile” interface presents most of the content related to you including your rank on the community. “photos” screen shows your own photos. And shows what you have in your favorites, liked or commented on in the “flow” screen. Other screens in your “profile” interface presents the same content as they on the main interface but rather in three-columns unlike the two in main screen.

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Going through “photos” from first main screen, brings the community activity interface in front. “popular” and “editor’s choice” again presents the same content as they on the main screen. Additionally there is a screen providing access to the categories in the community where you can explore by categories in the same way as above. Another “fresh” screen presents the content newly added to the community. “upcoming” screen presents the photos with pulse over 70 and is fresh. You really need to know about how 500px plays with the photos in the community and how they order them.

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The main element in any photo sharing/uploading/hosting community is the photo itself and its attributes for viewers and visitors. 500px shows any information related to the photo including EXIF in the detail view if photo owner has specifically not limited the detail information to be disclosed. The photo can be liked and favorited straight from the same screen.

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Comments screen pops up right above the photo with the comments on it while providing a “+” icon on the bottom tools to let you write your comment about the photo.

That’s all what we could have extracted from the 500px app and that’s pretty much perfect for the initial release. Before you scroll down to read our verdict and the issues or fixes we have found, download the app your self and let it be installing on your device.

Download 500px for Windows Phone

Download official 500px app for your Windows Phone from Windows Store or scan the following QR code to reach the app page in the store. Use the app, explore photos and come back to write us comments about your thoughts.

Click to enlarge QR Code for better detection.

Issues or Something That Need Fixing

This is the initial release of the official 500px app on Windows Phone hence we expect more additions and improvements in future. That also depends on your feedback to the developer to show your interest. Here are mine as what I could find in the app which was missing whether it’s expectedly or unexpectedly but if they would be there, it would be good for User Experience.

  • Lock Screen never updates from one image once allowed. Updated once when I changed the lock screen settings to some other app and then again set it back to 500px. Later doing the same didn’t effect. So not sure how did the image changed on the Lock screen, if it’s an expected long duration for a photo to be appeared on Lock screen then better making it up to the user to choose a duration or make it a little in duration.
  • In settings “Allow access to the lock screen” should switch to “Disallow” label for better understanding if possible by the system.
  • Notifications Icon on top left corner should show new unseen notifications counter as they are received by the device. I know it’s the same with other platforms. At least in iOS there is also no such a counter but an icon.
  • In comments listing on a photo, the user who commented doesn’t have a link to their profile. They only tap down as a list item normally does in Windows Phone. Tapping on the user image should take to their profile as it does in Notifications page.
  • Comment writing can also be improved with multi-line text editor and some visual changes instead of a single-line text box on a prompt dialog box.

That’s what I could have found during my first experience with 500px app on Nokia Lumia 1020 or Windows Phone 8 device. As above mostly are the suggestions rather than some bugs, in simple words I would rate the app as 8/10 for their initial release in a very slick design interface with such a feature rich Windows Phone app that could in fact stand against the versions in other platforms.

You are requested to write down your own experience with the app.

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