Seven apps for street art fans

Graffiti!!! (Italic Labs LC, $3)—iOS and Android

Graffiti!!! slideshow image

A straightforward app that centers on a slideshow of street art, Graffiti! automatically starts playing music in the background when you open the app (something to be aware of if you’re in public). Instrumental guitar overlays a slideshow of street art; you can pause the music or the slideshow by tapping the screen to reveal the menu.

The features menu will also show or hide the submitter’s information, play or pause the music or the slideshow, and allow you to save the image to a photo album. If the slideshow is moving too quickly for you, just pause it and manually flip through the images by swiping your finger across the screen.

While Graffiti!! Is lacking some basic features such as search, submit, artist information, and a location/map component, it is an enjoyable way to page through some incredibly creative artwork or find unique background images for your smartphone.

Street Art//Sticky Wiki (Flurpty Castle, free)—Android

Street Art Sticky Wiki home page

Despite it’s somewhat silly title, the Street Art//Sticky Wiki app is a nicely laid out, semi-social sort of affair: Once you’ve created a StickyWiki profile, you can tap the grid icon in the upper left to access your profile, favorites, and “peeps” (by which they mean “friends” and not “dyed marshmallow goodies”). The app allows users to pin items and follow their friends, actions which should be familiar to most users.

Users can also submit their own street-art finds using the Drafts icon in the upper right—it resembles a camera. Next to that is the familiar search icon,  a mail option for notifications from within the app, and a home button.

The street art itself is designed to be scrolled through from top to bottom, and includes a title and username at the bottom of each image. Tapping on an image displays information about it, such as which user submitted it, and what tags are associated with it (such as #Tuscon, or #sticker or #LowerManhattan). At the bottom, there are options to Follow, Like, or Reply to the post. With the reliance on hashtags, it seems a little strange that there’s not better Twitter integration with the app, or better sharing functions which would make sense for an app that seems to want to create a community vibe. However, the app does feature a pretty extensive collection of images, across a variety of styles, and has some potential to really shine with a few tweaks—perhaps in version two?

Street Art Gallery (PlanetAbba, free)—Android

Street Art Gallery image

Another slideshow-style app, the Street Art Gallery app from PlanetAbba opens onto Think Tank art, with arrows for navigating and icons for features along the bottom. A word of caution before you start tapping, however: Ads appear along the bottom as the image loads, below the arrows. If you tap too quickly, it’s easy to accidentally tap an ad instead and get redirected.

That said, SAG does have sharp, beautiful, and large images of street art, graffiti, yarn bombing, and 3D chalk painting (although the app seems to heavily favor Banksy’s work). The two icons on the bottom allow you to set an image as your phone’s background, or share the image via a variety of methods such as email, Dropbox, Google+, Picasa, Flipboard, ChatON, or even the Sticky Wiki app, with just a few clicks. Both Facebook and Twitter sharing are noticeably absent here, but there are certainly workarounds for that. You can zoom in and out of the images by tapping on them to show the controls, but there’s not a great deal of functionality beyond that.

Much like Grafitti!, the Street Art Gallery app is lacking artist and location information, a map, and an ability to search through the images or upload your own, but it at least functions cleanly and keeps things simple: big, sharp images of some of the most recognizable street art out there.

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