Getting Inspired with PicStroom

As visual artists we tend to keep our eyes open for new sources of inspiration. We turn to books, movies, art and most of all our daily lives. The internet is a bottomless well of information. It can also be viewed as more of a torrent rather, with more and more pouring out daily. It’s impossible to keep up with the stream, our bookmarks become folders of forgotten sites and the unread badges of our RSS feeds multiply. Daily image inspiration sites are great sources but can be time consuming to browse through if you have multiple favourites.

PicStroom's Main Screen

One of my most frequently used applications is PicStroom. What it does is pull images from RSS feeds and displays them as rows of pictures. Adding a few of your own websites is a breeze, and the paid version of the app allows for an unlimited amount. You can curate your own list of galleries to suit it to your personal tastes be they art and design sites, photography and fashion, or home decor and world news. If the site has a valid feed, you can add it here. One of great ways of using it is by adding Tumblr feeds here instead of viewing them on the actual website, but you can also add Flickr, Ffffound and Dribbble galleries as well. Swiping through the rows is speedy and smooth, and a tap enlarges the an image to full screen view. Beyond just being able to view multiple sites at once very quickly, the simple and efficient design of it also removes the text and clutter which allows one to focus on the images alone.

Other great handy features are PicStroom’s sharing capabilities. Emailing an image, saving to your device’s photo album or starring to keep a favourites list is included. On top of those there are also options that allow you to save to a Dropbox folder (or multiple ones if you want to organize your images), Tweet a pic, save to Instapaper, or post to Tumblr. It’s a great tool for collecting and growing your inspiration library.

It is currently only available for the iPad although the developers intend to expand to other platforms. If you have a preferred way for browsing image sites, let me know in the comments.

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