I'm working on an instant messaging app for mobile devices (much like WhatsApp, Hangouts, etc.). I've been advised to implement an internal photo gallery to let the user navigate through the pictures exchanged with chat buddies instead of opening an external gallery app.
I won't go into the implementation efforts required to implement such a feature - even if I can find it online already packaged as a useful library, there will be issues with possible bugs and performance issues, especially in memory usage.
But excluding that for a moment, what is the actual advantage of implementing a feature that is already implemented by another app which is much more mature than my own gallery implementation and does the job much better than my app could do?
I'm taking the Android platform as an example in this case. The Android platform is designed to let applications cooperate with each other, so when you click on a button to view an image, you go directly to the installed gallery app, without even noticing you changed app. Is it worth to duplicate such a feature inside my app?
EDIT: talking with a few workmates, we came up with three possible reasons why we should include an internal app:
- you don't leave the application
- you can browse selectively through the pictures exchanged with a specific contact/group
- you can handle border line cases such as image manually deleted by the user (some gallery apps don't handle that very well)
But is that still worth the effort?