Displaying all the images from storage at once in Phimpme Android Application

In the Phimpme Android application, the images are displayed in the albums in which they are indexed in the device’s storage. However, there is also an “All photos” section in the application where all the images present in the device’s storage are displayed at once irrespective of the folder they’re indexed in. So in this post, I will be discussing how we achieved the “All Photos”  functionality.

Android framework provides developers with a media content provider class called MediaStore. It contains metadata for all available media on both internal and external storage devices. With the help of particular methods we can obtain metadata for all the images stored in the device’s storage.

Step 1

So First we need to get the Uri from MediaStore content provider pointing to the media(here media refers to the photos stored on the device). This can be done by the following snippet of code.

Uri uri = android.provider.MediaStore.Images.Media.EXTERNAL_CONTENT_URI;

Step 2

Now retrieving a cursor object containing the data column for the image media is required to be performed. The data column will contain the path to the particular image files on the disk. This can be done by querying the MediaColumns table of the MediaStore class, which can be performed by the use of the content resolver query method. The mentioned functionality can be achieved by the following lines of code.

String[] projection = {MediaStore.MediaColumns.DATA};
Cursor cursor = activity.getContentResolver().query(uri, projection, null, null, null);

Step 3

In the final step, we would retrieve the path of all the images by iterating through the cursor object obtained in the previous step and keep adding those paths to an ArrayList<String>. Creating Media objects passing in the image path and concurrently adding those Media objects to an ArrayList<Media> to be done thereafter. Finally, the dataset(ArrayList<Media> in this case) containing Media objects for all the images is required to be passed to the Media Adapter in order to display all the photos in the UI. The code snippets used for the final steps are provided below.

while (cursor.moveToNext()) {
  absolutePathOfImage = cursor.getString(cursor.getColumnIndexOrThrow(MediaStore.MediaColumns.DATA));
ArrayList<Media> list = new ArrayList<>();

for (String path : listOfAllImages) {
  list.add(new Media(new File(path)));
return list;

This is how we achieved the functionality to display all the images from the storage on a single screen(at once) in the Phimpme Android application. To get the full source code, please refer to the Phimpme Android Github repository listed in the resource section below.

The screenshot for displaying the “All photos” section is provided below.


1.Android Developer Guide – https://developer.android.com/reference/android/provider/MediaStore

2.Github-Phimpme Android Repository – https://github.com/fossasia/phimpme-android/

3.Displaying all the images from gallery in android – https://deepshikhapuri.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/get-all-images-from-gallery-in-android-programmatically/