How is this feature still missing from iOS?
I’m one of the few people who still balances his checkbook monthly. I’m all about Inbox Zero. I thrill over productivity apps the way most people hard crush on CandyCrush. In other words, I’m pretty Type A. But is it actually possible I’m the only person who wants to assign names to my photos in iOS? It would make finding them so much easier for me.
I’m aware that Photos has all kinds of smartness that lets you search by date or location; it supports automatic facial recognition (which is surprisingly good); it can identify the setting or subject in a photo. All of these features make finding photos easier than not, but they lack the specificity of a title.
For example, I have a million—hyperbole, sort of—photos of my sons that I’ve shot in and around New York City, often in a playground or park. Those AI-fueled search features won’t help me find a specific shot. You know, the kind of shot you want to be sure to mark for future reference. Not just kid in playground, but kid in a playground eating his very first shaved ice. Or, riding without training wheels.
There are just some photos I want to name. I want them to have a descriptive title. Apple knows this, or they wouldn’t have made it possible to do so in the desktop version of Photos. (It’s clunky and imperfect, but it works.) Somewhat surprisingly, I haven’t even found a third-party app that would let me change titles, either. Metapho, an outstanding little app for seeing and adjusting a photo’s intimate data, lacks access to titles.
An example: a while ago I shot a photo of two nuns on a subway sharing a rather interesting (to me) moment (see photo above). Recently, I wanted to share it with a friend, but I couldn’t remember what year I’d snapped it. Because it was in the subway, no geolocation data was attached to the file. And while Photos will try to identify the subject matter, niether nuns nor subway were cutting it. I made several guesses at date, and fortunately I found the photo again, but it could just as easily have been lost to the winds of time.
Apple is a research-driven company. They must know what users want, and so perhaps I’m in a tiny minority on this. Nonetheless, naming photos is the kind of feature that would make some of us—maybe just me—very happy.
So, Apple, help me find my nuns on a subway. Let me name photos from within iOS. And, hey, if you’re feeling generous, let me add my own keywords as metadata, too!
Fingers crossed iOS 12 introduces this feature when it’s unveiled in a couple weeks, but I’m not optimistic.