Two years ago, I started moving my photo storage and organization workflows to Apple’s Photos + iCloud ecosystem. There’s a lot I love about it. On the other hand, I have a fair share of frustrations, mostly with the apps. Will we ever get smart albums on iOS? Why is the macOS app worthless for any heavy duty culling or organizing tasks?
Those nitpicks aside, my primary concern is that Apple’s Photo ecosystem and I are diverging on a deeper, philosophical level.
With the release of iOS 13, it seems clear that Apple sees a future where photos are organized and curated entirely by intelligent software. Instead of organized by emotional humans super-powered by amazing workflows and incredibly smart software.
Here’s a recent example. According to Photos, I spent Friday the 13th seeing The Pharcyde at Great American Music Hall. I do enjoy The Pharcyde, but I was at a bar across the street for at close friend’s birthday party.
If there’s any way to edit the title/location, I can’t figure it out. Adding to the confusion, I also have this intelligently curated “Moment” from the same night. (I have no idea how these two things are related.)
Sometimes I want software to be intelligent and just do the work for me. I love that I can quickly delete a bunch of accidental screenshots. I also enjoy being served smart collections of images to relive recent moments. But, my photo library is incredibly personal. Sometimes those moments are things I don’t care to remember at all. For the ones I want to remember, let me choose the cover image. No one knows which image highlights a moment better than me. Worst case, let me edit the damn title.