PhotoTime review – iPhone photo app with object recognition
I just saw PhotoTime on the App Store, and gave it a go – this is a quick review.
Beautiful app with great workflow and features. The core concept is that they send a small version of your photo to their servers to analyse and insert tags, then delete their copy of the photo. You get a local album with tags for names, places, objects, etc auto-inserted, so that you can just type what you want to find, and it’ll show you the photos.
The object recognition is quite impressive, but I’m not convinced it’s practical. You might search for “Safari park visit” rather than “bird, car, elephant”, which is what it recognises. Nonetheless, still impressive in what it did recognise, and this can only be a good start. It’s the only one I know that does object/scene recognition to any extend
However, it’s a lovely app, and if you trust their privacy assertions, well worth trying out. At the end of the day, if you want to search for photos locally by keywords – there is none – so having this can only be an improvement.
Does it beat Picturelife? Well.. No. I still think taking search clues from tags, places, dates/times as common relative terms (eg. “Last Tuesday”), and album names, will let you find the photo you’re looking for easier than object recognition. Picturelife’s autocomplete of search terms is a great way of gently finding your way through what’s available to get a result.
Remember PhotoTime is just an iOS app and only local too – no cloud service. Ideally Picturelife would licence their technology and add it to the service (although PhotoTime are probably hoping to be bought by Google).
Some examples of the tag terms for given scenes below: