Apple is giving its Photos app a massive overhaul for macOS Sierra, adding cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology to make searching for individual pictures far, far smarter than it’s ever been before.
The Photos app can now search upward of 4,432 scenes and objects, letting you pull just the pictures shot in your backyard, for instance, or only those that include your car. Although the feature’s not working in Apple’s beta releases just yet, the finished version of macOS Sierra also promises to recognize seven different facial expressions — including greediness, disgust, smiles, neutral, surprise, screaming and suspicious.
Here’s how to use Apple’s smart photo search when running the new operating system, which is currently in public beta and will be released this fall.
Using the feature couldn’t be easier. To get started, simply type a scene or object you’re looking for into the search bar in the top right.
The list is pretty comprehensive, so try entering terms like “Airstrip,” “ATM,” “Back Pack,” “Hot Air Balloon,” “Baby Buggies,” “Tacos” or whatever else you’re hoping to find and more often than not you’ll be pleasantly surprised as the search results pull out any images in which these objects have been discovered.
If you’re in doubt, you can find a complete list of all the objects Photos can recognize by clicking here.
You can also search for places such as “Zoo,” “Fields,” “Apartments,” Backyard,” and more. In my experience, Photos does a good job of sorting these — even when the results are potentially confusable locations, such as “Zoo” and “Fields.”
While the feature is definitely impressive, however, it does occasionally miss the mark somewhat — like mistaking baby pictures for a car.
For the most part, though, this is a great addition to Apple’s Photo app, which you are likely to find yourself relying on a lot. Trust us: Once you get used to this feature, you’ll find it difficult to remember how you managed without it!