Using Search on iPhone and iPad


Perhaps my favorite button in the Photos app is the Search button here on the bottom right. When I tap on that, I'm able to start searching my library. And I've talked in the earlier videos about the ways you index your photos and add metadata like People and Location. Well, this is the payoff.

I'm going to tap on the Search bar and just start typing in my name, and you can see very quickly, it finds, there's David Sparks and all the images of me. I can start scrolling through them.

If I say See All, I can tap on David Sparks here under People and See All my images as well, and then there's a bunch of Moments and Albums that I'm also included in.

But that's not all, you can also search location. I'm going to go ahead and type Alaska in here, and you can see, there are 77 pictures taken in Alaska, and I've got the pictures available to me, the Moments, and also the Place, Alaska, where I can go through and search those.

I can also search for specific dates. I'm going to type February. And as I'm searching this now, it looks at all February pictures. But if I hit space, 2012, then it's only going to find pictures from February 2012, and you can see, there were 52 of those. And I can look through those images if I want and I can see where they appear in Albums. I don't have to just search for February of a specific year, though, like I said, you could search for February in general or I could search for a specific date. I'll type February 7, and there's all the pictures taken on February 7. I could even put a specific date on that with a year and say February 7, 2020. I spent my birthday in Disneyland, and there's all those pictures.

I can also search categories, and this is where machine learning comes into play. If I type dog, it's going to search my library and find all the pictures of dogs. If I type cat, it's going to do the same thing. There's all the cat pictures. It can do it for birds. But it's not just animals. It can also do this for things like mountains. There's all the mountain pictures. Or beach. Or snow. I never tried to search for rain before, but I'm guessing it would search for rain, too. Well, that's in a rainforest. Didn't really find rain. It's an interesting list. Apple's got this big group of objects-- searches for in these images.

Now this is done on your phone. So it's machine learning but done locally.

So your pictures are not getting uploaded to a server somewhere to get all that extra data but it's awesome that Photos can find things for you on such generic terms.

And you can also search for keywords. One of my favorite keywords that I've got in my library is Stormtrooper because Apple doesn't search for Stormtrooper automatically, but I have added it as a keyword and if I tap on that keyword, you can see, there's all my Stormtrooper pictures I've taken at Star Wars events I've gone to over the years.

And best of all, you can combine these search terms. So I could search for David Sparks and then that's a token now, you see how it got that gray outline around it. And I could say, snow and dog. And just like that, I'm able to drill down to all the pictures of me with a dog in the snow. There aren't that many, but I've got a 50,000 image library. So with just a few search terms, I was able to find it. This is awesome.

Don't be afraid of the Search bar. You can't break your pictures with it. Just start typing things in there and see what happens.

Now let me show you the Search bar over on the iPad. Now I'm over on the iPad. I'm going to tap the Search bar down in the lower right corner. And now, I can start searching up here. I'm going to use some of the same terms just so you can see it works the same. I'm using an attached keyboard.

So I'll type David and there is all the stuff with David Sparks in it. And I'll do the same thing.

Let's say snow and dog. And I got down to those same six pictures.

I can also search the same things.

I'll say February 2012, and you get the same group of pictures. Or February 7, 2020.

I can search for Stormtroopers. Whoops! There we go. The keyword is Stormtrooper and not Stormtroopers, so it broke when I added an "S" to it.

And dog. Cat. Mountain.

It's just an awesome way to find things in your library. And as I keep saying throughout this, I know I sound like a broken record, but we take a lot of pictures now. So you need to have an easy way to find these pictures, and Search and Memories are just a great way to get there.

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