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macduke

macrumors G4
Original poster
Jun 27, 2007
11,779
16,487
Central U.S.
For those who don't know, Gemini is a long-time Mac app that allows you to find duplicate/similar files on your system and clear up space. Generally the Mac app works pretty well so I just installed it on my iPhone, signed up for the free three-day trial and it took a few minutes to scan my library. It wants to delete 14,412 of my nearly 20,000 photos in my iCloud Library. WAT.

About 12K of those are similar photos. I started looking through some of them and it was trashing some good shots of my wife and kids from mother's day! It's "best pick" didn't seem that way to me at all as the kids weren't smiling as good. It would take me forever to try to go through all of these and mark which ones are actually keepers. I don't see this saving any time whatsoever. I'd rather put the $1.99/mo towards extra iCloud storage space, although you can outright buy it for $14.99.

I tapped over to the "clutter" section and some of those were really questionable. The first section is "blurry photos" and it made some big errors. For instance, a bunch of photos I had offloaded onto my iPhone when I was on a vacation last summer in Colorado of tack sharp mountain landscapes I had taken with a 42MP mirrorless camera and quality prime lens. But about half of the frame was clouds, so maybe that is what tricked it? There seem to be a lot of other cloud photos in there. For some reason it was also showing a lot of wallpapers as blurry, even though some of them were geometric. It even was even trying to delete photos I had taken of the solar eclipse last summer using a dSLR and solar filter, which made it slightly hazy. The screenshot feature seems to work well, but then again I'm pretty sure there are other apps on the App Store that already do this because it's just a matter of matching EXIF data. The notes feature works ok but grabbed some photos of a door I was refinishing and some photos of iPad cases I had taken for a review I wrote along with a photo of "L.H.O.O.Q, Mona Lisa with a Mustache" by Marcel Duchamp that I snapped at the MOMA in NYC. Weird.

Overall I don't feel like this app is successful. Sure, it achieves it's stated goal of freeing up a lot of space on your device, but at the cost of throwing away a lot of photos that you'd probably rather keep. You'd be better off flipping through your library and manually removing bad photos. It uses "machine learning" to figure out which photos need to go. Not sure if it uses CoreML, but if it does that's pretty damning evidence of how far behind Apple is in the ML space. It has a beautiful UI, but it's just not good.
 

casperes1996

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2014
6,736
4,681
Horsens, Denmark
I can't remember the name of the app, but there's a free app that does all of what you've just described and in my experience actually works decently. Far from perfect, but it gives you a nice starting point for manual sorting.

Regarding your comment on CoreML; Like a lot of programming - what the framework or library offers is just help. How you use it matters the most. You can use CoreML in a way that makes it awesome or a way that makes it ****. You train the ML model as a developer, so it's the developer who is responsible. The tool Apple provides can obviously vary in quality as well, but a bad paint brush doesn't mean a good painter can't make a masterpiece, and likewise a great paintbrush doesn't make you DaVinci.
 
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