Bridging the Apple Community and Keeping Tabs on the Rumor Mill.

iPhone 3GS: Some Pit-falls Revolving Search, Photos and Videos

I've had roughly 7 hands on hours with the iPhone 3GS. While the device performs entirely like a newer, faster, more powerful iPhone, a few pit-falls regarding searching and tagging leave me a tad confused.

iphonesearch Undoubtedly, the video recording feature is absolutely phenomenal. I've already been recording everything around me for the fun of it, and within a few hours, I managed to capture roughly 20 different videos. Alongside this, with the new auto-focus photography feature I found myself taking more pictures. Situations where images would've shown up blurry or dark in the past, now have been given a nice enhancement, which inevitably increases my confidence in the iPhone's camera, which means more photos.

But after a few hours, my photo and video library is full, and finding a specific video or photo couldn't be more of a time suck. I have to basically choose between a list of different thumbnails. Why do I still need to do things this way when Apple's baked in Spotlight Search into the OS? Why can't I flick my homescreen to the right and search for my videos based on a title or a few tags I've given them? At that rate, why can't I title and tag my videos or photos? With 16 and 32GB flavors of the new iPhone, we're talking mountains more memory than competing devices. Yes, we know it's an iPod too, but we can actually search for music in that iPod much in the same way we should be able to search for photos and videos.

Search is an absolutely phenomenal thing to focus an OS around. If done right, everything, at anytime, from anywhere inside the OS, can be found by typing in the desired result. But it doesn't work if things aren't indexed, like the iPhone's photos and videos.

As an iPhone owner, I'd like to be able to give my photos and videos a title, description and some tags. Obviously, this could be worked into the entire user experience in a very elegant way, and would be entirely optional for the end user. However, as the memory in my device increases, so will the amount of media on it, and so will the need for me to alter, edit, include and omit things from my search results.

In a nutshell, Apple, if you're going to give us Search, don't half-ass it, let us tag and label our media so that we can find it. And in the meantime, if Apple doesn't respond, or care, maybe an iPhone developer wants to whip up a solution for organizing your photos and videos, then making them available in search. I'd buy the a copy for me and all my friends.

10 Responses »

  1. Standard Apple stuff here.

    Reply

    Jacqueline Hamel @ October 9th, 2009 at 11:13 am
     Add karma Subtract karma  +0

    I love my iPhone 3Gs. I HATE Apple's attitude. I HATE Apple's refusal to do SEARCH right. Calling the iPhone search "half ass" is being kind. As soon as someone comes out with an Android phone with apps and great hardware I will dump Apple and ATT.

    Reply

    Reply

  2. I agree! I'm flabbergasted that photos are given second-class citizenship (or even 3rd or 10th class.) I made the mistake of syncing my entire iPhoto library of 5000 photos and it's useless. People suggest making folders to organize them in iPhoto, but what's the point of having iPhoto's Events if I have to manually maintain a parallel organizational structure just for the iPhone? So strange.

    Reply

    Reply

  3. @Joe: I know, it's mind-boggling... I take so much video with the 3GS, and I'm always looking at different thumbnails to try and show people the right video... Bass-ackwards... I want a REFUND!!!

    Reply

    Reply

  4. SMS is also not included in the "Universal" Search feature. Apple could have easily included that but I can't think of any reason why not. And if people don't want that feature they can always toggle that on the settings. Typical Apple crap. But knowing Apple fanatics, people will always buy Apple's stuff.

    Reply

    Reply

  5. And it's typical ignorant comments like yours which simply perpetuate the so called "Apple Fanatics" stereotype.

    While there may be people who buy Apple products because they're Apple products, the same can be said for EVERY other manufacturer out there and therefore it's a moot point.

    Reply

    Reply

  6. As someone who has methodically named every digital photo I've ever saved with a name and date (i.e. "GretaJetta050306"), I was excited to see that Spotlight would search across apps in 3.0, thinking it would work much as it does in iPhoto to quickly locate photos with a certain name in their titles. All my 9,000+ photos are organized in named folders, but still, some folders contain hundreds of photos... it boggles me that I can't search photos on the 3Gs.
    Please Apple, this would be a great (and seemingly obvious) inclusion in a future update.

    Reply

    Reply

  7. I agree with John. Photo names (as well as "Date Taken" should be stored with the photo) so they can be searched.

    Though I suggest a possibly improved naming schema, John. I ideally name my photos like the following:

    2009-08-25 Derek,Garen playing at waterpark 0562.jpg
    Date Taken / People / Event / Photo# from camera

    That way, the photos are sorted by date by default and I only need to look at the filename to know what it is. Just a thought.

    Reply

    Reply

  8. As a school principal I get over 1000 student photos with student names each year. I can download the photos quickly and easily to my iphone but no way to link it with a name that can be searched when I am trying to put a face with a name. If anyone know of an app that will do this please let me know. rodtuck@gmail.com

    Reply

    Jim Gottlieb @ December 28th, 2009 at 11:28 pm
     Add karma Subtract karma  +0

    Just assign them using Faces in iPhoto and then tell it to sync all your Faces to your iPhone. Then you'll have an alphabetical list of people on your phone in the Photos app and you can just scroll to the person's name that you want to see a picture of.

    Keep the photos organized by class year in iPhoto so after they graduate you can easily wipe out the whole class.

    Reply

    Reply

Leave a Response

Please note: comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Back to Top