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Forevery Photo (free) is an exceedingly clever app that makes your camera roll a lot more useful. The app organizes your photos by themes, like emotions and ideas, and also the more standard people, places, things and time. IMG_8653

Once the app has found a related group of photos, you can browse the group and search what you have. Even better, the app allows you to customize what it is looking for.

Doing this kind of photo recognition is not trivial Apple uses GPS info, and does a pretty good job of recognizing faces, but Forevery Photo goes way beyond what Apple does, including letting you share by themed relationships.

In addition, the app looks beautiful, making a user more prone to use it.

To use the app, you need to provide your iPhone number so you can get a texted code back to activate the app. After that, let the app loose to explore your camera roll. On its first try it did an excellent job of sorting my pictures and finding relationships. It uses GPS info, all well as sophisticated pattern recognition. It can also recognize faces with some basic training. It’s similar to what Apple does.

You can also use the built-in camera app to take photos, and the app really shines there too. I took a photo of my pet first, and the app properly identified it was a bird, and gave me some details of the room he was in. birdIt also added a ‘poultry’ tag. Ouch! Tags are editable, so you can remove any tags that don’t fit, but this automated tagging is going to save you a bunch of time and really help you to find photos long after they have been taken.

When searching, you can try a search term, and the app goes to work. I typed in bedroom, and it found every photo I had taken in my bedroom.

I typed in Zion National Park and the proper pictures came up. It also suggests tags for items on your photo roll. On my parrot picture, the app suggested the tag ‘cute’ which was certainly apt.

Another interesting search criteria is ‘visual similarity’. A took a photo of monument valley which was stripped of any GPS meta-data, and the app still found other photos I’d taken there.

I was interested to see if the app was communicating with a big server somewhere, but in my quick experiments everything worked well while my phone was in Airplane Mode.

The company behind the app is Clarifai, whose expertise is working with companies to use these same techniques to sort big photo archives. I expect the app is a sort of technology demonstration for their skills.

Forevery Photo is clever, works well, and can really bring some order and clarity to your camera roll. It’s free, and certainly worthy of your attention.

The app requires iOS 8.