In iOS 11, Apple added a neat little face recognition feature whereby it can detect every single photo that includes a certain person. This helps it create memories. You can use it to find all photos of anyone you frequently photograph. This feature works automatically. It scans the photos periodically and updates its database. It doesn’t just apply to people but to objects and animals as well. For example, if you have a lot of pictures of your cat (and I promise I do), you can search the Photos app for cats and find them all. The only problem with the feature is that you can’t remove people from Photos, yet. Come iOS 12, you will finally be able to.
iOS 12 is still in beta but the stable version will roll out in September this year.
Remove People From Photos
To remove people from the Photos app, open the app and tap the People album. It will show you all the faces it has recognized. Tap the more options button at the top right.
This will open a menu with a multitude of options. Tap the ‘Remove from People album’ button, and confirm that you want to remove the person from the album.
This is all good but, at present, there’s no way to undo this. If you remove someone from a photo, there is no way to add them back. Perhaps this will be rectified by the time the stable version of iOS 12 rolls out but until then, be careful who you remove. This isn’t going to win you back any storage space on your device.
A few other changes that Apple has made is that you can finally add a name to the person that’s been identified. More importantly, you can assign a face a contact from your phone. For example, if you have a lot of photos of your mom, you can tap the Name option at the very top and enter a name. When you enter the name, the app searches your contacts for matching names that you can pick.
The People feature is neat but not everyone in your camera roll needs to be identified. For some people, the feature might just be annoying and iOS 11 doesn’t have an Off button for it. If you export photos from your iPhone (or iPad) to your Mac’s Photos app, it is possible that the People information is still retained on your desktop but that doesn’t mean it will sync back to your iPhone.