Daily Rumination No. 30: Screenshots

Ever since the early days of iPhoto, I have used Apple’s photo-management software to collect, edit and share my family memories. Today, that software comes in the form of Photos on iOS and macOS and for all of its early controversy (i.e. the concurrent death of Aperture), it does a fantastic job of storing and synchronising images with iCloud Photo Library.

Earlier today, I was chatting with a fellow Micro.blog user about the value of the Photos app on iOS and macOS. When used properly, it is a great way to store one of the most important intangible elements of your life: digital family photos. Increasingly, however, I have noticed that people treat their Photos app as a dumping ground for horrid duplicates and screenshots. Naturally, how people manage their photo libraries is none of my business but I find it a little bit sad to think that people aren’t taking them seriously.

Apple has made certain efforts to encourage effective image management in its Photos app, most notably with the design of the Years > Collections > Moments interface and the automatic Memories feature, which turns your photos and videos into beautiful, short films with machine learning.

I can understand the issue with duplicates, as people generally can’t be bothered to review and delete them. Screenshots, however, are crying for a solution from Apple. On macOS, screenshots are sent directly to the desktop, so that they are accessible and easy to act upon. On iOS, they go straight to your Photos app, which are then sent to every other device via iCloud Photo Library (if you subscribe to it). Why are screenshots, which are arguably less valuable and certainly have different uses, being stored in the same library as all of your most important family photos?

I’d love to see Apple change this, preferably by changing the save-destination to the Files app. Ideally, a user should be able to specify in the Settings app whether they are stored locally or go to a folder on iCloud Drive.

Imagine how clean and usable everyone’s libraries could become!

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