Apple Explains How the Photos People Recognition Feature Has Improved in iOS 15

Apple's iOS 15 website lists "improved recognition for individuals" as one of the new Photos features, and in a machine learning blog post shared this week, Apple gave more information on what exactly that means.

ios 15 improved people recognition
Apple says that on-device machine learning improvements have led to significantly better person recognition. The iOS 15 ‌Photos‌ app is able to detect people in extreme poses, people wearing accessories, and people with occluded faces.

To do this, Apple uses a combination of face and upper body to match people whose faces are not visible. Apple's machine learning blog says that the new functionality improves the ‌Photos‌ experience by identifying people in situations where it was previously impossible.

Apple's blog post on recognizing people in photos through on-device machine learning goes into much greater detail on how Apple uses machine learning to identify people while still protecting user privacy, and it's well worth a read for those who are interested in the inner workings of ML features.

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Top Rated Comments

Kkspire Avatar
9 weeks ago
Y’all giving your photos to google. Good luck with that. iPhone is using incredible tech on device. Google is going to data centers for processing. No thanks.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jmh600cbr Avatar
9 weeks ago
can confirm, it works insanely well compared to prior versions. even knows what i looked like as a baby.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Think|Different Avatar
9 weeks ago
This feature has impressed me, time and time again! You just train it a bit by confirming a face or two and it does the rest. I've been shocked at how it has accurately matched my baby niece as she and her face has changed month to month, year after year, and now she's 3! The little movies with music iOS 15 makes are actually impressive, always dismissed those before.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
_Spinn_ Avatar
9 weeks ago
I love that they do all this locally on device.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gaximus Avatar
9 weeks ago

Still farrrr behind Google
Does Google's Face recognition work on device? or does it get send to a server for processing?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
wigby Avatar
9 weeks ago

On device processing is meaningless to me. Google's offerings are server-side therefore doesn't need custom hardware, which is great for equity of access. There are billions of people around the world who can't afford the latest and greatest, at least someone is giving them new features.
You might speak for billions of users shopping for price but you don't speak for their need for privacy and security. Some things are more important than retail price, even to those that cannot afford it.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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