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November 9, 2017

Album+ with offline A.I. is Google Photos for the cloud naysayers

by John_A

Artificial intelligence simplifies things like finding the best shot or deleting duplicated photos to save space on your phone — but machine learning also requires so much space, that these programs are largely cloud-based. That’s changing as A.I. programs get smaller and hardware gets larger and now, for iOS users, there’s an A.I. photo program that can run entirely offline. Album+ is an app by developer Polarr that encompasses a number of features that already exist in apps like Google Photos, but brings them offline.

Using A.I. and computer vision, Album+ can recognize people and objects in your photos, making it easy to search for a specific photo. That same search tool also works with documents and snapshots of receipts.

And if you don’t know exactly what photo you’re looking for but want to find a great shot to share, Album+ will also automatically curate an album of your best shots, or at least what the app thinks are your best shots. A “Discover” option allows you to see what you photograph most by looking at collections created around specific themes or objects.

When those photos start to hog space on the smartphone, Album+ has a feature to automatically detect the worst photos for deletion, along with finding images that are duplicated.

Along with organizing photos, Album+ managed to fit in photo-editing A.I. without the cloud, too. The developer says that the app can automatically enhance all the photos using A.I., along with offering over 100 different filters. Users can also save time by batch editing multiple photos at once.

Album+ doesn’t do anything that hasn’t been done before — Google Photos has a number of the same tools to search through your photos and automatically categorize them, while apps like EyeEm and The Roll can look through the camera roll to find the best shots. But what Album+ has that’s tougher to find on the App Store is an A.I. system that exists entirely off the cloud. The on-device software is designed to ensure greater security, the company says.

Album+, designed by the same team behind Polarr Photo Editor, is free to download from the App Store, but accessing the full features requires an in-app purchase with a $1.99 monthly subscription or a $12.99 annual option.

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