Share with Catherine? Or, Apple Photos needs a “they died” mode…

Apple’s Photos apps, across iOS and Mac, have matured very nicely since the days of iPhoto. One of the things they do remarkably well is face recognition; because of this, I have a huge collection of photos that have been automatically identified as being of Catherine. Which is great.

Except that my phone, in a drive to be helpful, does things like this:

Screen shot of my iPhone, showing an image of Catherine inside a book, suggesting that I share it with Catherine.

That’s a new photo of Catherine (inside a work-in-progress), and so my phone, recognizing this, suggests that I share the photo with Catherine.

But Catherine died 10 months ago.

I could, I assume, remedy this by some combination of deleting Catherine from my contacts and removing her from the list of recognized people in Photos, but I don’t particularly want to do either of those things.

What I want is a way of telling Photos that Catherine died, and some control over how that gets handled; a slider, perhaps, ranging from “never show me this person ever again” to “I wanted to be reminded often of this person,” along with some automatic steps, like my phone no longer offering to share things with them.

It seems like all the pieces of doing this are already in place; it would be a helpful, humane thing for Apple to implement.


Andrew's picture
Andrew on November 20, 2020 - 11:26 Permalink

That's a good idea, Peter. I'd suggest taking a few minutes and sending in the suggestion -

Believe it or not, but Apple actually monitors what comes in through that site. I've received replied before from engineers asking me for more detail on my suggestions. Little annoyances have gone away, and I like to think my feedback helped in some ways.