Gemini Photos is a program for finding and removing duplicate photos right on the iPhone. It was created by the guys from MacPaw, who are known for the CleanMyMac cleaner and the Setapp service.
I think about Gemini every time the iPhone starts to complain about the lack of space in iCloud or the phone memory itself. This is exactly what happened recently:
Gemini scans your phone’s library and finds photos you can delete. Such photographs are divided into five categories:
- Similar – images of the same object from different angles;
- Videos – all videos shot on the iPhone, among which there are definitely some useless ones;
- Screenshots, they are screenshots;
- Notes – snapshots of any documents, receipts or pieces of paper;
- Blurry – photos without focus;
In this post I will tell you how Gemini coped with my media library: what did it do well, where it messed up and how much space it eventually managed to free up.
Finding and Deleting Similar Pictures
It looks like the pictures are the trouble of my library. There are a bunch of photos of the same type that are no different from each other and create visual noise. Gemini found 1,349 similar images.
As far as I understand, the “similarity” of the pictures is determined by the histogram and the shooting date. And then the proprietary algorithm (s) MacPow comes into play, which selects the best one from the series. If you marked a picture with “Heart” in the standard Photo application, Gemini will also take this into account when choosing.
I have yet to see Gemini go wrong with choosing the best photo in terms of image quality. But the algorithm does not understand the context of the frames and sometimes suggests deleting the episodes that are really needed.
Real life example: you take a series of pictures of a car from different angles to sell it. Most likely, you will need all or almost all of the pictures. But when analyzing the library, Gemini will still select one frame from this series, and offer to delete the rest.
To prevent this from happening, add the necessary series to the exclusions using the “Leave all” button.
Unwanted shots: blurry, screenshots, notes
When analyzing a library, Gemini does not work with originals of photos, but with low-resolution previews. Because of this, the program recognizes only very blurry photos, of which I found 15 pieces.
Everything is clear with screenshots, but notes are photographs of various documents: checks, receipts, book pages, etc.
In the latest versions of Gemini, a new tab has appeared, where you can see all the videos in the library sorted by size.
I immediately found several videos of my WhiteFox keyboard that are no longer needed. I deleted them and instantly freed up a few extra gigabytes in iCloud and on my phone.
Tinder-style manual cleaning
In the “Other” section, all images are sorted by month. You just open any month and start swiping up or down to leave or delete a frame.
Manual cleaning is a great way to keep your library clean. In order not to forget about preventive cleaning, I created a recurring task in Things that reminds me to start Gemini at the end of each month.
I personally know people for whom photography is critical. They constantly review the images and rarely delete anything. For such people, I have some tips.
Check Gemini analysis, add photos to exceptions
It will be rational to delve into the results of Gemini’s work and check the photos, duplicates of which the program offers to delete. If you can’t decide which photo to keep, just add such a series to the exceptions.
On the first cleanup, I revised all the duplicates, which took me 37 minutes. Not a little, but such attention will be required once. Parsing and cleaning photos from the last month takes a couple of minutes.
If you deleted unnecessary – restore from the Trash
Deleted photos go to the “Recently Deleted” folder, where they will remain for another 30 days and then they will be permanently deleted. So, if something went wrong, you have another 30 days to restore everything.
Make a backup
By standard means
The easiest option is to run the application Photo on Mac and export photos to a separate folder. But there are a couple of nuances here.
Most likely, Photos is configured so that only the originals of the latest photos are stored on the computer. All other pictures are stored in the form of small previews, which, when opened, automatically download the originals from iCloud.
To export photos, you need to download the originals from iCloud to your computer. To do this, go to the Photos settings and check the item “Download originals to this computer”. If this option is already checked, then the system already stores the originals and you can proceed to export.
The folder with exported photos can be kept for several months until you realize that the cleaning with Gemini was successful and the backup can be deleted.
Personally, I prefer the backup system using Dropbox, which updates the backup itself.
Dropbox automatically saves new photos and videos to the Camera Uploads folder as soon as I am in WiFi range. This way, I have a copy of all pictures no matter what I delete from the library.
The latter method is only suitable for those who are willing to pay $ 12 per month for an extended Dropbox account with 2 TB. I have such an account, so I use it to the maximum.
After cleaning, my library lost 36%, from 6307 to 4817 images. In gigabytes, as much as 40%, from 43.2 to 25.6 GB.
But these dry numbers do not convey the sensations of a clean media library. She no longer looks littered, it became easier to navigate visually and search for photos in the media library. So I’m happy with the result.
How much is
Gemini has a three-day trial period with no restrictions. This is your chance to clear all duplicates from your library at least once.
After the trial period, Gemini Photos will cost $ 1.99 per month, $ 11.99 per year, or $ 14.99 for unlimited access. You can always cancel your subscription through the App Store settings.