How Many Photos Do You Keep On Your Phone?

How Many Photos Do You Keep On Your Phone?

Gregory Han
Oct 18, 2013

How many times has this happened to you? A friend mentions and then wants to show a specific photo on their phone ("You just have to see the Game of Thrones Halloween costume I made for my dog!"). You wait while they search, with hurried flicks and swipes in a blur of yesterday's photos. And you wait...and then wait some more.

The other day a friend wanted to show me a specific photo to visually punctuate a story he shared over lunch. In the time we spent finishing our meal, he scrolled through hundreds of photos in his gallery, all with the promise of a knee-slapping photo. But ultimately he was unable to find the photo because of a backlog of similar looking images. In the end, I was left to imagine what he could only advertise in hilarity, with the promise he'd email the photo to me later (if he'd ever find it!).

This sort of bait and switch conversation is happening with increasing regularity, where phone users have hoarded countless images and are unable to find anything except the most recent of photos. Photos are now often stored indefinitely, only transferred and erased when storage capacity dictates.

Amusingly, the video above from Buzzfeed illustrates the sameness of what's actually being kept in our photo of sunsets [raises hand], selfies, pets [raises hand again], family, and yawn-inducing mundane moments forever exist captured in 1's and 0's. We're all becoming hoarders.

Tip: if you're using iOS 7, you should learn how to navigate larger photo collections using the new Photo Library, which is intelligently divided by date and location. Photos are now sorted further into Moments, Collections and Years, with each level of categorical view showing smaller, but more thumbnails. A long-press will magnify the tiny image into a larger preview; holding while sliding across allows navigating across Collections. Let go to view at full size.

(Images: Gregory Han; Video via Buzzfeed)

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