App

Gallery Doctor promises big things, but does it deliver?

Price: $2.99 (£2.29)
Size: 4.9 MB
Version: 1.0.2
Developer: Flayvr Media

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Most of us will use Apple’s iPhone as our main, day-to-day, go-to camera. Since iCloud Photos Library launched, many will even be storing thousands of personal photos using Apple’s service. But there’s a problem when uploading a mass of photo files: hidden among the Photos app’s library are countless images that we don’t need. Some are blurry, some are duplicates, and some are dark and just look plain bad. All of these take up valuable space not only on the iPhone, but in the iCloud Photo Library, too. Fortunately, Gallery Doctor is an iPhone app that aims to help users in this situation.

This smart iPhone application scans the contents of your iOS Photos app and identifies all the images which it thinks you’d rather delete. It does this using a range of smart algorithms which have been tried and tested on Google’s Android platform (on which Gallery Doctor launched first). After seeking out your unwanted images, Gallery Doctor will then delete them with your consent, potentially freeing up tons of space on your smartphone.

Gallery Doctor will perform an initial scan of your Photos app before proceeding. This should take a few minutes, depending on the size of your library.

Gallery Doctor will perform an initial scan of your Photos app before proceeding. This should take a few minutes, depending on the size of your library

First, users have Gallery Doctor perform a scan of their Photos app. Upon doing so, the application will find “bad photos” (images which are blurry, dark, or low quality), and “similar photos” (i.e., duplicates: something you’ll have a lot of if HDR is enabled in your iOS Camera app).

Once this has completed, you'll find that identified images are separated into "bad" images, and "duplicates."

Once this has completed, you’ll find that identified images are separated into “bad” images, and “similar photos”

Next, iPhone owners can look over the selection, and review images they’d like to keep. In our testing, Gallery Doctor wasn’t perfect; at times, it picked out “bad photos” which looked fine. Its duplicate images, too, were sometimes two separate (and subtly different) photographs. Fortunately, you can go through the selected images and remove certain ones from the group. This is definitely something you’re going to want to do, and carefully, too. The last thing you’d want would be for Gallery Doctor to delete images you wanted to keep.

You'll need to be careful. As you can see here, several "bad photos" are actually pretty good. I'll untick them before proceeding with the clean-up.

You’ll need to be careful. As you can see here, several “bad photos” are actually pretty good. Untick them before proceeding with the clean-up

In fact, the more we used Gallery Doctor, the more we felt this is really an integral shortcoming. Because each time we performed a library scan using Gallery Doctor (which, in our testing, took some five minutes for a library containing approximately 12,000 images), the application recurrently misidentified “bad” pictures. This of course meant that we’d have to go through, manually deselecting photographs. If you’re doing this frequently then you’ve got to ask yourself: why not manually prune your library in this way in the first place, without using Gallery Doctor at all?

Of course, make sure Gallery Doctor has access to your iOS Photos app. It'll need this in order to work its magic.

Of course, make sure Gallery Doctor has access to your iOS Photos app. It’ll need this in order to work its magic

For the most part Gallery Doctor is a great app. Its user interface (UI) is great: the application adopts a simple color scheme, it displays (in large, white lettering) the amount of space a library clean-up could save, and it represents this visually, too, using a circular graphic. There are no additional options to tweak or configure in Gallery Doctor: the app is simple to use, and gets the job done quickly.

The only problem is that Gallery Doctor has the ability to remove a handful of great pictures in its process. You’ve been warned: check through and review all identified images carefully before hitting the delete button.

Review: Gallery Doctor – Clean up the trash in your Photos app
Gallery Doctor sounds great, in theory. But in practice the app underperforms when it comes to identifying "bad" images.
For
  • It looks great
  • It can work alongside iCloud Photo Library
  • It could save a lot of space
Against
  • It misidentifies "bad" images too often to ignore
3.0Overall Score