The Roll brings Google Photos like image recognition based search to iPhone

The Roll, by EyeEm, is a new app for iPhone that implements smart search based on deep learning and image recognition. It helps automatically organize photos based on their content as well as recognize the best photos based on an ‘aesthetic score’.


The Roll fills an important feature gap for iOS which is smart search for Photos. It is easy to accumulate thousands of photos over time and album based organization just does not work unless you have the time to do so. The Roll helps fix this and creates smart albums based on the objects or people inside the Photos as well as their locations. It also groups together duplicates and highlights the best photos from them so you can get rid of useless photos easily. The search allows users to find different photos by using keywords. For example, you can search for cat and it will show photos with a cat in them.

The Roll vs Google Photos’ search

As a longterm user of Google Photos, here is why I do not see myself switching over to The Roll: photo back up and people tagging. With Google Photos, I can tag faces with contacts’ names and it will recognise them and let me quickly search for them. The face recognition carries over to any platform I use which has Google Photos support so it does not have to re-learn or re-scan photos from scratch. Google Photos also provides other benefits such as albums, image edits and much more.

The Roll’s search is almost as good as Google’s, except that it tags all people as just people instead of unique facial recognition. However, for users who are concerned about privacy and do not want their photos backed up to the cloud, The Roll one ups Google Photos here by not storing information on their servers. During the first set up, The Roll will scan your images to organize and tag them but does not back them up.

As a free app, The Roll is a certainly worth a try if you are not a Google Photos user. It will make your searches much smarter, let you find your best photos and let you delete duplicates much easier.

Download The Roll for iPhone

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