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Gallery Doctor review: The wrong prescription for getting rid of bad photos

J.R. Bookwalter | Sept. 15, 2015
iCloud Photo Library may be great for carrying around a lifetime’s worth of images without taking up all of the available space on iOS devices. But do you really need to carry around every single picture in the palm of your hand?

Users can fine-tune Gallery Doctor’s bad photo choices prior to deletion. Everything is selected by default, with a trashcan icon in the lower right corner of each thumbnail; a tap removes the image from removal, or you can tap and hold to see a preview. Sadly, there are no selection shortcuts, so if you only want to delete a handful of images, prepare for serious finger gymnastics from repeated tapping.

Likewise, the “similar” review displays flagged images side-by-side, one as “best photo” and the other with a trashcan icon. While this comes in handy for burst mode shots, in my experience Gallery Doctor identified way too many photos that looked nothing alike.

gallery doctor similar photos
Gallery Doctor’s poor bedside manner doesn’t do a particularly great job flagging similar photos.

And it gets worse: There’s no option to start over unless you go through all three review stages, at which point Gallery Doctor is supposed to get smarter with subsequent attempts. I wound up having to delete and reinstall the app in order to start fresh—this time with a gallery health score of only 32 percent, at which point I threw up my hands and charged this doctor with malpractice.

Bottom line

Gallery Doctor sounds like a promising solution for scrubbing unwanted photos off your iPhone, but users with larger collections are better off performing this kind of surgery the old-fashioned way instead.


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