NOTE FROM THE FUTURE: THIS BUG HAS BEEN FIXED IN iOS6. PLEASE UPDATE YOUR DEVICE(S) AND RE-SYNC YOUR PHOTO LIBRARY. THANK YOU APPLE!

One of the most 'magical' features in Remembary is the way that it automatically includes all of the pictures that you took on a given day, and even puts them on a map if they've been geotagged. Quick snapshots over the course of a day become reminders and placemarks of what you did, making for a more full diary experience. It's especially powerful when traveling or visiting new places - it becomes an instant travelogue.

When iOS5 came out, they changed the way that dates work in the photo library. Manual date/time changes in iPhoto don't come across to the photo library anymore, making the back-dating of scanned photos impossible. Even worse, if you crop or rotate a photo, it now shows up in the date and time that it was cropped - so if you like to 'tune up' pictures after you come back from a trip, everything gets out of order.

While casual photographs and shots from the Photo Stream still work fine, this bug makes it difficult to have the photo library match your whole life.

It turns out this isn't just a problem with Remembary: it also happens in Apple's flagship iPhoto for iOS. If you make a "Journal" in iPhoto from cropped or scanned photos, not only will the pictures often be out of order, but if you drag a 'date' icon into the journal, it will show the wrong date.

After the big iOS6 announcement last week, Apple released updates to iTunes and iPhoto, including a fix that "fixes a problem where photos synced to a device may appear in an unexpected order. It sounded like maybe they had fixed the problem. I was excited when I got a message from iPhoto that it needed to make a big upgrade my photo library, and even more excited when I synced to my iPad and it said it was updating over 1000 pictures. That's probably about the number of cropped or re-dated pictures in my current library. 

But when I started Remembary again, it was even worse. Here's a map of where the iOS photo library thinks I was yesterday:

 

Not only didn't the dates get fixed, but now every updated picture thinks it was taken yesterday.

I'd love to find a better way for this to work. Unfortunately, there's only one date field available in the ALAsset class, and that field still seems to be broken.

Hey Apple folks - could you take some time out of upgrading Siri and making 3D maps and adding fine Corinthian leather to everything and really fix the photo library? Please? It's great to see that you've been trying - but it looks like you're going to have to try harder. Thanks!

Posted
AuthorAndrew Burke