Blog | Apple Photo Scores: AI Judges Your Photos

Apple Photo Scores: AI Judges Your Photos

Art critics have been present long before the birth of photography and have accompanied photographers through the journey from analog to digital. Now, with the proliferation of machine learning and the integration of on-device ML chips, such as Apple's Neural Engine chip, your smartphone has evolved into a discerning critic of your photographic creations.

Apple’s ML Photo Scores

Apple uses AI/ML to give each of your photos a series of scores. This is a hidden and undocumented feature that employs machine learning algorithms to examine your photos and allocate a score based on numerous factors such as quality, sharpness, and more. These scores are listed below (you can click through each of those links below to see all my photos ordered by each score):

These scores are preserved in an SQLite database and remain invisible to the end user. However, they serve to sort and highlight your photos, streamlining the process of finding your best shots. For instance, Apple’s ML model believes this is my number one overall photo:

I mean, it’s pretty good, but best overall? Here are the second and third ones:

Seeing your photo’s scores

I used the amazing osxphotos app from Rhet Turnbull to extract the scores as well as a wealth of other metadata, which I then used to construct the site you're currently browsing. When you click on any of the photos above, you can view the various scores presented as a histogram and bar graph in the metadata section, located below the photo (on mobile) or beside it (on desktop).

Here are some of my favorite score categories:

Pleasant Perspective


Pleasant Symmetry

What does this mean for the future of photography?

Judging the quality of your photos is just the beginning of what machine learning can bring to the field of photography. As the technology continues to evolve, we are seeing more advanced features that use machine learning algorithms to analyze and improve photos in new and exciting ways.

For example, machine learning algorithms can automatically adjust the brightness, contrast, and color of your photos to make them look their best. The possibilities are endless, and we're just scratching the surface of what machine learning can bring to the field of photography (along with pretty much everything in life today).

I hope you enjoy exploring my photos based on the somewhat helpful and certainly interesting hidden feature of Apple’s Photo Scores.


  • Apple
  • Machine learning
  • Photography
  • ML Photo Scores
  • iOS
  • Photos app
  • osxphotos
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Computer vision
  • SQLite



Post date:

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023 at 3:06:51 PM