I've spent some time teaching Photos on my Mac to know which face belongs to what name and now have a nice set of groups. I'd like to be able to access that metadata on iOS - preferably through automation and the iCloud Photo Library.

Is there any way to see these groups/tags/keywords attached to photos in any usable way on iOS?

macOS 10.12 - Photos app Version 2.0 (445.1.15)
iOS 10.0.2 + Photos


1 Answer 1


Kind of. The metadata is there and can be read by Photos on the iOS - I'm just not sure that there's a good way of automatically doing it and grouping them as you want.

But try this: launch Photos on your phone, hit the search magnifying glass, and start typing someone's name. It'll give you a menu list of all of the people, locations, albums, keywords etc that match your search.

My guess is that 'smart searches' will be coming soon, where you can then save that search and then later just pull it up as though it were an album. You can do the same in Photos on OS X but it doesn't sync that album over to iOS ... yet.

  • Woah! I didn't even think to try this. This might be all I need while I wait for Apple to get it's code together.
    – bmike
    Apr 28, 2015 at 22:15
  • 1
    Unless I'm doing something wrong this doesn't seem to be true with Photos in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra. I tagged people on a Mac last week and they still aren't available in the search feature in Photos on iOS 10 today. Sep 25, 2016 at 20:58
  • Yeah, this answer was posted before Sierra and iOS 10 came out.
    – Harv
    Sep 26, 2016 at 5:05

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