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I just recently learned that Photos app has a quite a lot metadata for the images I have taken, try searching for "fruit", "book", "food", "baked", "bottle". As a feature this is pretty neat, it simplifies searching for past pictures much easier. In addition to this the logic can detect people from pictures and even identify them.

However I am concerned about the privacy factor. I have not enabled iCloud Photos sharing. Yet when I take new photo of an apple in Airplane mode, the search finds it as "fruit" only after I have enabled Internet access again. This means that Apple is sending my images (or some derivates of them) to their servers to be processed.

I haven't found any source that explain exactly what happens there, so I can only guess.

Does Apple really send photos to their servers or am I doing something wrong?

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Not seeing this behaviour.

I put my iPhone into Airplane Mode, took a picture of a coffee cup. When I tapped the search icon in Photos, at the bottom, saw an "Indexing" spinner for a while (less than a minute). After that, search on "cup" found the picture. Repeated with a photo of a candle, same behaviour.

Maybe you should wait a bit longer.

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    It looks like my original assumption was wrong. I have tried again and needed to wait a bit longer. Thank you for the quick answer. – CharlieY Sep 6 '17 at 15:54

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