Version Reviewed: 1.0
iPhone Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
I feel that I've come to a point in my life where there are more pressing matters than making sure every photo one of my friends and I are in is tagged as soon as it is taken, or as close to that point as possible. That being said, I've got some sick pix on my facebook you definitely need to check out.
[caption id="attachment_14845" align="alignright" width="200" caption="My good looks broke the software."]
[/caption]Utility apps on the iPhone, such as Face Match, serve one purpose, and that purpose is to make some task that may be mundane, drawn out, or a bit inconvenient much more pleasant to finish. I'm not quite sure if Face Match is quite up to this challenge, though it makes a valiant effort.
Face Match is an application that brings the iPhone facial recognition software, much like that in iPhoto '09 for those of you that are familiar with Apple software. For those of you that are not, the formula is simple. You tag faces that the software has not seen before and from that point on it will automatically tag that individual on its own.. Face Match attempts to work much in the same way. It serves as an alternative photo library and another way to upload pre-tagged photos to Facebook. To do this you open up the app, sync it with your Facebook information, and then can choose photos from your phone's photo library to tag and upload. The facial recognition software works. It's not amazing, but it does work under the right circumstances. The target must be facing forward, can't be wearing a hat or sunglasses or anything that will obscure any part of the face, and the lighting has to be just right. The face also has to be just big enough, but not too big, and not too small. Are you writing all this down?
[caption id="attachment_14842" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="Who\'s really two faced?"]
An app like this will only find success if it can make a task easier than it already was. Face Match, in many situations, is only a different path to the same destination. Uploading your photos straight to Facebook and tagging them the old way would be just as fast, if not faster. The first time that you tag somebody within Face Match, it can be somewhat of a lengthy process. Getting Face Match to load a photo up on my 3G sometimes could take up to around 10 seconds. The actual process of tagging the photo was a lengthy one as well. My phone experienced a ton of lag when trying to type and allow the app to search through my phone's contacts and my Facebook contacts. Things get easier once you have already tagged a friend, but not by much. If Face Match recognizes the face (which it honestly does a pretty impressive job of, assuming the previously mentioned conditions have been met) you have to tap the square around the face and verify Face Match's hypothesis, which takes maybe a second or two shorter than simply typing somebody's name in on Facebook.
[caption id="attachment_14844" align="alignright" width="200" caption="I\'m upset it doesn\'t work right too. But I\'m not crying..."]
I also encountered a wee little bug where pictures of the same person with the same name weren't put together in the same album, but this only occurred when you renamed someone after accidentally getting rid of the original tag. This being said, the user interface works really well, it's just such a shame that it's not all that smooth to use.
Where the convenience is supposed to come in this app is the ability to have an application upload AND tag your photo's for you, but Face Match just falls a bit short in the long run. I really hope this app improves in the future because I actually enjoyed using it. It didn't really save a TON of time, but for whatever reason it did feel a bit more convenient than dealing with Facebook's crappy mobile interface. The app never once crashed on me which is more then I can say for Facebook. I will definitely use this app again, but if I woke up tomorrow and it wasn't on my phone, I probably wouldn't be too devastated. Face Match does what it says it will do... just not amazingly well. Hopefully after a few updates this one can live up to it's full potential, and TO will stop crying.