Missing Data in Apple Photos and Google Photos

The Y2K Bug in 2021 featured image
Timeline of photo and video formats across decades, focused on transition from analog to digital around the year 2000.
As you’re scrolling through your photos, from 2021 to 2020, then to 2019 and before, you eventually hit an arbitrary wall in the 2000’s.

As you are scrolling through your photos from 2022 to 2021, then to 2020 and before, you eventually hit an arbitrary wall in the 2000’s.

If photos allow us to remember who we are, then about 60% of U.S. adults are missing 50%1 or more of the data that would help guide them through life.

Imagine how Republicans and Democrats might work better together if before a meeting, perhaps in the morning while enjoying breakfast, members of congress looked through pictures and saw themselves from a few moments before, last year, the decade prior, and even as newborns as captured by their parents.

With childhood pictures easily connected to our current memories, each member of society has the potential to treat each other from now to the future through the kindness and eyes of a child.

Since the mainstream adoption of computers and internet in the late 1990’s, people have used four main operating systems; Windows and Mac, and starting a decade later, iOS and Android.

There is a major inherent flaw in the core logic of applications designed for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, which inhibits our ability to connect the data of our lives together.

Each respective built-in app for organizing photos disregards memories which do not fit perfectly into their digital-native system. At best, an old photo scanned today will show up with a date of 2021.

This is why, for example, there is no easy way to import VHS tapes or 35mm negatives with a date which would make the chronology of an entire library of photos and videos make sense.

The reason this problem still exists is simple: Apple, Microsoft, and Google are computer and/or software companies.

Apple, headquartered in California, makes the most profit by assembling their computers in Asia.

Imagine Apple solving this problem by introducing a new digitization service in 2021, where it would send your precious baby albums and box of irreplaceable tapes or reels overseas.

While tracking the shipment progress of your memories via UPS, you might see “Cleared customs, Shanghai, China”.

Google (Alphabet), Microsoft, and Apple select and optimize their products and services to maximize revenue per employee. Despite the bad press2, Amazon is the nicest company on this list.

Google’s 2021 about page is an interesting dichotomy in logic.

“Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

Google offers approximately 70,000 answers per second3, however they cannot successfully provide access and usability to all your information from all your photos and videos.

Google continues; “Our products. Make life easier with a little help from our products.”

One of Google’s main products, Google Photos, is marketed as “One home for all your photos – organized and easy to find.”

Does “all” truly mean all? It would be more truthful if all* would have an asterisk with a footnote that read “from the year 2000 onwards.”

How do you find all pictures of yourself, including yourself as a child?

Google states; “Our commitments. Dedicated to improving people’s lives. As true today as it was at the start.”

If they have been committed to improving people’s lives by providing tens of thousands of answers per second, then they have also led people astray trillions of times since 1998.

Google concludes with; “Our stories. The best part about technology is seeing what the world does with it.” 

It’s hard to tell a truthful story if you cannot start at the beginning.

Apple’s marketing of Photos is similarly unoriginal.

Apple has been in business since 1976 and Google since 1998. If they haven’t cared to solve this Y2K bug by now, will they ever, and if yes, why now?

It is easy to write about problems without offering a solution.

Luckily, I’ve been working on solving this problem since 2002.

I approached this problem holistically, creating an open system which encapsulates all operating systems, storage devices, and analog formats in a way that allows for uniting a lifetime of memories together.

My seemingly impossible goal was to see every picture from my life on one screen with a single action and create this in a systematic way so I could accomplish the same for everyone else.

These are the fruits of my labor.

The possibilities from here are infinite.

1: Adults considered to have 50% or more of their memories before the year 2000 were born prior to 1981.
Percentage calculated in number of years, not number of photos.

2: Well-publicized article about working at Amazon by The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html

3: Estimated Google search queries per second. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/google-search-statistics

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