The Android smartphone has a number of lesser-known features, some of which actually can come in handy. One such feature is the ability to tag faces in photos within the Gallery app. This can be put to good use when you know you're going to need to be able to easily recall exactly who you took a photo of at a conference or meeting. Next time you run into that person, you can be sure to recognize them without having to walk through an awkward re-introduction.
Within the Android Gallery app, there's a tagging tool called Face tag. This tool allows you to select a face in a photo and tag that face with a contact from your phone. This feature is available in the latest iterations of Android (at least going back to 4.2).
Before you use the feature, you must make sure it's enabled. Here's how:
- Open the Gallery app
- Tap the menu button and select Settings
- Locate the "Face tag" option and tap to enable (Figure A)
You can also enable/disable the Tag buddy.
Once you've enabled the feature, follow these steps to put it to work:
- Open the Gallery app
- Locate the photo you want to tag
- Long-press the photo until the blue box appears (Figure B)
- Move the box to the face you want to tag (you can also re-size the box)
- Tap the Save button
- When prompted, locate the contact to be used for the tag (if none exists, create it)
- Tap the contact
Tagging a photo of myself on a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy S3.
Once the photo is tagged, the tag will automatically appear when you view and tap the photo (Figure C).
A photo of me and my mic.
Although you cannot use these tags as a means for a more efficient search on your phone, it does make it quite a lot easier to place a face with a name. This can come in handy when you're busy networking at a convention and know, at some point, you're going to want to remember what someone looks like in a meeting or interview.
One nice thing about face tagging is that, should you share an image (via email, messaging, etc), the tags are not included in the image. In fact, the face tagging system works only within the Android Gallery app. So, viewing the images in any app outside of Gallery will not display the tags.
If you're looking for an easy way to add a name to a photo on your Android smartphone, you can't go wrong with the Gallery Face tag tool. Though limited in scope, it can help you to put face and name together to help empower your social and professional networking skills.
What other tagging tips do you have for Android and iOS devices? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.