No More Pawing Through Photos: The Revolutionary ‘People & Pets’ Feature in iOS 17"

Lori Ballen
4 min readNov 30, 2023

The latest updates in iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma bring a delightful enhancement for pet lovers: the “People & Pets” feature in the Photos app. This advanced functionality transforms how we interact with our digital memories, offering a seamless and intuitive way to organize and cherish photos of our beloved pets.

Understanding the Technology

Sophistic image recognition technology lies at the heart of the “People & Pets” feature. This system, powered by machine learning, scans your photo library, identifying and categorizing images of pets.

It’s a smart extension of the existing facial recognition technology, now adept at distinguishing animals from humans and objects.

The Automatic Sorting Process

  • Indexing the Library: Initially, the device indexes every photo and video in your library, analyzing content to understand what’s depicted.
  • Pet Detection: Post-indexing, the algorithm identifies and segregates images containing pets.
  • Dynamic Album Creation: These identified images are then automatically placed in a dedicated “People & Pets” album.

Step-by-Step Guide for Using the “People & Pets” Feature in iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and macOS Sonoma


The “People & Pets” feature in the latest iOS, iPadOS, and macOS versions offers an innovative way to organize and cherish your pet photos. This guide will walk you through the steps to effectively use this feature.

Step 1: Update Your Device

  • Ensure your iPhone, iPad, or Mac is updated to the latest version (iOS 17, iPadOS 17, or macOS Sonoma).
  • Go to Settings > General > Software Update on your iPhone or iPad, or visit the App Store on your Mac to check for updates.

Step 2: Access the Photos App

  • Open the Photos app on your device.

Step 3: Enable the “People & Pets” Feature



Lori Ballen

Lori's passion for blogging and commitment to empowering others is evident in her comprehensive, easy-to-follow articles.