At first glance, the Photos app on iOS does not look to have changed that much in recent software updates. However, if you dig a little deeper you will soon find a lot of useful shortcuts for managing photos on your iOS device. For this post I am going to give a shout out to Fraser Speirs (@fraserspeirs) and Federico Viticci (@viticci) because of their recent episode on this very topic over on the Canvas podcast. Some of these tips I had known about before, but a couple were brand new to me, so here are the best of the best.
In the past, when people have brought me their iPads and asked if there was a quick way to remove multiple photos and videos at once, I would have said no. However, I now know better. There is still no option to “Select All” but there is a faster way than manually tapping individual photos. Here’s how it works.
When you are in the Camera Roll, tap Select in the top right-hand corner of the screen, then select multiple photos (or videos) by pressing and dragging your finger across the screen to select multiple items. Alternatively, you can press and hold on a photo or video on the far left of the screen and drag your finger down the left-hand side to select entire rows at a time. Once you have selected the ones you want to delete, tap the trash can to remove them.
The Recently Deleted Album
Speaking of deleted photos and videos, did you know that they are not deleted immediately? Photos and/or videos that you choose to delete are moved to a special album called Recently Deleted. They will stay here for at least 30 days, just in case you have a change of heart and decide to restore them to the camera roll. However, if you so choose, you can navigate to this album and delete the contents manually at any time. Simply tap Select, and then Delete All.
Can’t find the photo you are looking for? The magnifying glass at the top of the screen will let you search through the photos on your iPad or iPhone. Simply type the name of the location you are looking for, or the date that you think it was captured, and your device will give you a page of search results based on your query. See the video below for how that works. You can search photos in iOS 8 or later.
Filter Your Favorite Photos
Ever wondered what the heart was for when viewing a photo or video? Tapping the heart marks it as a favorite, and automatically adds it to an album called Favorites. This lets you keep track of all the images that you want to access quickly or find without too much scrolling around when importing an image into another app.
Create a Folder for Photo Albums
This one is new to me, but it is kind of hidden by default so I have no idea how you would find it if someone didn’t tell you it was there. You can create folders in the Photos app to house multiple photo albums, just like you would on your home screen with multiple apps. To create a folder, open the Photos app and tap on the Albums tab. Then press and hold the “+” sign in the top left-hand folder and you will see an option for New Folder. Give your folder a name, then tap Save.
You can’t move existing albums to a folder, but you can add new albums inside this folder and transfer any images from your Camera Roll that you want to include in this new organizational system. Once you have moved everything over, you can delete your other albums, safe in the knowledge that you are not deleting any photos, just an organizational structure for them.
iCloud Photo Sharing
This is something that I experienced recently when I attended the Apple Educator Training program. We created a shared iCloud photo album that all participants could add photos and/or videos to throughout the day. Anyone who has the album shared with them can “like” or comment on anything that is added to it. This could be a great way to share learning and collaborate on photo and video projects, and to provide feedback in a virtual gallery walk style. Shared albums can even be shared as a website for anyone to view. iCloud Photo Sharing requires an Apple ID and more information on that can be found here.
Edit With Another App
The Photos app has a number of useful editing options for images, but it only does so much. What if you wanted to add a frame from Pixlr, a vignette from Photoshop Express or add some text from the Awesome Screenshot app. You can do all that from inside the Photos app. Simply tap on the photo you want to modify and then tap Edit in the top right-hand corner. In the editor, tap the three dots (see below) to choose an app that you want to borrow some editing features from. If you don’t see the one you want, tap More and toggle the switch next to the app you want to appear in this menu. Once you are finished, tap Done to return to the iOS editor.
For more tips and tricks on how to manage photos on your iOS device, check out the excellent Canvas podcast from Fraser Speirs and Federico Viticci on Relay FM.