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Managing Photos in iOS 8

With Photos in iOS 8 Apple has changed things up a lot. Basically, Apple decided to build photo and video handling right into the operating system and seamlessly connect to their icloud product. Given the scope of changes we decided to round up a guide for users who want to better understand how to manage photos in iOS.

Where to find photos in iOS 8

Let’s start with the bad news first. The familiar Camera Roll and Photo Stream collections are gone. Most new iOS 8 users fret that their photos are all gone with it. Don’t worry, your photos are still there, just in different places. With iOS 8, the standard Apple Photos app has a new organizational structure that has confused a lot of new iPhone 6 users.

When you tap on the Albums in the app, where the Camera Roll was is now Recently Added, which has all the recent photos you’ve taken in the last 30 days on your iPhone or iPad. For older photos you need to use the Years, Collections, and Moments views. You get to that from the Photos button. As with the Recently Added album, the Years, Collections, and Moments groups contain both local and shared photos.

Cool new photo features in iOS 8

Find all your photos on any device:  With Photos on iOS 8 Apple is replacing Photo Stream “backup” with iCloud Photo Library (shared Photo Streams will still be available as a social feature). It will store all your pictures and videos forever. All photos and videos are stored at their full resolution and in their original formats. iCloud Photo Library also includes syncing the organizational structure of any and all albums you make, and the differential files for any edits you’ve made to the originals, to all of your devices — iPhone, iPad, Mac, and even Windows via the web. So, if you take a picture with your iPhone, it’ll quickly appear on your iPad as well. If you edit a photo on your iPad, those edits will quickly be applied to the version on your Mac as well. If you favorite a photo on your Mac, you’ll be able to pull it up on a browser on a Windows PC and see it right there in the favorites album.

Advanced storage: iOS devices just don’t have that much storage if you have tens of thousands of photos or spend your days shooting full resolution videos. Keeping photos and videos all locally on the device is a problem because you’ll run out of space. Apple developed a very cool caching solution keeps a reasonable number of your media on your device and stores the rest of them on the cloud. Recently added and viewed photos and videos are the most likely be cached locally, and potentially in scaled-to-device sizes to make the most efficient use of storage.

Cheaper cloud: The bad news there is that Apple is holding the free line at 5GB which is really low when you consider what other storage companies offer. The good news is that prices are coming down. For $12 a year you can get 20GB, and from a mind- 50GB to $48 a year for 200GB. Where previously 50GB was the hard limit, there will now also be tiers going up to 1TB, though Apple hasn’t disclosed pricing for those yet.

Rate photos: Your new iPhone now lets you favorite photos, using a new heart icon. Click it and that photo becomes a favorite and will automatically appear in the new favorites folder. These are then synced between all your Apple devices,. A photo or video you mark as a favorite on one device will be a favorite on all devices.

Smart search: Tame your thousands of photos and videos with way smarter search from Apple. Options include nearby, one year ago, favorites and home. Tap on any one of those to narrow down your search. You can also start typing a new search and Photos will start to match it based on months of the year, city and other geographic names and obviously the names of your albums.

Better editing tools: You can rotate images, straighten photos and use the magic wand. Some added options include editing light, color or black and white. You can use third party filters right from inside the Photos app too which is nice.

Family Sharing: The idea is that you can share a variety of content between family members, including iTunes music, movies, TV shows, and apps. You can also share family photo albums. When you set up Family Sharing it will automatically set up a shared family album for pictures and videos, so you can all keep up-to-date with each other, comment, favorite, and more.

Other Tips & Tools For Managing Photos in iOS 8

Recently Added folder: This new folder includes any photo you have taken within the past 30 days. This is where you will spend most of your time launching from, so get to know it.

Panorama and Burst folders: Remember panoramas, well they are still popular aparently. You can take panoramas by swiping in camera mode to the “Panorama” setting. Burst photos can be taken in any setting by merely holding down the camera button while taking a picture. This is a great tweak given the number of times I’ve fumbled trying to get burst mode going on older phones.

Favorites: We talked about this feature above and it makes out top tips list because it is powerful. Now that everything synchs across devices, using the favorite button (at the bottom of every photo) makes sure your best photos are all synched to your other devices into your global Favorites folder.

Straighten photos: If you want to straighten it up just a touch, you can use the degree straightening tool. Pick the photo, then click “Edit.” Select the “Crop” box symbol, and you’ll see underneath the crop lines, there is a half-circle of degrees that range from 70 to -70.

Collections: The fastest way to look at all of your photos at once is in the Collections folder, a subset of the Photos section.

Hide photos: You can “Hide” media you don’t want people to find. In the Photos section, select a picture and hold your finger on it. The options “Copy” and “Hide” will come up. Select “Hide” and it will eliminate the photo from your Collections. Don’t worry, it doesn’t fully disappear, it just adds it to the Hidden folder.

Sliding manual exposure: While taking a picture, you can still tap the screen for focus or exposure. However, now with iOS 8, you can tap the exposure and discover a bar that lets you decide how much you want.


Related content:

  1. The Practical iOS 8 Features You Will Absolutely Love
  2. iOS 8: Guide to Family Sharing
  3. 6 Tips and Tricks for Your iPhone 6 Camera