Everything new with the Photos app in iOS 12

Posted:
in iOS
The stock Photos app on the iPhone and iPad is home to all the images you shoot on your devices. Apple has made some great improvements in their massive iOS 12 update and AppleInsider is going in to show you everything that has changed.




For you

The most noticeable change is the new tab titled "For You." It replaces the outgoing "Memories" and "Shared" tabs and combines both of those categories as well as additional content.




Think of it almost as the Photos equivalent of the Apple Music "For You" tab. Along the top is a sprawling feed of shared album activity. Below are sharing suggestions. These are based on the AI's ability to recognize people in the photos. If it recognizes someone, it will suggest you share that album with them.

Memories is next, which is largely unchanged from iOS 11, comes next. It will promote different memories it thinks you may be interested in looking at, and new ones as they are made.

A new section called Featured Photos will highlight photos it thinks are well done.

At the bottom are effect suggestions. These will be for any Portrait Mode or Live Photo's you've taken. It could suggest photos that are great for a loop effect, or where they could be brightened up with Studio Lighting.

Search

Searching for photos is way more powerful in iOS 12. Siri is able to help out looking out for more specific memories. Within Photos, Search has been upgraded to its own tab.

When actually performing a search, it is significantly faster than in the past (a common theme in iOS 12).




Multiple terms can also be linked together. After you search for something -- like "water" -- related terms will be presented below. Tapping any with add them to the query, fine-tuning the search. For our water search, we got suggestions based on locations, lake vs ocean, and dates.

There are also more search terms than ever. You could search for places in the past, but you can now be even more specific. You can search for photos taken at something like One Line Coffee, or even just "coffee shops" in general.

Imports

On the iPad, there are lots of changes to photo imports. AppleInsider covered them more in-depth in our iPad and iOS 12 feature, but it should make photographers overjoyed.

When importing photos from a camera or SD card, they can now be imported directly to a new or existing album rather than into the camera roll. Previously imported photos will be sorted out into their own section on the top, photos can be previewed full-screen before importing, during the import, the progress indicator can show the number of photos remaining, and import speed overall is quicker.

Tweaks

There are other minor changes as well. All media type albums have new icons. This looks better and makes it easy to tell which albums are which.




Swiping through albums is now horizontal versus vertical, which allows much more to be fit into the tab. Scrolling vertically goes between the different categories such as My Albums, Shared Albums, People & Places, Media Types, and Other Albums.

Other Albums is handy and shows imports, hidden photos, and those recently deleted.

Keep shooting

It is nice to see Apple putting so much effort into improving the stock Photos app, as it used to be problematic with large libraries. While there is still work to do, daily users should be happy with all the changes Apple has implemented.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    It's still totally inadequate for families. Album sharing as implemented is not suitable for sharing tens of thousands of photos between spouses, like taking daily pictures of your kids.

    AppleInsider, if you could do a deep dive on best practices for family photo sharing I would LOVE to read that. It's one of those things maybe you don't realize is a problem until you have kids and then, oh boy, is it a problem. You guys are really good at digging in an exercising the features and exploring all the options.

    For instance we have had to resort to using photo import by wire into one of our libraries and use that as the "family" library. But that means only one of us can look at the whole library on our iOS devices. If we were to use the shared album feature, not only is the sharing process manual and error prone (meaning it's hard to know if we shared all the right photos), but we don't get any of the first-class library features for organizing our family photos like moments or searching.
    edited September 2018
  • Reply 2 of 17
    abolish said:
    It's still totally inadequate for families. Album sharing as implemented is not suitable for sharing tens of thousands of photos between spouses, like taking daily pictures of your kids.

    AppleInsider, if you could do a deep dive on best practices for family photo sharing I would LOVE to read that. It's one of those things maybe you don't realize is a problem until you have kids and then, oh boy, is it a problem. You guys are really good at digging in an exercising the features and exploring all the options.

    For instance we have had to resort to using photo import by wire into one of our libraries and use that as the "family" library. But that means only one of us can look at the whole library on our iOS devices. If we were to use the shared album feature, not only is the sharing process manual and error prone (meaning it's hard to know if we shared all the right photos), but we don't get any of the first-class library features for organizing our family photos like moments or searching.
    I totally agree. One of the features I miss most is the ability to have shared “photos in the cloud”. 
  • Reply 3 of 17
    Just bring back iPhoto.

    And, Apple, if you’re going to ‘tweak’ anything at all, just frikkin’ add the functionality to easily get rid of duplicates (or more). Surely, it has to be be far easier to recognize duplicates than faces?
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 4 of 17
    I went to Peru recently and shot about 1600 photos and videos with my iphoneX....all the time, every day...and that‘s where the problems with Photo became visible...not only would it not switch to landscape mode but lots of other errors popped up like the iPhone shooting (20,40,60....) series of photos just because I slightly raised it, another bug manifests itself when showing videos using apple TV using screen synch..it works really bad..there are many, many other errors in the existing app and I hope they just fix those
  • Reply 5 of 17
    I really like Photos - I have almost every single photo I've taken back to 1972 on there and it works fine and being able to pull my iPad out anywhere and find almost any of those 10,000+ photos straight away is a regular joy. But ... you still need a Mac to get the best out of the iOS version:

    Can only locate/geotag a photo on a map taken with an SLR when using a Mac
    Can only change a photo's title on a Mac
    Can only add keywords on a Mac

    The first two omissions are by far the worst. Image analysis is amazing but there is no way (yet) for it to identify a particular car model, a particular beach, a name of a pet, a particular party etc. etc. In photos for Mac I can add this information so that if I want to find "Fred's 50th" or "classic car run" I can do so almost instantly. If I had only iOS it would require a lot of scrolling around. The inability to add a photo's location may not be noticeable to many users if all your photos are taken on a GPS enabled camera but for those of us shooting on a non-GPS SLR it would be a real loss to lose all that location information both to viewing and searching. If you are trying to use your iPad instead of a MacBook you'll have to hold onto that Mac.

    All things Apple could sort with little effort.
    welshdog
  • Reply 6 of 17
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,083member
    The above commenters have loads of good suggestions for improving Photos (which is IMHO a big improvement on iPhoto at this point), but you guys are wasting your time if you only post these smart, useful ideas here -- take advantage of the feedback button under the Help menu in Photos if you actually want to see these features implemented. Apple put it there for a reason -- they want to hear your feature ideas!
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 17
    Apple currently requires that any photos imported from an SD card using their lightning adapter reside in a folder called DCIM and have 8.3 character names.  Does anyone know if this antiquated requirement been removed??
  • Reply 8 of 17
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,032member
    Until it gains the ability to localise photos, moments or whole collections it’s of limited use.  Our library is mainly DSLR RAW and too large to fit on our 256GB iPad Pro.  Whilst ‘optimise’ allows us to access the whole library it’s impossibly slow to even do mundane things like run a slideshow.  Importing photos/video to iMovie or Luma Fusion is like pulling teeth.  Trying to use this as a hub for Affinity/Lightroom mobile is impractical too.

    What is logically a great idea is let down by basic omissions.  Even an Apple Music-style download/offload icon would do it but it ain’t there.  That content localisation control should have been rolled out across iOS12.  And yes, I have fed this request (along with auto AirDrop syncing between devices with the same iCloud account) back to Apple.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 17
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,032member
    mweber said:
    Apple currently requires that any photos imported from an SD card using their lightning adapter reside in a folder called DCIM and have 8.3 character names.  Does anyone know if this antiquated requirement been removed??
    I don’t know but I’d like that card reader to be available for direct import to other Apps.
  • Reply 10 of 17
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,032member
    I really like Photos - I have almost every single photo I've taken back to 1972 on there and it works fine and being able to pull my iPad out anywhere and find almost any of those 10,000+ photos straight away is a regular joy. But ... you still need a Mac to get the best out of the iOS version:

    Can only locate/geotag a photo on a map taken with an SLR when using a Mac
    Can only change a photo's title on a Mac
    Can only add keywords on a Mac

    The first two omissions are by far the worst. Image analysis is amazing but there is no way (yet) for it to identify a particular car model, a particular beach, a name of a pet, a particular party etc. etc. In photos for Mac I can add this information so that if I want to find "Fred's 50th" or "classic car run" I can do so almost instantly. If I had only iOS it would require a lot of scrolling around. The inability to add a photo's location may not be noticeable to many users if all your photos are taken on a GPS enabled camera but for those of us shooting on a non-GPS SLR it would be a real loss to lose all that location information both to viewing and searching. If you are trying to use your iPad instead of a MacBook you'll have to hold onto that Mac.

    All things Apple could sort with little effort.
    Yep, it sorely needs an info button or two.
  • Reply 11 of 17
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,032member
    bohler said:
    I went to Peru recently and shot about 1600 photos and videos with my iphoneX....all the time, every day...and that‘s where the problems with Photo became visible...not only would it not switch to landscape mode but lots of other errors popped up like the iPhone shooting (20,40,60....) series of photos just because I slightly raised it, another bug manifests itself when showing videos using apple TV using screen synch..it works really bad..there are many, many other errors in the existing app and I hope they just fix those
    Sounds like burst mode is on.  What do you mean by “really bad” - articulate.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,032member
    Just bring back iPhoto.

    And, Apple, if you’re going to ‘tweak’ anything at all, just frikkin’ add the functionality to easily get rid of duplicates (or more). Surely, it has to be be far easier to recognize duplicates than faces?
    I really liked the brush edits of iPhoto for iOS even without a pencil at the time.  This sold me on iPad as a photo-editing device.

    When extensions came out I thought they were the business but does anyone know of any good ones?  Most I can see are bland filters.  If Apple upped their game (iCloud Pro Photo Library) with good asset mgt, multiuser collaboration + extensions + pencil, iPad would rule the genre.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 17
    abolish said:
    It's still totally inadequate for families. Album sharing as implemented is not suitable for sharing tens of thousands of photos between spouses, like taking daily pictures of your kids.

    AppleInsider, if you could do a deep dive on best practices for family photo sharing I would LOVE to read that. It's one of those things maybe you don't realize is a problem until you have kids and then, oh boy, is it a problem. You guys are really good at digging in an exercising the features and exploring all the options.

    For instance we have had to resort to using photo import by wire into one of our libraries and use that as the "family" library. But that means only one of us can look at the whole library on our iOS devices. If we were to use the shared album feature, not only is the sharing process manual and error prone (meaning it's hard to know if we shared all the right photos), but we don't get any of the first-class library features for organizing our family photos like moments or searching.
    Agreed. They could have done so much more to improve this. For example, by “auto suggesting” which photos probably belong in a shared album based on an identical geographical location and time combo shared between spouses and/or using face recognition. So if we both go to Mexico and shoot photos around the same location, it’s probably because we are there together and want the damn photos in our shared album! 

    What is also still very annoying is the fact that albums are filters. For example all checks that j write (unfortunately something that is still very common in the USA), I move it into my “checks” album. Which means I don’t want it in the “all photos” album. Hiding each photo is cumbersome. 
    wcmatt
  • Reply 14 of 17

    The 2 Photos related things I'd really like are:

    1. Local delete option on iCloud Photo Library - I don't want the photos to be deleted from iCloud if I delete them locally. I know that the photos on iCloud Photo Library do not count towards your iCloud Drive space, so obviously if Apple allowed for local delete, everyone's iCloud Photo Library would balloon and Apple would quickly start running out of space.

    So as a compromise, I'd like it if they allowed for local delete and also said that the iCloud Photo Library would count towards your iCloud storage. I can live with that.


    2. Ability to add custom tags - The fact that Apple now allows to search for "water" and then drill down to "pond" means that they do have some algorithms in place to identify this. They need to extend it and allow Users to add custom tags so searching for photos in large libraries is a snap.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 17
    Just bring back iPhoto.

    And, Apple, if you’re going to ‘tweak’ anything at all, just frikkin’ add the functionality to easily get rid of duplicates (or more). Surely, it has to be be far easier to recognize duplicates than faces?
    Totally agree. Exact duplicates (same file size, same imagery) should be dead easy to find and delete. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 17
    FolioFolio Posts: 441member
    Two-step process to "Mark Up" in color (and then two step "Done" to exit) needs a little Cupertino cranial polishing. Also maybe let loose some AI to properly orient all text screenshots and photos so they are readably upright no matter how device is held. It's a pain to manually "edit in" this if you've got a lot of text. With rollout of an improved Texture magazine app, and many more people likely taking screenshots and highlighting sections, might be a timely thing to prioritize.
  • Reply 17 of 17
     Just a quick question for anyone who has already played around with this new photos app. I’m just wondering if they somehow added back a way to hide photos from the camera roll?  

    As much as I do enjoy the photos app this has been one of the biggest issues for me in the past couple years since they changed this. Previously the hide funtion would hide a photo from the camera roll but would still leave it in your albums that you created. Now the hide function completely hides the photo from everywhere.

    I get the logic of this but I still miss the ability to hide a pic from my camera roll so I can organize everything in albums and only have left in the camera roll the few pictures that haven’t been put in albums or won’t be kept very long. I just find that I use the Photos app so much less now that the camera roll has to have every single photo I’ve ever taken to scroll through. It has, in my mind, become so much harder to organize my photos within this app. 

     Any insight into whether this has been brought back as a feature or perhaps there is a workaround that I don’t know about?  I feel like they did this to push people into using their moments feature. Moments is visually very pleasing but I just don’t find it a great way to organize photos. 
    edited September 2018 wcmatt
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