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View, Organize, Edit, and Share Pictures Using the Photos App on your iPhone or iPad

Jason R. Rich shows how to use the iOS 7's built-in apps to view, manage, edit, and share photos on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch.
This chapter is from the book

Both the Camera and Photos apps come preinstalled with iOS 7. Although the Camera app is used to control the cameras built in to your iPhone or iPad, the purpose of the Photos app is to help you organize, edit, enhance, print, and share the images that are stored in your iOS mobile device.


If you’re new to using the Photos app, you’ll discover it’s designed to help you manage your digital images when they’re stored on your iPhone or iPad. Thus, you can use this app to manage images you take using the cameras built in to your iOS mobile device, or work with images that you transfer into or sync with your iPhone or iPad (but that were taken using other photography equipment).

When it comes to sharing and syncing your photos, the nice thing about the Photos app is that it fully integrates with the AirDrop, Mail, Messages, Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr functionality that’s built in to iOS 7. In addition, it’s fully compatible with Apple’s online-based iCloud service, so you can access and manage images stored in the My Photo Stream or Shared Photo Streams that are part of your personal iCloud account. (You learn more about using iCloud to back up, sync, and share photos in Chapter 13, “Discover iCloud’s My Photo Stream and Shared Photo Stream.”)

Organize Your Digital Images Using the Photos App

The iOS 7 edition of the Photos app has been redesigned to offer new ways to easily, and in some cases automatically, organize and sort your images. By default, when you take a photo using the Camera app, in addition to capturing the image itself, your iPhone or iPad also records the time and date when each photo was taken, as well as the location where it was taken. The iPhoto app uses this information, called metadata, to help automatically sort your images.

View the Images Stored on Your iPhone or iPad

The Photos app enables you to sort and organize your images in a variety of ways. If you want to begin by viewing thumbnails of all images stored in your iPhone or iPad, tap on the Photos icon that’s displayed at the bottom-left corner of the Photos app screen.

You’ll then notice that the Photos app automatically sorts your images using the dates and times they were taken. (If no relevant metadata is included with the images, the date and time the images were transferred into the iPhone or iPad is used.)

The Years View

After tapping on the Photos icon (see Figure 6-1), you can quickly peruse the thumbnails for all the images stored in your iOS mobile device. The Years view, shown in Figure 6-2, collects all the images taken within a particular year and displays tiny thumbnails for each of them. Next to each year heading, a condensed listing of where the photos were taken is displayed.


FIGURE 6-1 The Photos icon is displayed at the bottom-left corner of the Photos app.


FIGURE 6-2 The Years view in the Photos app displays tiny thumbnails for all images taken within a particular year.

While accessing the Years view, tap on any image thumbnail to switch to the Collections view. However, if you tap on the Year heading or the location names where the images were taken, a Map view is displayed. It shows on a map where photos were shot (see Figure 6-3). As you look at the Map view, the number displayed in the blue circle indicates how many images were shot at that geographic location.


FIGURE 6-3 The Map view displays where photos were taken on a detailed map.

Tap on any of the thumbnails that are displayed on the map to switch to a view that displays slightly larger thumbnails of all images shot at that location, in that year (see Figure 6-4). At this point, tap on any image thumbnail to view a larger version of the image and then be able to work with it using the various tools offered by the Photos app.


FIGURE 6-4 Tap on an image thumbnail displayed in the Map view to see slightly larger thumbnails of the images taken at that location, within that year.

The Collections View

After tapping on the Photos icon, another way to view your images is using the Collections view (shown in Figure 6-5). This viewing mode automatically sorts images based on date ranges and locations where the images were taken.


FIGURE 6-5 The Collections view sorts your images by location, based on date ranges, and displays tiny thumbnails for each group of related images.

From this viewing mode, tap on the heading for any group of photos to switch to the Map view. However, it’s also possible to tap on any image thumbnail and switch from the Collections view to the Moments view, which provides slightly larger individual image thumbnails, with images sorted by the specific day they were shot, not by date ranges.

The Moments View

Again, after tapping on the Photos icon, the Moments view, shown in Figure 6-6, offers yet another way to view thumbnails of your images displayed based on location and a specific date (as opposed to a date range).


FIGURE 6-6 The Moments view sorts and displays images by location and by a specific date.

As you’re viewing the thumbnails displayed as part of the Moments view, you have several options for switching views, including the following:

  • Tap on the Collections option that’s displayed at the top-left corner of the screen to switch to the Collections view.
  • Tap on the Location part of the heading to switch to the Map view.
  • Tap on the Date part of the heading to access a Share menu, shown in Figure 6-7, that enables you to either Share This Moment (meaning all images grouped within that Moment) or Share Some Photos (enabling you to pick which images you want to share from a Moments collection).

    FIGURE 6-7

    FIGURE 6-7 This menu enables you to share all images within a Moment, or specifically selected images within that image collection.

  • Tap on an individual image thumbnail to view a larger version of that single image and be able to work with it using the Photos app’s various editing, enhancing, sharing, and printing tools.
  • Tap on one of the other two command icons displayed along the bottom of the Photos app screen—Shared or Albums—to switch viewing options altogether.

Create and View Albums

Using the Albums view, it’s possible to see a directory of separate albums currently stored in your iOS mobile device. To access the Albums view, launch the Photos app and tap on the Albums icon that’s displayed at the bottom-right corner of the screen (see Figure 6-8).


FIGURE 6-8 To view a list of albums that contain your images and that are stored in your iPhone or iPad, tap on the Albums icon.

From the Albums screen, you see listings for each separate album that’s stored on your iPhone or iPad. Each listing is composed of one thumbnail, the album’s name, and a number that indicates how many images are stored within that album.

To switch from the Albums screen (which lists the individual albums) to a screen that displays all the thumbnails for images stored within a particular album, tap on one album listing.

Move Images Between Albums

To move images from one album into another, tap on the Albums icon at the bottom of the screen and access the album where the images you want to move are currently stored. As you’re viewing those image thumbnails, tap on the Select option (found at the top-right corner of the screen), and then tap on each thumbnail that you want to move to select it.

When one or more images are selected, tap on the Add To option that can be found in the bottom-right corner of the screen (see Figure 6-10). Then, from the Add To Album screen, choose which album you want to move the selected images to. Keep in mind that you can only move images into albums created on the iOS mobile device you’re using, not into albums that have been imported, transferred, or synced into your iPhone or iPad. Instead of choosing an existing album, tap on the New Album option to create a new album from scratch and move the selected photos into it.


FIGURE 6-10 Use the Add To command to move images stored in one album into another album.

Delete or Reorder an Album

Albums that were created on the iPhone or iPad you’re using can be deleted from that device. To do this, as you’re viewing the Albums screen, tap on the Edit option that’s found in the top-right corner of the screen. To delete an album (and all of its contents), tap on the circular, red-and-white, negative sign icon that’s displayed to the left of an album’s listing. Press the Done option (that’s displayed in the top-right corner of the screen) to save your changes.

To reorder the album listing displayed on the Albums screen, tap on the Edit option, and then place your finger on a Move icon that’s displayed to the right of an album listing. Drag that listing either upward or downward, to the desired location. Press the Done option (that’s displayed in the top-right corner of the screen) to save your changes.

Work with Shared Images via iCloud

The Photos app is designed to work seamlessly with your online-based iCloud account. To manage the My Photo Stream collection of images being synced with your iCloud account, or to create, manage, and view images that are part of shared photo streams you’ve created or that you’ve been invited to access, tap on the Shared icon that’s displayed near the bottom center of the Photos app screen.

From the Shared Streams screen (see Figure 6-11), you can access all photo streams that are stored or accessible via your iCloud account. You can also create new shared photo streams and manage existing shared photo streams.


FIGURE 6-11 Tap on the Shared icon at the bottom of the screen to manage the My Photo Stream and shared photo streams associated with your iCloud account.

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