Although there are other photo editing apps to choose from in the App Store, Apple Photos is more than good enough for most iPhone needs – and it just gets better with age. With each new iteration of iOS, Apple refines and enhances photos for the better, and iOS 14 adds many new features to the mix.
The Photos app does not get the huge overhaul it received in iOS 13. There are still a lot of notable additions in iOS 14 that you can comb through, some of which include new filtering and sorting options for albums, Stabilization for Live Photos and Captions for photos and videos, just to name a few.
Filter albums by type
While albums are a great way to organize your photos and videos into neat collections, you could not sort the content in iOS 13 and older. This limitation made it difficult to find specific types of images, especially in a large folder. With iOS 14, you can filter an album in four different ways: Favorites, Edited, Photos, and Videos. You can choose any combination of these four filters to find the media you want.
To access the option, press the ellipse (•••) and then select “Filter” from the documents. These filters work in albums created by Apple, third-party apps, and even yourself. However, if it is a folder that has only one type of media, such as Live Photos, you will only see Favorites and edited filters because there are no videos in it.
2. Sort some albums by newest or oldest
Similarly, you can sort the contents of an album by the most recent or oldest. You can do this earlier by tapping the status bar or the Albums tab to jump to the oldest and most recent content, two tricks that still work.
Now, however, there are dedicated sorting options for “Oldest to Newest” and “Newest to Oldest” in albums that you or third-party apps create. Award-winning albums, such as Recents, Favorites and everything below media Types, has no sorting options. To access the sort options, press ellipse (•••) and then select “Sort” from the actions. The default sort is “Custom” and you can always go back to it to go back to how things looked before.
3. Zoom in and out of albums
Once an exclusive feature on the Photos tab, you can now zoom in and out of albums, favorites, media types, shared albums and more. It’s a fluid and natural way to browse photos and videos, and an exciting way to find something you’re looking for.
In all of these albums, you can zoom in on a single photo, zoom out to the standard three-frame grid, or zoom out further to the five-frame wide grid. You can achieve this by squeezing or exiting or by tapping the ellipse (•••) and then selecting “Zoom in” or “Zoom out.”
4. View thumbnails in their original aspect ratio
You’re probably used to having all your photo and video thumbnails appear as uniform boxes when browsing albums or the Photos tab. That design choice makes sense to keep the interface nice and smooth, but our photos and videos come in all shapes and sizes.
Therefore, iOS 14 adds an “Aspect Ratio Grid” option via the ellipse (•••) menu – so that the thumbnail previews more accurately represent photos and videos themselves in their original aspect ratio, as well as their correct orientation. If you want to switch back, you can just press “Square Photo Grid” from the menu.
5. Create memories from albums
The memories are amazing. They are automatically generated movies from photos and videos from specific dates, places, etc., set to an intelligently selected melody. Previously, you could only create memories from the tabs for you or photos, but now you can do it from selected albums where it makes sense.
When you are in an album created by you or a third-party app, click the ellipsis menu icon (•••) and then “Play Memory Movie.” Once selected, you will find all the same controls for memories that you found earlier, including length, mood, title and music.
Make slideshows from any album
In the same way, you can also view a slideshow of all albums, not just content from the For You tab. Slideshows are perfect for showing photos and videos to family and friends, and they are the second best when “Play Memory Movie” is not available. In any album, click the ellipsis menu icon (•••) and then select “Slideshow.”
Click “Options” in a slide show, and you can add music to compliment your media, as well as five different image transitions (themes) between images that include Origami, Loose, Magazine, Push, and Ken Burns. You can even change the speed at which iOS moves through the album’s images and repeat it.
7. View smoother live photos that play automatically
An interesting new feature in iOS 14 improves the image stabilization for live photos that play automatically when you browse for years, months or days in the Photos tab. That way, things are not so jarring to look at as you sift through your content. However, it does not work with Live Photos you took in iOS 13, as the feature only applies to Live Photos taken with iOS 14 and iPadOS 14.
8. Add captions to photos and videos
If you’ve ever had a hard time finding a photo or video in your extensive photo collection, this is for you. With iOS 14, you can tag your photos and videos with captions and keywords. If you’ve enabled iCloud Photos, Apple syncs these keywords across all your connected devices, so when you search for these captions in the future, the content you want will pull right up.
These captions are also embedded in Exif data, so anyone you share the image with can see the tags no matter what platform they are on.
9. Select Photos faster in other apps
If you want to share a photo or video with a friend, you do not need to open photos first. Instead, you can use the image selector displayed in the app you happen to be in, select a folder, browse the media, select your image or video, and then send it on the go. Comfortable but imperfect.
That’s why Apple enhanced the experience with iOS 14, adding an updated user interface and most importantly a search bar. That way, you do not have to pull up and scroll through your many, many pictures. You will also find tabs for “Photos” or “Albums” directly. Good design, Apple.
10. See the limit when sharing messages
Speaking of the new image selector, when you use it in Messaging, it now tells you the maximum amount of images and videos you can share at one time. That number is 20, as you can see above.
11. Stop apps from seeing all your photos
If you care about privacy and security on your iPhone, you have photos in iOS 14 covered. You no longer need to give apps full permission to your Photos app to access, download, save, edit and share content. Instead, you can choose to give the app permission only for specific photos or videos, so that the rest of your photos are left out of the app’s hands.
12. Items remain selected after you share
Here’s a roll: Before iOS 13, when you selected multiple photos or videos in Photos and shared them, they would remain selected when you left the Share sheet. It was a great feature, because you might want to delete items you’ve already shared with, say, a computer.
Last year’s update removed this feature for some annoying reason, and it never bothered to add it again, forcing you to choose the items you want to delete. Well, iOS 14 restores the balance to photos, giving back this fan favorite.
13. Photos is now a widget for the home screen
The photo app is now part of one of iOS 14’s coolest new features: new style widgets. While widgets on the home screen come in different sizes, the photo widget comes in three – one small, one medium and one large. All widgets display a “Featured Photo” from your library.
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