5 iOS Features Photo Features (that you may not know about)

Everyone know that iOS is a great platform for photography whether taking pictures or just managing them. But are you getting the most out of the built in Photos app? I’m going to show you 5 features in the Photos app that you may not know about.

1: Search Through your Photos

The iPhone Photos app with the Search Section open and “Raptor” in the search bar with 4 pictures of hawks and eagles, and 1 Pokémon from Pokémon Go
The search function can get rather specific (and no I don’t think Hoothoot counts as a raptor bird

Many people try to find photos by scrolling back through their feed or looking through their albums, but not many people know about the built-in Search function.

Just tap the search button in the bottom right corner of the Photos App on your iPhone and near the top of the left sidebar on the iPad. Across the page will be repopulated moments, people, and locations, as well as a search bar. That search bar is the key here. You can use this to search for photos based off their location, their date, people you’ve tagged in the photo, and even the contents of the photo like animals, trees, and other objects. While some more specific terms can cause it trouble, it may help you find the picture you want to share a little faster.

2: Photo Info

A photo from Times Square with the metadata section of the Photos App open.

Your photos have a lot more information in them than what’s in the picture. Photos have what’s called “metadata”. Metadata, in this case, is extra info like the date and time the picture was taken, the location the photo was taken at (if the camera had GPS), the resolution and aperture of the photos, and a lot more. It can even tell you the model of camera the photo was taken with.

If you want to look at some of this info, tap on a photo, and hit the info icon at the bottom of the screen on your iPhone or top right corner of the iPad. It should look like the letter “i” inside of a circle. The photo should be pushed up a bit, and the metadata should pop up starting with the date and time taken, followed by the camera, resolution, and going on from there.

3: Identify stuff within the photo: location, plants, etc. (iOS 15 and later)

  • An Iris flower with a leaf icon over it and a “Look up” option in the info pane above other metadata.
  • The same Iris photo, but the metadata pane replaced with the info results from Siri with 2 Wikipedia articles on Iris’ and other web images of the flower.

If you’re running iOS 15 or later, you may notice that little information “i” on some of your photos have a little sparkle on the icon. That indicates your device can actually recognize something in the photo. In the case of the above photo it recognizes this plant. By tapping on the leaf icon or where it says “Look up…”, I can see that it correctly identifies this flower as an Iris. Now I can see more info about the iris and other pictures of it. This works for more than just plants though, as it can recognize animals, locations, books, and more. It’s not always perfect, but I tend to find it way more accurate than not.

4: Hiding Pictures

The iOS Share sheet open with the “Hide” option highlighted.

Sometimes you may have some photos that you don’t want people stumbling upon if they start swiping through your pictures. Say something like photos of your engagement ring that you don’t want your significant other to see just yet. iOS will let you hide these photos while still letting you store them safely.

To hide a photo, pull it up, then tap the share button in the bottom left corner of the screen. When the share sheet pops up, scroll down the list and hit the “Hide” button with the eye crossed out. Then when prompted to confirm, hit the “Hide Photo” button.

Now when you go to the “Album” view of the photos app and scroll down to the bottom, you’ll find a section labeled “Hidden”, and clicking on this will show and photos you have hidden. You can unhide those photos by clicking on the photo, hitting the Share button, and hitting “Unhide”.

5: Text Scanning (iOS 15 and later)

A picture of a recipe picture in the Photos app, with the title of the recipe highlighted and options for text controls
It’s a good recipe

Finally, another feature launching with iOS 15 is the text scanning feature. A number of Android users are sure to talk about this being first in Android, which is true, but now it’s available on iOS.

If you take a picture that has text in it, your iDevice will now be able detect that and let you interact with it. You’ll see a little icon in the bottom right corner with what looks like lines and corner frames to indicate that text is detected and can be interacted with. What does that mean? You can select text, copy and paste it elsewhere, and do a definition lookup.

But that’s not all! If the text is a phone number, then you can tap the number and you’ll be prompted to call that number. If it’s a website or email address, clicking on it can open your browser or mail app of choice. And if it’s text in a foreign language, you’ll be able to translate that into another language using Apple’s built-in translation tools.

But those are 5 of my favorite photo features in iOS, so if you’ve got some of your own favorites, let me know in the comments below. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this or any other topic, leave a comment below or email me at easyosx@live.com You can also check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by hitting the buttons on the top of your screen. Thanks!

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