iOS 7 Feature: New Photos App brings faster and easier ways to scroll down memory lane

One of the major new features in iOS 7 is the all-new Photos app to go along with the redesigned Camera app, which we covered few days back.

If you were unhappy with the endless stream of photos in your Camera roll that you’ve clicked over the years, then Apple has finally come to the rescue in iOS 7 with “faster, easier, and more delightful ways to scroll down memory lane”.

Here’s what Apple has to say about the Photos app:

Now there are faster, easier, and more delightful ways to scroll down memory lane. Introducing Collections, Moments, and Years — smart groupings of your photos and videos based on time and place. Tap Years and all your shots fill the screen. Each year holds Collections, like your trip to San Francisco. And in that Collection are distinct Moments — photos from Union Square, videos from AT&T Park. So you can find a shot from whenever, wherever, in no time. 

Here’s what we know about the iOS 7’s Photo app so far:

  • The first thing you will notice is probably the all-new icon for the Photos app. The sunflower icon makes way for a multi-color flower icon.

ios7_photos_icon

  • When you launch the Photos app, you will notice the familiar iOS 7 user interface with the white background and flatter design.
  • The Photos app is divided into three tabs: Photos, Shared and Albums instead of Photos, Photo Stream and Places we have currently. The default tab is Photos.
  • In iOS 7, the Photo app automatically organizes photos into Collections, Moments and Years, so you don’t have an endless stream of photos in your Camera roll. 
    • Collections is a grouping of moments such as your trip to San Francisco. The photos are organized into Moments according to date and location. Collections are either labeled by the date or date range or by the location, with the date range to the right.

ios7_photos_moments_screen

    • Collections is a grouping of distinct moments, so the Moments view groups photos based on the location or a date. So for example, on your trip to San Francisco, if you visited Union Square and AT&T Park, photos and videos taken at each of these locations will be individually grouped together as a Moment. Moments are either labeled by a date or by the location with the date to the right.
    • Years is quite simple, photos and videos are grouped by year. For example: 2013, 2012 etc. It displays a collage made up of tiny thumbnails from the photos and videos taken during that year. Tapping on it will take you to the Collections view.

ios7_photos_time_screen

    • Photos in each view is displayed as a collage of tiny thumbnails. You can tap on the thumbnail in any of the views to see a slightly bigger version of the photo or video. You can swipe through the entire collage this way. If you release the finger it will open the photo or video.
  • When you launch the Photos app in iOS 7, you will be greeted by the Moments view.
  • When you tap on a photo or video in Years, Collections or Moments view, it opens the photo giving you options to either Edit, Share or Delete it. In case of the video you get an option to either Share, Play the video or Delete it.
  • In Editing mode, in addition to the option to Rotate, Auto-Enhance, Red-Eye removal, and crop, you also get an option to apply filters. The filters available are the same as the real time filters available in the Camera app such as Mono, Tonal, Noir, Fade, Chrome, Process, Transfer and Instant. The interface switches from white to black when you edit a photo.
  • Tapping on filters option will display the thumbnails of the photo with the filter effects at the bottom. You can scroll through the thumbnails and tap on one you like and then on the Apply option in the top right corner to apply the desired filter effect.
  • The Share panel have been completely redesigned again in iOS 7. When you tap on the Share button at the bottom left corner, it opens the Share panel, which is broken into four distinct sections:
    • The top most section displays thumbnails of the photos, with your photo selected. This is quite nifty as it gives you an option to add more photos if you want, and saves you the hassle of going back and selecting the photos again.
    • Below that you get an option to share the photo with people nearby using the new AirDrop for iOS feature.
    • In the next section, you get the option to share the photo or video via Message, Mail, iCloud, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Tapping on Mail or Message takes you to the compose window with the photo attached. Tapping on Facebook and Twitter or Flickr takes you to the appropriate share sheet where you can add addition information before sharing them. Tapping on the iCloud option takes you to a Share sheet, which allows you to add a note before sharing it. Here you have the option to share it to an existing Photo Stream or create a new one.
    • In the row at the bottom, you have the option to Copy the photo to the clipboard, Play a Slideshow of the photos, AirPlay the photo to your Apple TV, Assign it to a Contact, Use it as a Wallpaper, or Print it.

ios7_airdrop_send_screen

  • Unfortunately, you will have to use the same workaround if you want to share more than 5 photos as Mail option isn’t available when you select more than 5 photos.
  • The redesigned Share panel in iOS 7 is a lot more extendable, and should make it very easy for Apple to add new sharing options in the future.
  • You can share a photo or share all the photos from your favorite moments.
  • You can now share photos as well as videos via the Shared Photo Stream feature.

ios7_photos_shared_screen

  • People you share with, will also be able to post photos, videos and comment to your stream. The new Activity view that can be accessed via the Shared tab, lets you see the latest updates from all your shared photo streams in one place.

Overall, we really like the changes Apple has made to the Photos app. It makes the Camera roll a lot more manageable, and should make finding older photos and videos a lot more easier. We need to see how the grouping of photos into Collections and Moments work, but if the automatic organization of photos and videos works well then most users will end up relying on it rather than going through the tedious task of creating albums manually.

The new Photos app will be available when iOS 7 is released later this fall. Check out our iOS 7 category page for everything you need to know about Apple’s next generation mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

As always, let us know what you think of the new Photos app in the comments.