Master the iOS Photos App with These Hidden Gems

Hidden gems are everywhere in iOS 10+s Photos app, just need to know where to find them!

iOS 10’s native Photos App sports some amazing hidden gems that the average iPhone user either never bothers with or rarely knows about.

However, with just a little digging and experimentation, you can learn how to showcase, edit, share, organize, hide, and make memories from your photos and videos all from the convenience of your iOS device – no computer or photo-editing programs required!

Photo Memories Slideshow on the Fly

Let’s start with “Photo Memories.” iOS essentially organizes your photos into collections that are sorted out by dates and locations called “Moments.” If your kid had a gymnastics meet at your YMCA, and you neglected to shoot video because you were taking lots of pictures instead but want to wow your friends with a dynamically generated slideshow complete with a music soundtrack and artsy transitions, it couldn’t be simpler.

All you have to do is find your event in Moments, tap the right arrow next to it, and you will be taken to a new screen that will generate your slideshow for you.

iOS 10+'s Photos App allows users to automatically generate wonderful slideshows with music from your photo collections.

Once it’s generated and played, you can do things like change the soundtrack to Dreamy, Sentimental, Gentle, Chill, Happy, Uplifting, Epic, Club, or Extreme. Also, you can save it to your “Memories” and edit it even further, including adding your own soundtrack from your iTunes library.

You can save and edit your slideshows from your iPhone's Photos app in iOS 10+.

Once saved in Memories, you can share the slideshow just like any photo or video, but beware that the .mov video files will be pretty huge!

Edit Photos in iOS Like a Boss

Pick a photo and edit it like you were a Photoshop pro but without Photoshop!

Tap the photo you’d like to edit. Once it’s up on the screen, tap the little “sliders” icon at the bottom of the screen on an iPhone and the top of the screen on an iPad.

Use iOS 10+'s Photos to select your photo for amazing editing options.

Here you have a lot of options. At the top of an iPhone screen you have the Red-Eye Reduction tool (for each red eye). Note that it only appears when there’s an actual “red eye.” There’s also an Auto-Enhance tool that automatically makes changes to your photos like color balancing. If you’re on a newer phone there is also an option to turn the Live Photos option off. If you’re on an iPad, these options are along the right side.

iOS 10+'s Photos App editing built-in tools are great for enhancing your photos.

At the bottom of the screen on an iPhone are the Crop & Rotate, Filters, and Light/Color/B&W (with lots of sub-controls underneath each option) tools. The third-party app tool is either located at the top or the bottom, depending on your version of iOS. Again, these options are on the right side of an iPad.

Add some pizazz to your photos in iOS 10+'s Photos app using built-in photo filters!

Even though Markup isn’t a third-party app, it’s included in that tool and is really amazing! Here you can draw all over parts of an image with lines (in many color options), zoom on specific areas, super-impose text (e.g. create your own memes!), undo changes, and more!

Use the built-in photo markup tools to enhance, process for collaboration, or have fun with your photos in iOS 10+'s Photos app.

And when you’re done, simply save your changes by tapping the word “Done.”

Share and Share Alike!

So now that you’ve made your fancy slideshows and edited your photos to make you look especially good on Facebook, it’s time to share your work.

The easy way to do it is to tap the action button at the bottom-left of your iPhone screen of whatever photo, video, or slideshow you’d like to share, or along the top-right of an iPad. You’ll also have the option to select multiple photos, videos, and slideshows to share from your Camera Roll.

Here you’ll get a bevy of options such as: Message, Mail, Add to Notes, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Save PDF to iBooks; and depending on what cloud-based storage apps and social networks you’re running like Google Drive and Facebook, you’ll get those options as well. Below these sharing options, you also get a bevy of in-phone actions you can perform with the images as well, including Copy, Slideshow (performs much like the Memories slideshow above but without saving), Hide, Assign to Contact, Use as Wallpaper (for both or either Home and Lock screens), Print, Duplicate, AirPlay, and Add to iCloud Drive.

You can share your photos and videos to just about any social media network or perform many actions with iOS 10+'s Photos app.

Hiding your photos can be a useful option to “not share” them! Just select the photo you want to hide, tap the Action icon and select Hide. You’ll get a confirmation request and once you confirm it, boom, your photo(s) or video(s) are hidden.

Use the 'Hide' action in iOS 10+'s Photos app to hide your photos and videos from your main photo collections.

Where are they?

Well, if you go all the way back to the Moments screen on your Photos app, and select Albums at the bottom right, you’ll be taken to where all of your photo albums are. One of them will be the Hidden album. It’s worth noting that this album is only created when you actually hide any photos in them. Also, it’s not password protected, so anyone who gains access to your iPhone can find your hidden photos. If you really want to hide them permanently, use a third-party app for that!

Organically Organizing Your Photos

Like the Hidden folder mentioned above, the Albums section of iOS 10’s Photos App comes with several default but very useful Albums for organically organizing your photos and videos. They are: Camera Roll, People, Places, Videos, Selfies, Live Photos, Bursts, Screenshots, Hidden, Recently Deleted, and those built on third-party apps like Snapchat and Instagram (see below).

Organizing your photos in theme-specific albums is a great way to access them: simply tap the “+” icon in the upper left of the Albums screen, and you’ll be able to create a new album and then select the content for it.

Automatically and manually organize your photos and videos into albums in iOS 10+'s Photos app.

Memories Are Us

Finally, when back in the Moments screen, sitting between the Photos icon and the Albums icon along the bottom of the screen, is the “Memories” icon where you can access both pre-made Memories (based on location or a theme like the Best Of The Year) and the ones you created as described here earlier.

With iOS 10+'s Photos app, you can make great Memories to digitally last a lifetime!


iOS 10’s Photos App is a powerful little built-in tool that can make your photo/video taking experience so much better than you ever thought possible. And let’s be honest, that’s what our devices are really for anyway these days, right?

Nick Iandolo
Nick Iandolo

Nick Iandolo is a Boston-based professional corporate MarComm writer, journalist, and author. He writes articles about pop-culture events such as comic cons, movie reviews, local film and TV industry news, Boston and international travel, and technology blogs. He is currently working on a science-based children's adventure chapter book series.

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