Changing the iOS 16 marquee to Photos is iCloud Shared Photo Library, a new addition that promises to make sharing and editing photos with family members even more seamless. We’ve already shown you how to set up your iCloud Shared Photo Library, although it’s likely to be one of the first features you’ll experience when you download the iOS 16 public beta.
Likewise, one of the most impressive additions in iOS 16 in general is the ability to tap on the subject of a photo and remove it from its background so that you can paste it into other apps installed on your iPhone like Notes, Messages, and Mail. This feature is related to the updated visual search capability in iOS 16, and while you’ll basically be outputting a subject from the photos stored in your Photo Library, you can also do the same with photos in Safari and QuickLook, also as screenshots, as I found when Working on iOS 16 beta.
Adding other high-profile photos in iOS 16 is Click Live Text, the ability Apple introduced last year that lets you tap text in still photos to either copy it or perform quick tasks like looking up addresses, phone calls, or browsing the web. iOS 16 Live Text extends the feature to inline text in paused videos, and we showed you how to transcribe text in a video with Live Text.
As far as these three additions, they aren’t the only changes Apple is making to iOS 16 Photos. Walk around the app in the available public beta, and you’ll find a number of new editing tools meant to make it easier to make changes to your various photos — even if that means making those changes in one fell swoop. You also have new tools for managing photos in your library.
If you want to know what’s new in iOS 16 Photos other than iCloud’s shared photo library and Apple’s enhanced intelligence features, you’ve come to the right place.
Copy and paste edits to photos and videos
When you make changes to one photo, you now have the ability to copy and paste those edits into a second photo, thanks to the new ability in iOS 16 Photos. Let’s say there’s a specific filter you’ve come across for a photo that you want to apply to another photo you took at the same event – copy and paste can take care of that, or you can use it to copy adjustments to contrast, lighting, exposure, or other settings instead of having to make the same adjustments over and over.
Here’s how to make photo-editing copies and pastes. After you have edited an image to your liking, click on the Actions menu in the upper right corner (the circle with three dots in the middle). A menu will appear at the bottom with the option to copy your edits. Head over to the next photo you want to edit and click the Action Items menu again – the Paste Edits option will appear in the drop-down menu.
You can make adjustments to multiple photos at once with the miracle of batch processing. Simply select a group of images in your library, select the Action Items menu – now in the lower right of the screen – and select Paste Edits from the menu that appears.
Copy and paste photo editing numbers to save real time for iOS 16 Photos users, especially those who take advantage of batch processing.
New undo and redo commands
Let’s say you’re adjusting the width of an image and you’ve made one adjustment too many. Instead of having to drag the exposure setting back to where you started, you can now go back to the new undo/redo arrows that Apple is adding to the Photos app in iOS 16.
These arrows appear in the upper left corner of the screen when you are editing a photo. Clicking on it allows you to either undo or redo an edit if you decide you like the change after all. Undo/Redo also supports multiple editing steps, allowing you to go back to a previous edit if you prefer.
New folder for duplicates
Finding duplicate photos is easier than ever in iOS 16 Photos thanks to the new Duplicates folder added in iOS 16 beta 4. (This is in developer hands now, but should come in a later update to the iOS 16 public beta soon.)
To find the Duplicates folder, head over to the Albums tab in Photos and scroll to the bottom of the screen – it’s under Utilities. Inside the folder, you will find a list of duplicate photos in your photo library. Select the ones you want to combine, and the Photos app combines your captions, keywords, and other data into one image of the highest quality.
Apple is adding a layer of security to both hidden and recently deleted folders in iOS 16. To keep photos hidden in those folders away from prying eyes, you now have to unlock your phone with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode to view what’s inside.
There’s even a handy visual tip to let you know that things have changed with Hidden and Recently Deleted – both folders now have a small lock icon through them to alert you to enhanced security. It always seems weird that you can hide a photo from your main library, but anyone scrolling through albums can find the Hidden Pictures folder, so this is a welcome change.
Quick actions for photo albums
It’s easier to add photos to albums and perform other tasks in iOS 16 Photos thanks to the Quick Actions extension. Now, when you press and hold on the album thumbnail, a list of options will appear. Available actions include adding photos, sharing album details, renaming the album, playing a memory video if the album contains multiple photos, and showing a map where the photos were taken with location data.
Turn off Live Photos
In some cases, you may have captured a live image with a few seconds of video and audio when all you wanted was a still image. iOS 15 allows you to turn off live elements, but it requires a few steps – you have to edit the photo and turn off the feature via the Live Photo section of the toolbar.
In iOS 16, all you have to do is select the image. Tap on the Live menu on the left side of the screen and just select Off from the list of options that appear. Extension gives you one or two additional steps.
New types of memory
Apple made several changes to the Memories features in iOS 15, calling it one of the best reasons to upgrade to last year’s iPhone software update. The iOS 16 changes weren’t nearly as extensive, but the big change that brought this year’s numbers to Preserving Memories is a very attractive feature.
Apple says it’s adding new types of memories to iOS 16 Photos. The only additions Apple has identified are This Day in History, which supposedly pulls photos from a particular day, and one that includes kids playing. (We think this does exactly what is written on the label.) I haven’t yet seen batches of photos based on these new Memories in iOS 16 Photos, but I’m sure it will augment the current types of Memories Apple already supports.
Other changes in iOS 16 photos
The other additions to iOS 16 Photos are minor tweaks that should simplify your photo activity. Chief among these changes is faster access to photo actions. Instead of living in a Share Sheet like in iOS 15, iOS 16 moves actions like copying, hiding, or adding a photo to an album to the Actions list.
Other changes in iOS 16 Photos include sorting the People album alphabetically, and preventing Memories and Featured photos from appearing in the Photos or Photos widget.