Photos in iOS 12

The Photos app in iOS 12 has gotten the smallest of facelifts, but I think it’s one that will greatly improve the use of the app.

For You

The biggest change that you’ll find in the Photos app is the For You tab at the bottom.  Apple has created this tab that actually shows off all the things the photos app can do for you.


If you didn’t know, for a couple of generations now the photos app will scan through your photo library looking for faces.  In fact, there’s an album called people that Apple makes for you.  It groups all the faces that look alike to the program.  You can give these faces a name and attach it to an e-mail.

On this part of the For You tab will scan your pictures for your friends and if it recognizes someone, it will give you the suggestion to share your photos with that person.  This is similar to what Google Photos does, and Apple is working on catching up.  One thing that Apple changed though is if you share with a friend who is also on iOS 12, it will scan their library and see if they have any photos from the event to share with you.  It should make things more seamless and easy to share.  

Now, in iOS 12, Photos are shared at native resolution.  Before when you used iCloud Photo sharing, the images were actually compressed and sent on.  The quality of your photo was downgraded basically.  True, it was hard to notice often times, but now, you get the photo that was taken, no downgrading at all.


In iOS 11, memories occupied the tab that has been taken over by the For You button.  I’m not sure anyone actually ever looked at them.  I know that I rarely did, and no one has ever sent on to me. 

Now though, Memories are on this For You tab.  Memories are fun little videos that the app creates for you to share your events.  My memories are often of trips that I’ve take, of people that I’ve spent time with.  You can always change how long these memories are, as well as the music.  You can also see what videos and pictures are used for these memories.  

I especially like that it takes some of your Live Photo’s and turns them into videos to add to the memory.

You can share these memories to the people that you want as well.  

Featured Photos

For You will also show you a Featured Photo.  I’m not sure why or how it decides to show you one, but everyone that it does show me is one of my better photos. These photos seem to range from date and year, so I’m guessing they are using machine learning to pick out some of your better shots.

There’s also a section for your portrait mode photos where Photos will suggest a lighting mode for the picture.  Since you can change what type of lighting and filter you use when taking a Portrait mode photo, and again using machine learning, the app will recommend to you to change the lighting, usually for the better, but not always.  The good thing about changes in Photos is that they aren’t destructive changes.  You can always go back to your original.


Another one of the major changes in Photos is search.

Now, Search has its own tab on the bottom row.  When selecting search, You are greeted with new rows of advice.  You can always just type in your search, but you will also see a row with Moments, People, Places, Categories, and Groups.  

Moments are your events that you’ve been to, time of the year, birthdays, etc.  While categories can include things like sports, animals, and cars.  

Best practice here: select what you can and search within it.  Say you are looking for a picture of your friend from a wedding you went to.  You could select the Wedding Moment and then search for the date and persons name. Hopefully, all these improvements to search will make it easier to find the picture you are looking for.

Wrap up

While it might not be the feature-rich update of years past, I think this is a pretty strong update to the Photos app.  The sharing and search features make it worth the update alone.  The fact that it will try to highlight and improve your shots is an adding bonus.

2 thoughts on “Photos in iOS 12”

  1. This is great! I just looked at my photos and albums. Refreshing changes! I like the new features. Thanks again for clearly presenting us with all the updates, Jarrett.

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