Hands-On: iOS 11 Brings Major Updates to the Camera and Photos Apps

Apple's upcoming iOS 11 update, designed for the iPhone and the iPad, brings improvements to the way you capture, edit, and view photos on Apple's latest devices. Portrait Mode photos are better than ever, there are new ways to manipulate Live Photos, and photos and videos take up less space.

In the video below, we've outlined all of the new features you can expect to see in iOS 11 when it's released to the public this fall.


First and foremost, Apple is adopting new photo and video formats (HEVC for video and HEIF for images) that will shrink the size of the photos and videos you take by up to 50 percent. That's going to save valuable storage space on your devices, but the new formats are limited to Apple's most recent iPhones and iPads.

On the iPhone 7 Plus, Portrait Mode now supports optical image stabilization and HDR for better low light performance, and on all iPhones, there are new filters to choose when editing a photo.

When working with Live Photos on a compatible device, there are several new editing options. You can choose a key photo, which lets you select the portion of the Live Photo that looks the best, essentially making it impossible to take a bad photo. Since Live Photos are more or less short videos, it's a lot like taking a still from a video.

Live Photos can now be cropped, much like a video, and there are new Loop, Bounce, and Long Exposure options. Loop causes a Live Photo to loop over and over like a GIF, while Bounce does the same thing, but forwards and then backwards. Long Exposure combines the Live Photo video into a single shot to introduce a unique blur effect.

In the Photos app, there's now dynamic support for viewing Memories videos in portrait or landscape mode, and more kinds of Memories videos are automatically generated thanks to machine learning improvements. New categories include pets, babies, outdoor activities, performances, weddings, birthdays, and sporting events.

The People album, which uses facial recognition to recognize people in images, also now syncs across devices, so it doesn't need to be set up on each individual device.

For a complete overview of all of the new features included in iOS 11, make sure to check out our iOS 11 roundup. Over on our YouTube channel, you can also find other iOS 11 overviews highlighting the iPad features, the new App Store, the Control Center, and more.

Top Rated Comments

Chazzle Avatar
47 months ago
I feel the Live Photos' key photo choice is very welcome. Always bothered me that I couldn't do this prior.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tbayrgs Avatar
47 months ago
How about the ability to change camera settings in the actual Camera App? Why Apple buried these inside the Settings app is bewildering. Please tell me they moved them to the app.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclo Avatar
47 months ago
Being able to pick a key photo from a Live Photo is easily one of my favorite iOS 11 features. Before this was possible, I got rid of so many Live Photos that were awesome but flawed because the main photo was blurry. Wish this had been available from the beginning.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sethal Avatar
47 months ago
What about the ability to view, edit, and add keywords/locations? That's what I'm wanting.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
err404 Avatar
47 months ago

I feel the Live Photos' key photo choice is very welcome. Always bothered me that I couldn't do this prior.

I'm curious how this is implemented. The original Live Photos was just a short video file paired with a full detail photo. While I love the idea, simply pausing the video at a different frame would have far more artifacts than the photo. Still, I'm excited to try it out.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mtmspa Avatar
47 months ago

...are you able to share what those formats are...?

Did you even read the article?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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