iOS 15 Photos Guide: Features, Text Recognition, Changes

Apple made some major improvements to the Photos app in iOS 15, adding some long-awaited and requested features along with unique capabilities that enable you to do more with your images than ever.

iOs 15 Photos Feature
There's a new Memories feature that lets you relive your favorite moments, metadata info can be viewed and edited, Visual Lookup lets you identify plants, landmarks, and more, and with Live Text, you can copy and paste the text from any image on your iPhone. This guide highlights all of the new features that are available in the ‌Photos‌ app.

Memories

The Memories section of the ‌Photos‌ app has been overhauled in ‌iOS 15‌, making it easier than ever to resurface your favorite memories.

photos memories app
The Memories feature has a new look that includes animated cards with adaptive titles, new animation and transition styles, and multiple image collages for a more cinematic feel. There are new memory looks that are added to Memories based on each photo and video, with Apple using machine learning to apply the right contrast and color adjustment for a consistent look. Apple says that this feature is designed to mimic what colorists at film studios do.

When playing a Memory, there's an interactive interface that lets you tap to pause, replay the last photo, skip to the next photo, or jump ahead, with the music designed to keep playing. Changing a song, removing or adding photos, or adjusting a Memory look is done in realtime with no need to recompile. To make it easier to make adjustments to Memories, there's a new Browse view so you can see all of the photos and videos in a bird's eye view.

Apple Music Integration

When creating and viewing Memories, the ‌Photos‌ app has always supported integrated music, but now Apple Music subscribers can choose to add any ‌Apple Music‌ song to a Memory.

memories apple music
The Memories feature makes personalized ‌Apple Music‌ song suggestions based on your music tastes and the content of your photos and videos. Song suggestions can include songs that were popular at the time and location of the memory, songs that you listened to while you were traveling, or a song from an artist if the memory includes a concert.

You can customize a Memory by swiping through various Memory mixes, which lets you experiment with different songs, pacing, and Memory looks.

New Memory Types

There are new kinds of Memories that are built from your ‌Photos‌ library, with Apple adding new international holidays, child-focused memories, and trends over time. Pet Memories have been improved and iOS devices can recognize individual dogs and cats.

Watch Next

After you've finished a Memory, Memories will suggest related content so that you can keep going through your photo content.

photo memory suggestions

Suggest Less Often

If there's someone popping up in your Memories or in Featured ‌Photos‌, you can use a new quick access "Feature Less" button to see less of that specific person.

feature less photos
This "Feature Less" option also works for dates, places, and holidays.

Live Text

Any text that's in a photograph or an image on your ‌iPhone‌ is now recognized by the ‌iPhone‌ through the new Live Text feature.

photos live text
Text that is in a photo is selectable, can be copied and pasted, can be used with the Lookup feature, and can even be translated. You can take a photo of an item that has text in a foreign language and have it translated right from the photo.

This works with all of the images in the ‌Photos‌ app, and is also compatible with screenshots, Safari, and the live camera viewer.

Visual Lookup

In certain photos, the ‌iPhone‌ can now recognize various objects, landmarks, animals, books, plants, works of art, and more. If you have a photo of a flower on your ‌iPhone‌, for example, you can use Visual Lookup to determine what it might be based on a web search of images that Apple conducts automatically.

photos visual lookup
When viewing an image, if the "I" icon has a little star over it, it means there's a Visual Lookup you can examine. Tap on the Info icon and then tap on the little leaf icon to open up a search.

Metadata Viewing and Editing

In ‌iOS 15‌, if you tap on the new "Info" icon below a photo, you can view the camera that was used to take it, the lens, shutter speed, megapixels, size, aperture, and more, which is all of the EXIF info you can get from the desktop ‌Photos‌ app.

photos app metadata
In this interface, you can add captions and adjust the date and time of a photo through an added "Adjust" button. Prior to ‌iOS 15‌, none of this information was available on iOS devices.

Faster iCloud Photos Library Syncing

Apple says that when you upgrade to a new device, iCloud Photos syncs more quickly than before, making it faster than ever for you to get access to your photo library.

People Identification and Naming Improvements

The "People" album on the ‌iPhone‌ has improved recognition for the various individuals that are in your pictures, and the ‌iOS 15‌ ‌Photos‌ app is able to detect people in extreme poses, people wearing accessories, and people with occluded faces.

ios 15 improved people recognition
Apple has also added a full workflow for correcting naming mistakes. When selecting a person, if you tap on the "..." icon and then choose "Manage Tagged ‌Photos‌," you can untag any photos that might not be that person. This is also the interface used to tag additional photos if iOS finds untagged images.

Selection Order for Photos Picker

The ‌Photos‌ image picker that's available across iOS lets you select photos in a certain order for sharing purposes, so if you have a photo sequence, you can be sure they're shared in the order that you intend.

Shared With You

If someone shares a photo or video with you in the Messages app, it will show up in a new "Shared With You" section in the ‌Photos‌ app.

photos shared with you
If it's a photo that was taken when you were present, it will appear in the All ‌Photos‌ view and in the Days, Months, and Years view, as well as in Featured ‌Photos‌ and Memories.

‌Photos‌ in the Shared With You section can easily be saved to the ‌Photos‌ Library, and you can respond to a message with a tap right from the ‌Photos‌ app.

In ‌iOS 15‌, you can search through your entire ‌Photos‌ library using Spotlight. You can search by locations, people, scenes, or things in the photos like plants or pets thanks to Visual Lookup.

spotlight search photos app

Guide Feedback

Have questions about ‌Photos‌ in ‌iOS 15‌, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Top Rated Comments

KittyKatta Avatar
13 months ago
Missing Feature: Family Sharing

Seriously, doesnt anyone at Apple have a family? If they offer $10/mo for 2TB of family shared data then it should include an OPTION for a family bucket of full-res photos so that parents can choose to combine all/some of their library.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hagar Avatar
13 months ago
Can you finally add missing faces? It’s annoying when iOS does not recognise when a face is in a picture, as you can’t add one and then specify which person it is.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dorsal Avatar
13 months ago
Can they bring back the map view with pins? The map view with numbers really doesn't do anything for me. Does it matter if I took 23 or 19 photos in a particular location?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
leolabs Avatar
13 months ago

Spotlight should be able to search text in photos
It can, and it’s pretty speedy as well:

Attachment Image
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RomanEmpire Avatar
13 months ago

Can you finally add missing faces? It’s annoying when iOS does not recognise when a face is in a picture, as you can’t add one and then specify which person it is.
I second that and add: can you finally add geo location manually?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
LogicalApex Avatar
13 months ago

Someone care to explain why upgrading to a new decide will mean faster iCloud syncing? Why wouldn’t all existing devices also have this if they upgrade to iOS 15?
Existing devices would have the data already on them.

This just means that devices that have been erased or are being setup new will pull in initial data faster. Not that it has to be a literal brand new device.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

m1 pro chip

16GB vs. 32GB MacBook Pro: How Much is Enough?

Wednesday November 3, 2021 4:25 pm PDT by
Apple's high-end 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro offers the M1 Pro chip with 16GB of RAM as standard, but you can upgrade to 32GB of RAM for $400. When choosing your M1 Pro MacBook Pro configuration, should you upgrade to the 32GB memory option, and does it justify its cost? Our guide helps to answer the question of how to decide which of these two memory options for the high-end MacBook Pro ...
communication safety feature yellow

Apple's Messages Communication Safety Explained: What You Need to Know

Wednesday November 10, 2021 2:34 pm PST by
Apple in the iOS 15.2 beta introduced a new Messages Communication Safety option that's designed to keep children safer online by protecting them from potentially harmful images. We've seen a lot of confusion over the feature, and thought it might be helpful to provide an outline of how Communication Safety works and clear up misconceptions. Communication Safety Overview Communication...
universal control

Universal Control Not Working? Here’s How to Fix It

Thursday February 10, 2022 1:26 pm PST by
In iOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3, Apple introduced Universal Control, a feature designed to allow you to control multiple Macs and iPads with a single trackpad/mouse and keyboard. This article offers solutions to the most common problems encountered when getting Universal Control to work. With Universal Control, you can use your main Mac's trackpad and keyboard to control additional Macs...
app privacy report ios 15 2

iOS 15.2 Features: Everything New in iOS 15.2

Monday December 13, 2021 1:45 pm PST by
Apple today released iOS 15.2, the second major update to the iOS operating system that was released in September. iOS 15.2 introduces several features that Apple initially promised would come in iOS 15, but were ultimately delayed. This guide highlights everything new that's been added in the iOS 15.2 update. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. App Privacy Report App ...
ipad pro vs air early 2022

iPad Air 2022 vs. iPad Pro 2021 Buyer's Guide

Wednesday March 9, 2022 1:59 pm PST by
In March 2022, Apple introduced the fifth-generation iPad Air, featuring the M1 chip, 5G connectivity, and a new front-facing camera system. The updated iPad Air comes almost a year after in Apple introduced its current iPad Pro lineup, which also features the M1 chip and 5G connectivity, but sports a number of high-end features like ProMotion and a Thunderbolt port. The introduction of the...
iOS 15 Top Features

iOS 15 Features: Our Top 10 Picks

Monday September 20, 2021 1:11 pm PDT by
iOS 15 is absolutely packed with new features, and it can be overwhelming sorting through everything that's new. If you're wondering whether it's worth upgrading and what new features might be worth getting access to right away, we've rounded up 10 of the best new additions in the iOS 15 update that you might not be aware of. 1. Android and Web-Based FaceTime For the first time, FaceTime is ...
MAsk On Face ID iOS 15

iOS 15.4 Features: Everything New in iOS 15.4

Monday March 14, 2022 1:45 pm PDT by
Apple today released iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, the fourth major updates to the iOS 15 and iPadOS 15 operating systems that first came out in September. iOS and iPadOS 15.4 are huge updates that bring quite a few useful new features to the iPhone and the iPad. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Face ID With a Mask With iOS 15.4, there is now an option to unlock your...
iOS 15 Messages Guide Feature

iOS 15 Messages Guide: New Features, Photos, Updates

Friday July 9, 2021 1:52 pm PDT by
Apple's FaceTime app was the main focus for many of the iOS 15 updates that were introduced, but the Messages app wasn't entirely forgotten. Apple introduced a new Shared with You feature and streamlined several interface elements to make the Messages experience more pleasant. This guide outlines all of the new features that Apple added to the Messages app in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. Shared...

Popular Stories

airpods pro 2 1

AirPods Pro 2 No Longer Expected to Feature Built-In Heart Rate or Body Temperature Sensor

Sunday July 3, 2022 8:07 pm PDT by
While past rumors have indicated the upcoming second-generation AirPods Pro will feature a built-in heart rate and body temperature sensor, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has cast doubt on those rumors turning out to be true, saying instead such a feature is unlikely to come anytime soon. "Over the past few months, there have been rumors about this year's model gaining the ability to determine a...
Apple Watch 8 Unreleased Feature Thumb

Apple Watch Series 8 Model Rumored to Feature 5% Larger Display

Monday July 4, 2022 5:50 am PDT by
Apple is working on an Apple Watch Series 8 model with a larger display, according to DSCC's Ross Young and Haitong International Securities's Jeff Pu. In October last year, Young suggested that the Apple Watch Series 8 could come in three display sizes. Now, responding to a query about the rumor on Twitter, Young claims that the additional display size joining the Apple Watch lineup will be ...
intel go pc justin long

Windows Laptop Makers 'Worried' About New MacBook Air Impacting Sales

Tuesday July 5, 2022 6:57 am PDT by
The upcoming launch of Apple's redesigned MacBook Air with the M2 chip has some Windows laptop manufacturers "worried" that sales of Intel-based laptops will be negatively affected, according to industry sources cited by DigiTimes. "A Wintel brand vendor pointed out that at a price point of US$1,000-$1,500, the MacBook Air will crowd out other high-end notebooks," the report claims, with...
European Commisssion

EU Approves Landmark Legislation to Regulate Apple and Other Big Tech Firms

Tuesday July 5, 2022 5:53 am PDT by
European Union lawmakers have approved landmark legislation to heavily regulate Apple, Google, Meta, and other big tech firms. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA) were proposed by the European Commission in December 2020. Now, collected in a "Digital Services Package," the legislation has been formally adopted by the European Parliament and seeks to address...
macbook air m2 order date feature

Apple Announces MacBook Air With M2 Chip Available to Order Starting July 8, Launches July 15

Wednesday July 6, 2022 4:59 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the new MacBook Air equipped with the M2 chip will be available to order starting Friday, July 8 at 5 a.m. Pacific Time. Apple said deliveries to customers and in-store availability will begin Friday, July 15. MacRumors exclusively reported that Apple planned to launch the new MacBook Air on July 15, and the date has now been confirmed by Apple. Customers will be...
top stories 2jul2022

Top Stories: M2 MacBook Air Release Date, New HomePod Rumor, and More

Saturday July 2, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The M2 MacBook Pro has started making its way into customers' hands and we're learning more about how it performs in a variety of situations, but all eyes are really on the upcoming M2 MacBook Air which has seen a complete redesign and should be arriving in a couple of weeks. Other top stories this week included a host of product rumors including additional M2 and even M3 Macs, an updated...
Lockdown Mode Feature

Apple Announces New Lockdown Mode on iOS 16 With 'Extreme' Level of Security

Wednesday July 6, 2022 10:00 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new Lockdown Mode coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac with iOS 16, iPadOS 16, and macOS Ventura. Apple says the optional security feature is designed to protect the "very small number" of users who may be at risk of "highly targeted cyberattacks" from private companies developing state-sponsored spyware, such as journalists, activists, and government employees. Apple...
siri remote 3

Apple Releases Firmware Update for Apple TV Siri Remote

Tuesday July 5, 2022 12:10 pm PDT by
Apple today released new firmware for the Siri Remote designed for the Apple TV, updating the software from version 9M6772 to 10M1103. The software is for the redesigned Siri Remote that was released in May 2021, aka the gray remote with the updated interface. In the Apple TV settings, the new firmware will display as 0x0070, up from 0x0061. There is no word on what's new with the Apple TV...