iPad: The Missing Manual (2014)
Part 2. Pix, Flix, & Apps
Chapter 8. Taking Photos, Shooting Videos
It’s natural and easy and joyful to take pictures with your phone. But an iPad is a big honker. Holding it up blocks your view of your subject—and, often, the view of anyone behind you. Plenty of people heap ridicule on anyone who takes pictures with a tablet, or at least point and snicker at them.
But Apple pretends not to notice. With each new version of the iPad, Apple keeps making the tablet’s camera better. There’s no optical zoom; there’s no flash; and the iPad’s camera isn’t as good as the iPhone’s. But the photos can look every bit as good as what you’d get from a pocket camera. And the hi-def videos are indistinguishable from what you’d get out of a camcorder.
This chapter is all about the iPad’s ability to display photos, take new ones with its camera, and capture videos.
The Camera App
The little hole on the back of the iPad, in the upper-left corner, is its camera.
On the latest iPads, it’s pretty impressive, at least for a tablet cam. The iPad Air 2, for example, has manual exposure control, can shoot 10 shots a second, and does amazingly well in low light.
The earlier iPad models’ cameras aren’t quite as good, but they’re still fine as long as your subject is still and well lit. Action shots may come out blurry, and dim-light shots may come out grainy.
Now that you know what you’re in for, here’s how it works.
Firing Up the Camera
Photographic opportunities are frequently fleeting; by the time you fish the iPad from your backpack, wake it up, slide your finger to unlock it, press the Home button, find the Camera app, and wait for it to load, the magic moment may be gone forever.
Fortunately, there’s a much quicker way to get to the Camera app when the iPad is asleep:
1. Press the Home button or Sleep switch to wake the iPad.
A faint button appears at the lower-right corner of the screen.
2. Flick the button upward.
The Camera app opens directly. This trick shaves an unbelievable amount of time off the old get-to-the-camera method.
This Camera shortcut bypasses the “enter password” screen (if you’ve put a password or fingerprint restriction on your iPad). Any random stranger who picks up your iPad can jump directly into picture-taking mode.
That stranger can’t do much damage, though. She can take new photos, or delete the new photos taken during her session—but the photos you’ve already taken are off limits, and the features that could damage your reputation (editing, emailing, and posting photos) are unavailable in the Camera app. You have to open the Photos app to get to those—and that requires the iPad password.
The first time you use the camera, you may be asked if it’s OK to geotag your shots (record where you were when you took them). Unless you’re a burglar or are having an affair, tap OK.
Of course, there’s a hands-free way to fire up the Camera app, too: Tell Siri, “Open camera.”
The Six Modes of Camera
The Camera app in iOS 8 has been thoroughly made over. By swiping your finger vertically, you switch among its modes. (They’re listed on the right, but you can swipe anywhere on the screen.)
From top to bottom, these are the modes:
§ Time-Lapse. This mode, new in iOS 8, speeds up your video, yet somehow keeps it stable. You can reduce a 2-hour bike ride into 20 seconds of superfast playback.
§ Slo-Mo (iPad Air 2). Wow, what gorgeousness! You get a video filmed at 120 frames a second—so it plays back at one-quarter the speed, incredibly smoothly. Fantastic for sports, tender smiles, and cannonballs into the pool.
§ Video. Here’s your basic camcorder mode.
§ Photo. This is the primary mode for taking pictures.
§ Square. You might wonder why Apple would go to the trouble of designating a whole special camera mode to taking square, not rectangular, pictures. Answer: Instagram, the crazy-popular app that takes square pictures and was sold to Facebook for $1 billion.
§ Pano. Choose this mode to capture super-wide-angle panoramic photos.
All of these modes are described in this chapter, but in a more logical order: still photos first, then video modes.
Most people, most of the time, use the Camera app to take still photos.
It’s a pretty great experience. The iPad’s screen is a huge digital-camera viewfinder. You can turn it 90 degrees for a wider or taller shot, if you like.
Tap the Exposure Point
All right: You’ve opened the Camera app, and the mode is set to Photo. See the yellow box that appears briefly on the screen?
It’s telling you where the iPad will focus, the area it examines to calculate the overall brightness of the photo (exposure), and the portion that will determine the overall white balance of the scene (that is, the color cast).
If you’re taking a picture of people, the iPad’s software tries to lock in on a face—up to 10 faces, actually—and calculate focus and exposure so that they look right.
But sometimes, there are no faces—and dead center may not be the best place for the iPad to determine the exposure. The cool thing is that you can tap somewhere else in the scene to move that white square—to recalculate the exposure and white balance.
Here’s when you might want to do this tapping:
§ When the whole image looks too dark or too bright. If you tap a dark part of the scene, the whole photo brightens up; if you tap a bright part, the whole photo darkens a bit. You’re telling the camera, “Redo your calculations so this part has the best exposure; I don’t really care if the rest of the picture gets brighter or darker.” At that point, you can override the iPad’s exposure decision, as described below.
§ When the scene has a color cast. If the photo looks, for example, a little bluish or yellowish, tap a different spot in the scene—the one you care most about. The iPad recomputes its assessment of the white balance.
§ When you’re in macro mode. If the foreground object is very close to the lens—4 to 8 inches away—the iPad automatically goes into macro (super closeup) mode. In this mode, you can do something really cool: You can defocus the background. The background goes soft, slightly blurry, just like the professional photos you see in magazines. Just make sure you tap the foreground object.
New in iOS 8: exposure control!
When you tap the screen to set the exposure point, a new control appears: a little yellow sun slider. That’s your exposure control. Slide it up to brighten the whole photo, down to make things darker—a first on the iPad’s built-in camera software.
Often, just a small adjustment is all it takes to add a little splash of light to a dim scene, or to dial the details back into a photo that’s bright white.
To reset the slider to the iPad’s original proposed setting, tap the screen somewhere else, or just aim the iPad at something different for a second.
The point is that the Camera app now lets you fuss with the focus point and the exposure level independently for the first time.
Focus Lock/Exposure Lock
The iPad likes to focus and calculate the exposure before it shoots. Yeah—cameras are funny that way.
That tendency, however, can get in your way when you’re shooting something that moves fast. Horse races, divers. Pets. Kids on merry-go-rounds, kids on slides, kids in your house. By the time the camera has calculated the focus and exposure, which takes about a second, you’ve lost the shot.
Therefore, Apple provides an advanced feature that’s common on professional cameras but rare on tablets: Auto-Exposure Lock and Autofocus Lock. They let you set up the focus and exposure in advance so that there’s zero lag when you finally snap the shot.
To use this feature, point the camera at something that has the same distance and lighting as the subject-to-be. For example, focus at the base of the merry-go-round that’s directly below where your daughter’s horse will be. Or point at the bottom of the water slide before your son is ready to go.
Now hold down your finger on that spot on the iPad’s screen until you see the yellow square blink twice. When you lift your finger, the phrase “AE/AF Lock” appears to tell you that you’ve now locked in exposure and autofocus. (You can tap again to unlock it if you change your mind.)
At this point, you can drag the yellow sun slider to adjust that locked exposure, if you like.
Now you can snap photos, rapid-fire, without ever having to wait while your iPad rethinks focus and exposure.
The iPad has a zoom, which can help bring you “closer” to the subject—but it’s a digital zoom. It doesn’t work like a real camera’s optical zoom, which actually moves lenses to blow up the scene. Instead, it basically just blows up the image, making everything bigger, and slightly degrading the picture quality in the process.
To zoom in like this, spread two fingers on the screen. As you spread, a zoom slider appears; you can also drag the handle in the slider, or tap or , for more precise zooming.
Sometimes, getting closer to the action is worth the subtle image-quality sacrifice.
The “Rule of Thirds” Grid
The Rule of Thirds, long held as gospel by painters and photographers, suggests that you imagine a tic-tac-toe grid superimposed on your frame. Then, as you frame the shot, you should position the important parts of the photo on those lines or, better yet, at their intersections.
According to the Rule of Thirds, this setup creates a stronger composition than putting everything in dead center, which is most people’s instinct.
Now, it’s really a Guideline of Thirds, or a Consideration of Thirds; plenty of photographs are, in fact, strongest when the subject is centered.
But if you want to know where those magic intersections are so that you can at least consider the Rule of Thirds, you have to duck into the Settings→Photos & Camera screen to turn it on. Scroll down; turn on Grid.
From now on, the iPad displays the tic-tac-toe grid on your viewfinder, for your composition pleasure. (It’s not part of the photo.) You turn it off the same way.
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Cameras have come a long way, but in one regard, they’re still pathetic: Compared with the human eye, they have terrible dynamic range.
That’s a reference to the scale of bright and dark spots in a single scene. If you see someone standing in front of a bright window, you can probably make out who it is. But in a photo, that person will be a solid black silhouette. The camera doesn’t have enough dynamic range to handle both the bright background and the person standing in front of it.
Sure, you could adjust the exposure so that the person’s face is lit—but in the process, you’d brighten the background into a nuclear-white rectangle.
Until the world’s cameras are as sensitive as our eyes, we can make do with HDR (high dynamic range) photography. That’s when the camera takes three photos (or even more)—one each at dark, medium, and light exposure settings. Then software combines the best parts of all three, bringing details to both the shadows and the highlights.
Believe it or not, your iPad has a built-in HDR feature. It’s not as amazing as what an HDR guru can do in Photoshop—for one thing, you have zero control over how the images are combined, how many are combined, or how much of each is combined. And sometimes the HDR version of the photo looks worse than the original.
Should the iPad save a standard shot in addition to the HDR shot? That’s up to you. In Settings→Photos & Camera, you’ll find the on/off switch for Keep Normal Photo.
But often, an HDR photo does indeed show more detail in both bright and dark areas than a single shot would. In the iPad shot on the previous page, the sky is blown out—pure white. In the half at right, the HDR feature brings back the lost streaks of color.
To use HDR, tap the HDR button at the top of the screen. It has three settings: HDR On, HDR Off, and HDR Auto. The Auto setting, new in iOS 8, means “Use your judgment, iPad. If you think this is a scene with bright brights and dark darks, and would therefore benefit from your own HDR feature, please use HDR automatically.” Take your best shot.
When you inspect your photos later in the Photos app, you’ll know which ones were taken with HDR turned on; when you tap the photo, you’ll see the HDR logo at the upper-left corner.
Taking the Shot
All right. You’ve opened the Camera app. You’ve set up the focus, exposure, grid, HDR, and zoom. If, in fact, your subject hasn’t already left the scene, you can now take the picture.
You can do that in any of three ways:
§ Tap the shutter () button.
§ Press either of the physical volume buttons on the right edge of the iPad.
Pressing a physical key feels more natural than, and doesn’t shake the camera as much as, tapping the onscreen button. Unfortunately, the volume keys are at the top left edge if you’re holding the iPad sideways (in landscape orientation).
§ Press a volume button on your earbuds clicker (if you bought earbuds)—a great way to trigger the shutter without jiggling the iPad in the process, and a more convenient way to take “selfies.”
Either way, if the iPad isn’t muted, you hear the snap! sound of a picture successfully taken.
You get to admire your work for only about half a second—and then the photo slurps itself into the thumbnail icon at the lower-right corner of the screen. To review the photo you just took, tap that thumbnail icon.
At this point, to look at other pictures you’ve taken, tap All Photos at the top of the screen.
This is your opportunity to choose a photo (or many) for emailing, texting, posting to Facebook, and so on; tap Select, tap the photos you want, and then tap the Share button (). See Editing Photos.
For details on copying your iPad photos and videos back to your Mac or PC, see Syncing Photos and Videos (iPad→Computer).
Burst Mode (iPad Air 2)
Every iPad snaps photos over and over if you keep your finger pressed on the button or a volume key.
But the iPad Air 2 takes them quickly—10 shots a second. That’s a fantastic feature when you’re trying to study something that happens very fast: a golf swing, a pet trick, a toddler sitting still.
All you have to do is keep your finger pressed on the or the volume key. A counter rapidly increments, showing you how many shots you’ve fired.
Better yet, the iPad helps you clean up the mess afterward—the hassle of hand-inspecting all 230 photos you shot, trying to find the ones worth keeping.
Tap the lower-right thumbnail to view your burst shot. To help keep you sane, the iPad depicts it as a single photo, with the phrase “Burst (72 photos)” (or whatever) in the corner of the screen. (In the Camera Roll, its thumbnail bears multiple frames, as though it’s a stack of slides.)
Here’s where it gets cool.
If you tap Select, you see all frames of the burst in a horizontally scrolling row. Underneath, you see an even smaller “filmstrip” of them—and a few of them are marked with dots.
These are the ones the iPad has decided are the keepers. It does that by studying the clarity or blur of each shot, examining how much one frame is different from those around it, and even skipping past shots where somebody’s eyes are closed. Tap the marked thumbnails to see if you approve of the iPad’s selections.
Whether you do or not, you should work through the larger thumbnails in the burst, tapping each one you want to keep. (The small circle in the corner sprouts a blue checkmark.)
When you tap Done, the iPad asks: “Would you like to keep the other photos in this burst?” Tap Keep Everything to preserve all the shots in the burst, so you can return later to extract a different set of frames; or Keep Only 2 Favorites (or whatever number you selected) to discard the ones you skipped.
In iOS 8, the front-facing camera can capture burst mode, too.
Self-Portraits (the Front Camera)
The iPad has a second camera, right there on the front, above the screen. The point, of course, is that you can use the screen itself as a viewfinder to frame yourself, experiment with your expression, and check your teeth.
To activate the front camera, open the Camera app and then tap the . Suddenly, you see yourself on the screen. Frame the shot, and then tap the button to take the photo.
Now, don’t get your expectations too high. The front camera is not the back camera. It’s much lower resolution. But when your goal is a well-framed self-portrait that you’ll use on the screen—in an email or on a Web page, for example, where high resolution isn’t very important—then having the front camera is better than not having it.
The Self Timer
A self-timer is an extremely useful camera feature. It’s essential when you want to be in the picture yourself; you can prop the iPad on something and then run around to join the group photo. It’s also a great way to prevent camera shake (which produces blurry photos), because your finger won’t jostle the iPad in the process of pressing the shutter button.
As of iOS 8, you no longer have to download a self-timer app. Just tap the icon, and then tap 3s (a 3-second countdown) or 10s (a 10-second countdown).
Now, when you tap or press the volume key, a huge countdown appears on the screen. After the countdown, the iPad takes the picture all by itself. (If the sound is on, you’ll hear the shutter noise.)
Correction: The iPad takes 10 pictures, in burst mode. The iPad logically assumes that if you’re using the self-timer, then you’re not there to help frame the shot and know when everybody’s eyes are open. So it takes 10 shots in a row; you can weed through them later to find the best shot.
The self-timer is available for both the front and back cameras. In other words, it’s also handy for selfies.
No longer do you have to download a special app (*cough* Instagram *cough*) just to take perfectly square photos, the way all the cool kids do these days. Just swipe across the screen until you enter Square mode.
In Square mode, the photos the Camera app takes are square instead of rectangular (4 x 3 proportions). Otherwise, everything you’ve read in this chapter, and will read, is exactly the same in Square mode.
Here’s one of the best camera features of the iPad: panoramic photographs. The iPad lets you capture a 240-degree, ultra-wide-angle, 30-megapixel photo by swinging the iPad around you in an arc. The iPad creates the panorama in real time (you don’t have to line up the sections yourself).
Next time you’re standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon—or anything else that requires a really wide or tall angle—keep this feature in mind.
Once you’ve opened the Camera app, swipe upward until you reach Pano mode.
The big white arrow tells you which way to move the iPad. But you can reverse it (the direction) just by tapping it (the arrow) before you begin.
Tap (or press a volume key). Now, as instructed by the screen, swing the iPad around you—smoothly and slowly, please. You have to hold the iPad upright (portrait orientation) to swing around you horizontally. You can also turn it sideways to swing vertically (to capture something very tall).
As you go, the screen gives you three kinds of feedback:
§ It says “Slow down” if you start swinging too fast. Truth is, as far as the iPad is concerned, the slower the better.
§ It says “Move up” or “Move down” if you’re not keeping the iPad level. Use the big white arrow itself like a carpenter’s level; you’ll leave the center line if you’re not staying level as you move your arm.
§ The preview of your finished panorama builds itself as you move. That is, you’re seeing the final product, in miniature, while you’re still taking it.
You’ll probably find that 240 degrees—the maximum—is a really wide angle. You’ll feel twisted at the waist like taffy. But in fact you can end the panorama at any stage, just by tapping the button.
When you do finally tap , you’ll find that the iPad has taken a very wide, amazingly seamless photograph at very high resolution. If a panorama is too wide, you can crop it, as described later in this chapter.
If you snap a real winner, you can print it out at a local graphics shop, frame it, and hang it above the entire length of your living-room couch.
You can record video as well as still photos. It’s smooth (30 frames per second), sharp, colorful video that does surprisingly well in low light. It’s probably the best-looking video a tablet can take.
The video is the best flavor of high definition (1080p)—and it’s even stabilized to prevent hand jerkiness, just like a real camcorder is. You can also use a gorgeous, 120-frames-per-second slow-motion mode that turns even frenzied action into graceful, liquidy visual ballet.
Using video is almost exactly like taking stills. Open the Camera app. Swipe up until you’ve selected Video mode. You can hold the iPad either vertically or horizontally, although most people on the Internet will spit on you for capturing tall-and-thin videos (because they don’t fit horizontal screens well, including YouTube, laptops, and TVs).
When you switch from still-photo mode to video, you may notice that the video image on the screen suddenly jumps bigger, as though it’s zooming in. And it’s true: The iPad is oddly more “zoomed in” in camcorder mode than in camera mode.
Tap to compute focus, exposure, and white balance, as described on the previous pages. (You can even hold your finger down to trigger the exposure and focus locks, or drag the tiny yellow sun to adjust exposure manually, as described earlier.)
Then tap Record ()—or press a volume key on the edge of the iPad—and you’re rolling! As you film, a time counter ticks away at the top.
Things to Do While You’re Rolling
Once you’ve begun capturing video, don’t think your work is done. You can have all kinds of fun during the recording. For example:
§ Change focus. You can change focus while you’re filming, which is great when you’re panning from a nearby object to a distant one. Refocusing is automatic, just as it is on regular camcorders. But you can also force a refocusing (for example, when the iPad is focusing on the wrong thing) by tapping in your “viewfinder” to specify a new focus point. The iPad recalculates the focus, white balance, and exposure at that point, just as it does when you’re taking stills.
§ Zoom in. You can zoom in while you’re filming, up to 3x actual size. Just spread two fingers on the screen, like you would to magnify a photo. Pinch two fingers to zoom out again.
Once you start to zoom, a zoom slider appears on the screen. It’s much easier to zoom smoothly by dragging its handle than it is to use a two-finger pinch or spread.
So here’s a smart idea: Zoom in slightly before you start recording, so that the zoom slider appears on the screen. Then, during the shot, drag its handle to zoom in, as smoothly as you like.
When you’re finished recording, tap . The iPad stops recording and plays a chime; it’s ready to record another shot.
There’s no easier-to-use camcorder on earth. And, man, what a lot of capacity! Each individual shot can be an hour long—and on the 128-gigabyte iPad, you can record 68 hours of video. Which ought to be just about long enough to capture the entire elementary-school talent show.
The Front Camera
You can film yourself, too. Just tap before you film to make the iPad use its front-mounted camera. The resolution is lower than the back camera’s, but it’s still high definition.
If you have an iPad Air 2, you’re a lucky duck: Your Camera app has an additional mode called Slo-Mo. (Swipe down until Slo-Mo is selected.)
Capturing video in this mode is exactly like capturing video the regular way—but behind the scenes, the iPad is recording 120 frames a second instead of the usual 30.
When you open the captured movie to watch it, you’ll see something startling and beautiful: The clip plays at full speed for 1 second, slows down to one-quarter or one-eighth speed, and, for the final second, accelerates back to full speed. It’s a great way to study sports action, cannonball dives, and shades of expression in a growing smile.
What you may not realize, however, is that you can adjust where the slow-motion effect begins and ends in the clip. When you open the video for playback, a strange kind of ruler track appears above it. Drag the vertical handles inward or outward to change the spot where the slow motion begins and ends. (Use the thick white vertical bar in the “filmstrip” at top to scrub through the clip to see where you are.)
Whereas Slo-Mo mode is great for slowing down fast scenes, the new Time-Lapse mode speeds up slow scenes: flowers growing, ice melting, candles burning, and so on.
Actually, this mode might better be called hyperlapse. Time-lapse implies that the camera is locked down while recording. But in a hyperlapse video, the camera is moving. This mode works great for bike rides, hikes, drives, plane trips, and so on; it compresses even multihour events down to under a minute of playback, with impressive smoothness.
So how much does the Time-Lapse mode speed up the playback? Answer: It varies. The longer you shoot, the greater the speed-up. The app accelerates every recording enough to play back in 20 to 40 seconds, whether you film for 1 minute, 100 minutes, or 1,000 minutes.
If you film for less than 20 seconds, your video plays back at 15 times original speed. But you can film for much, much longer, like 30 hours or more. Time-Lapse mode speeds up the result from 15x, 240x, 960x—whatever it takes to produce a 20- to 40-second playback.
Trimming a Video
To review whatever video you’ve just shot, tap the thumbnail icon at the lower-right corner of the screen. You’ve just opened up the video playback screen. Tap to play back the video.
What’s really cool, though, is that you can edit this video right on the iPad. You can trim off the dead air at the beginning and the end.
To do that, tap the screen to make the scroll bar appear at the top (if you don’t already see it). Then drag the and markers (currently at the outer ends of the little filmstrip) inward so that they turn yellow. Adjust them, hitting to see the effect as you go.
You can drag the playback cursor—the vertical white bar that indicates your position in the clip—with your finger. That’s the closest thing you get to Rewind and Fast-Forward buttons. (In fact, you may have to move it out of the way before you can move the end handles for trimming.)
When you’ve positioned the handles so that they isolate the good stuff, tap Trim.
Finally, tap either Trim Original (meaning “shorten the original clip permanently”) or Save as New Clip (meaning “leave the original untouched, and spin out the shortened version as a separate video”).
iMovie for iPad
Of course, there’s more to editing than just snipping dead air from the ends of a clip. That’s why Apple made iMovie for iPad. It’s free on a new iPad or $5 if it didn’t come with your iPad.
The Photos App
Once you’ve taken some photos, or copied them to your iPad from your computer (see Chapter 14), you’ll have some pictures ready to view. Presenting them, sharing them, editing them, and slideshowing them is the job of the Photos app.
The Photos app is fully rotational. That is, you can turn the iPad 90 degrees. Whether you’re viewing a list, a screen full of thumbnails, or an individual photo, the image on the screen rotates, too, for easier admiring. (Unless, of course, you’ve turned on Lock Rotation.)
At the bottom of the Photos app screen, three tabs lie in wait: Photos, Shared, and Albums. The next few sections explain what they do.
The Photos Tab
In the olden days, the Photos app displayed all your photos—thousands of them—in one endless, scrolling mass. If you were hunting for a particular shot, you had to study the thumbnails with an electron microscope.
Now, though, iOS groups them intelligently into sets that are easy to navigate. Here they are, from smallest to largest:
§ Moments. A moment is a group of photos you took in one place at one time—for example, all the shots at the picnic by the lake. The iPad even uses its own GPS to give each moment a name: “San Francisco, California (Union Square),” for example.
If you tap a Moment’s name, a map opens up; little photo thumbnails show exactly where these pictures were taken. Slick!
§ Collections. Put a bunch of moments together, and what do you get? A collection. Here again, the iPad tries to study the times and places of your photo taking—but this time, it puts them into groups that might span a few days and several locations. You might discover that your entire spring vacation is a single collection, for example.
§ Years. If you “zoom out” of your photos far enough, you wind up viewing them by year: 2014, 2015, and so on.
To “zoom in” from larger groupings to smaller ones (Years→Collections→Moments), just tap each pile of thumbnails. If you tap a thumbnail on the Moments screen, you open that photo for viewing.
When you first open a photo, it appears on a white background. Tap the photo to change the background to black, which often makes your photos’ colors look better.
To “zoom out” again, tap the grouping name at top left (Years, for example).
If you’ve opened a single photo for examination, you can retreat to the moment it came from by pinching with two fingers.
The last technique worth knowing is the Finger Browse. Whenever you’re looking at a tiny grid of tiny thumbnail images (in a Year or Collection), hold your finger down within the batch. A larger thumbnail sprouts from your finger, as on this sunset shot here—
—and you can slide your finger around within the mosaic to find a particular photo, or a batch of them.
The Albums Tab
(The second tab is actually the Shared tab, but we’re skipping over it for now; see iCloud Photo Sharing.)
The Albums tab, completely redefined in iOS 8, is a scrolling list of specialized photo “folders” like these:
§ Camera Roll means “pictures you’ve taken with the iPad” (as opposed to “pictures you’ve imported from your computer”). If you see All Photos instead, it’s because you’ve turned on iCloud Photo Library (iCloud Photo Library).
§ My Photo Stream holds the last 1,000 pictures you’ve taken or imported on any of your Apple gadgets; see Print.
§ Favorites. This folder gives you quick access to your favorite photos. And how does the iPad know? Easy: You’ve told it which photos are your favorites. You’ve tapped the icon above a photo, anywhere within the Photos app. (Favorites must be photos you’ve taken with the iPad, not transferred from your computer.)
§ Panoramas, Videos, Slo-Mo, Time-Lapse, Bursts. As a convenience to you, these categories give you one-tap shopping for everything you’ve captured using the Camera app’s specialized picture and video modes. Super handy when you’re trying to show someone your latest time-lapse masterpiece, for example; you know where to look for it.
§ Events means all the photos you’ve selected to copy from your Mac or PC. (You don’t see Events if you haven’t copied any over.)
§ Faces. Both iPhoto and Aperture, Apple’s Mac photography programs, have features that let you identify, by name, the people whose faces are in your photos. Once you’ve given the software a running start, it can find those people in the rest of your photo collection automatically. That’s handy every now and then—when you need photos of your kid for a school project, for example.
Here you’ll find a list of everyone whose faces you identified on your Mac—and every picture of that person. (Again, Faces doesn’t appear if you don’t use that feature.)
§ Albums. Here you get a list of albums—whatever you’ve copied to the iPad from your Mac or PC (if any).
§ Recently Deleted. iOS 8 offers you a new safety net. Even after you think you’ve deleted a photo or video from your iPad, you have 30 days to change your mind. Deleted pictures and videos sit in this folder, quietly counting down to their own doomsdays.
If you wind up changing your mind, you can open Recently Deleted, tap the photo you’d condemned, and tap Recover. It pops back into its rightful place in the Photos app, saved from termination.
On the other hand, you can also zap a photo into oblivion before its 30-day countdown is up. Tap to open it, tap Delete, and then confirm with Delete Photo. If you tap Select, you can also hit Delete All or Recover All.
As you’d guess, you can drill down from any of these groupings to a screen full of thumbnails, and from there to an individual photo.
If you hold your finger down on the photo or even its thumbnail, a Copy button appears. That’s one way to prepare for pasting a single photo into an email message, an MMS (picture or video) message to a phone, and so on.
Hide a Photo
Here’s a quirky new iOS 8 feature: It’s now possible to hide a photo from the Photos tab (Moments, Collections, and Years), so that it appears only on the Albums tab (in your albums and in a special Hidden folder).
Apple noticed that lots of people use their iPads to take screenshots of apps, pictures of whiteboards or diagrams, shots of package labels or parking-garage signs, and so on. These images aren’t scenic or lovely; they’re not really memories; they don’t look good (or serve much purpose) when they appear nestled in with your shots-to-remember in Moments, Collections, and Years. (Hidden photos don’t appear in slideshows, either.)
To hide a picture, hold your finger down (either on its thumbnail or its opened image). On the button bar, tap Hide. To confirm, tap Hide Photo.
Whatever photos you hide go to a new folder on the Albums tab—called, of course, Hidden, so that you can find them easily. From here, you can un-hide a shot by holding your finger down on it and tapping Unhide.
Flicking, Rotating, Zooming, Panning
Once a photo is open at full size, you have your chance to perform the four most famous and most dazzling tricks of the iPad: flicking, rotating, zooming, and panning a photo.
§ Flicking right to left is how you advance to the next picture or movie in the batch. (Flick from left to right to view the previous photo.)
§ Rotating is what you do when a horizontal photo or video appears on the upright iPad, which fills most of the screen with blackness.
Just turn the iPad 90 degrees in either direction. Like magic, the photo itself rotates and enlarges to fill its new, wider canvas. No taps required. (This doesn’t work when the iPad is flat on its back—on a table, for example. It has to be more or less upright. It also doesn’t work when Portrait Orientation is locked.)
This trick also works the other way: You can make a vertical photo fit better by turning the iPad upright.
§ Zooming a photo means magnifying it, and it’s a blast. One quick way is to double-tap the photo; the iPad zooms in on the portion you tapped, doubling its size.
Another technique is to use the two-finger spread, which gives you more control over what gets magnified and by how much.
Once you’ve spread a photo bigger, you can then pinch to scale it down again. Or just double-tap to restore the original size. (You don’t have to restore a photo to original size before advancing to the next one, though; if you flick enough times, you’ll pull the next photo onto the screen.)
§ Panning means moving a photo around on the screen after you’ve zoomed in. Just drag your finger to do that; no scroll bars are necessary.
When the iPad is rotated, all the controls and gestures reorient themselves. For example, flicking right to left still brings on the next photo, even if you’re now holding the iPad the wide way.
Yep, there’s now a search feature in the iOS 8 Photos app.
Which might seem odd. How can you search for a blob of pixels? How does the iPad know what’s in a picture?
It doesn’t. All you can search for is the data associated with a photo: time, place, album name.
To try it out, tap the at the top of the Photos or Albums screens. Right off the bat, the iPad offers some one-tap canned searches based on location (like Nearby and Home) and dates (like February 2015). Tap to see the photos that match.
Or you can type in a place, date, name, or album. Try typing september, or tucson, or bay area, or 2014, for example. As you type, iOS 8 displays all the photo groupings that match what you’ve typed so far.
Tap that grouping to see the photo thumbnails within.
If some photo no longer meets your exacting standards, you can delete it. But this action is trickier than you may think.
§ If you took the picture using the iPad, no sweat. Open the photo; tap . When you tap Delete Photo, that picture is gone. Or, rather, it’s moved to the Recently Deleted folder described on The Albums Tab; you have 30 days to change your mind.
§ If the photo was synced to the iPad from your computer, you can’t delete it right on the iPad. Instead, delete it from the original album on your computer (which does not mean deleting it from the computer altogether). The next time you sync the iPad, the photo disappears from it, too.
Once you’ve opened a photo, some useful controls appear. (Tap anywhere to hide them and summon a black background, for more impressive photo presentation.)
§ Album name. The name in the upper-left corner specifies which group this photo came from. Tap there to return to that batch.
§ Date and time. The top of the screen says “September 13, 12:52 pm,” for example, letting you know when this photo was taken.
§ Edit. This button is the gateway to the iPad’s photo-editing features, described in the following pages.
§ Share icon. Tap in the lower left if you want to do something more with this photo than just stare at it. You can use it as your iPad’s wallpaper, print it, copy it, text it, send it by email, use it as somebody’s headshot in your Contacts list, post it on Twitter or Facebook, and so on. These options are all described later in this chapter.
§ Favorite icon. When you find a picture you really love—enough that you might want to call it up later to show people—tap the new button above it. This photo or video now appears in the Favorites folder (in the Albums tab of the Photos app, described earlier), so that it’s easy to find with your other prize-winners. (The appears only on photos you’ve taken with the iPad—not pictures you’ve imported from computers or other cameras.)
Yes, kids, it’s true: You can crop and edit your pictures right on the iPad. The tools Apple gives you aren’t exactly Photoshop, but they’ve been substantially beefed up in iOS 8.
To edit a photo, tap its thumbnail (anywhere in the Photos app) to open it. Tap Edit in the upper right.
Now you get four buttons, plus Cancel and Done. Their names aren’t shown, but their functions (from top) are Auto-Enhance, Crop/Straighten, Filters, Adjust Color, and (sometimes) More. Read on.
All the changes described on these pages are nondestructive. That is, the Photos app never forgets the original photo. At any time, hours or years later, you can return to the Edit screen and undo the changes you’ve made (tap Revert). You can recrop the photo back to its original size, for example, or turn off the Auto-Enhance button. In other words, your changes are never really permanent.
When you tap this magical button, the iPad analyzes the relative brightness of all the pixels in your photo and attempts to “balance” it. After a moment, the app adjusts the brightness and contrast and intensifies dull or grayish-looking areas. Usually, the pictures look richer and more vivid as a result.
You may find that Auto-Enhance has little effect on some photos, only minimally improves others, and totally rescues a few. In any case, if you don’t care for the result, you can tap the button again to turn Auto-Enhance off.
In iOS 8, this button opens a crazy new editing screen. Here you adjust the size, shape, and angle of the photo.
When you tap , something magical happens: iOS 8 analyzes whatever horizontal lines it finds in the photo—the horizon, for example, or the roof line of a building—and uses it as a guide to straighten the photo automatically. It’s very smart, as you can see in the example on the next page at top.
See how the photo has been tilted slightly—and enlarged slightly to fill the frame without leaving triangular gaps?
You can reject the iPad’s proposal (tap RESET). Or you can tilt the photo more or less (drag your finger vertically to the right of the photo), up to 90 degrees.
If you want to rotate the photo more than 90 degrees—for example, if the camera took it sideways—tap as many times as necessary to turn the picture upright.
The other work you can do in this mode is cropping.
Cropping means shaving off unnecessary portions of a photo. Usually, you crop a photo to improve its composition—adjusting where the subject appears within the frame of the picture. Often, a photo has more impact if it’s cropped tightly around the subject, especially in portraits. Or maybe you want to crop out wasted space, like big expanses of background sky. If necessary, you can even chop a former romantic interest out of an otherwise perfect family portrait.
Cropping is also very useful if your photo needs to have a certain aspect ratio (length-to-width proportion), like 8 x 10 or 5 x 7.
To crop a photo you’ve opened, tap , if it’s not already selected. A white border appears around your photo. Drag inward on any edge or corner. The part of the photo that the iPad will eventually trim away is darkened. You can re-center the photo within your cropping frame by dragging any part of the photo, inside or outside the white box. Adjust the frame and drag the photo until everything looks just right.
Ordinarily, you can create a cropping rectangle of any size and proportions, freehand. But if you tap , you get a choice of eight canned proportions: Square, 3 x 2, 3 x 5, 4 x 3, and so on. They make the app limit the cropping frame to preset proportions.
This aspect-ratio feature is especially important if you plan to order prints of your photos. Prints come only in standard photo sizes: 4 x 6, 5 x 7, 8 x 10, and so on. But unless you crop them, the iPad’s photos are all 3 x 2, which doesn’t divide evenly into most standard print photograph sizes. Limiting your cropping to one of these standard sizes guarantees that your cropped photos will fit perfectly into Kodak prints. (If you don’t constrain your cropping this way, then Kodak—not you—will decide how to crop them to fit.)
The Original option here maintains the proportions of the original photo even as you make the grid smaller.
When you tap one of the preset sizes, the cropping frame stays in those proportions as you drag its edges. It’s locked in those proportions unless you tap and choose a different setting.
Adjust Color ()
The people have spoken: They want control over color, white balance, tint, and so on. In iOS 8, you get it—in spades.
When you tap , you’re offered three adjustment categories: Light, Color, and B&W.
When you tap one of these categories, you see a “filmstrip” beside your photo. You can drag your finger across it, watching the effect on your photo.
Actually, when you’re making any of the adjustments described on these pages, you don’t have to drag across the filmstrip. You can drag your finger left or right across the photo itself—a bigger target.
As it turns out, each of these sliders controls a handful of variables, all of which it’s changing simultaneously. For example, adjusting the Light slider affects the exposure, contrast, brights, and darks all at once (below).
Intriguingly, you can tap to see how the master slider has affected these qualities—or even adjust these sub-sliders yourself. For example:
§ Light. When you drag your finger along the Light filmstrip, you’re adjusting the exposure and contrast of the photo. Often, a slight tweak is all it takes to bring a lot more detail out of the shot.
For much finer control, tap . You open your “drawer” of additional controls: Exposure (adjusts the brightness of all pixels), Highlights (pulls lost details out of very bright areas), Shadows (pulls lost details out of very dark areas), Brightness (like Exposure, but doesn’t brighten parts that are already bright), Contrast (heightens the difference between the brightest and darkest areas), Black Point (determines what is “black”; shifts the entire dark/light range upward or downward). Once again, you drag your finger along the “film strip” (or the photo itself) to watch the effect on your photo above.
§ Color. The Color filmstrip adjusts the tint and intensity of the photos’ colors. Here again, just a nudge can sometimes liven a dull photo or make blue skies “pop” just a little more.
Tap to see the three sliders that make up the master Color control. They are Saturation (intensity of the colors—from vivid fake-looking Disney all the way down to black and white), Contrast (deepens the most saturated colors), and Cast (adjusts the color tint of the photo, making it warmer or darker overall).
§ B&W stands for black and white. The instant you touch this filmstrip, your photo goes monochrome, like a black-and-white photo. It’s hard to describe exactly what happens when you drag your finger—you just have to try it—except to note that the app plays with the relative tones of blacks, grays, and whites, creating variations on the black-and-white theme.
Tap to see the component sliders: Intensity (the strength of the lightening/darkening effect), Neutrals (brightness of the middle grays), Tone (intensifies the brightest and darkest areas), and Grain (simulates the “grain”—the texture—of film prints; the farther you move the slider, the higher the “speed of the film” and the more visible the grain).
You can perform all of these adjustments with the iPad held either horizontally or vertically. The filmstrip jumps to the right side of the screen accordingly.
At any point, you can back out of what you’re doing by tapping an adjustment heading. For example, if you’re fiddling with one of the Color sub-sliders (Contrast or Saturation, for example), tap Light, Color, or B&W to exit the sub-slider.
And, of course, you can tap Cancel (and then Discard Changes) to abandon your editing altogether, or Done to save the edited photo and close the editing controls.
It might seem odd trying to perform these Photoshop-like tweaks on a tablet, but the power is here if you need it.
Square photos weren’t the only influence that Apple felt from the popularity of Facebook’s Instagram app. It also became clear that the masses want filters, special effects that degrade the color of your photo in artsy ways. (They can affect either square or regular photos.) You, too, can make your pictures look old, washed-out, or oversaturated.
To view your options, tap the icon. You see a strip of eight color filters (and black-and-white filters); None is always at the top.
Tap a filter thumbnail to try it on for size. In essence, each filter turns your photo into a variation of black-and-white or plays with its saturation (color intensity, dialing it up or down). Finish by tapping Done (if you like the change) or Cancel (if you don’t).
By the way, you can return to a photo even months later to remove the filter; tap again and tap None.
(Don’t these filters more or less duplicate the effects of the Light, Color, and B&W sliders described already? Yes. But filters produce canned, one-tap, instant changes that don’t require as much tweaking.)
Handing Off to Other Editing Apps
OK, Apple: Who are you, and what have you done with the company that used to believe in closed systems?
In iOS 8, for the first time, there’s an option to hand off a photo you’re editing to another company’s editing app! Maybe you’re a fan of Camera Plus, Fragment, or some other photo app. Now its tools can seem as though they’re built right into the Photos app!
Here’s the drill: Open a photo in Photos. Tap Edit. Tap . Now you see the icons of all apps on your iPad that have been updated to work with this iOS 8 Exensibility feature. (If you don’t have any such apps, the button doesn’t appear.)
When you tap the app you want, the photo opens immediately in that app, with all of its editing features available. You can freely bounce back and forth between Apple’s editor and its competitors’.
Saving Your Changes
Once you’ve rotated, cropped, or auto-enhanced a photo, tap the Done button. You’ve just made your changes permanent.
Actually, you’ve made them temporarily permanent. You can return to an edited photo at any time to undo the changes you’ve made (in Edit mode, tap Revert). When you send the photo off the iPad (by email, to your computer, whatever), that copy freezes the edits in place—but the copy on your iPad is still revert-able.
If you sync your photos to iPhoto or Aperture on the Mac, they show up in their edited condition. Yet, amazingly, you can undo or modify the edits there! The original photo is still lurking behind the edited version. You can use your Mac’s Crop tool to adjust the crop, for example. Or you can use iPhoto’s Revert to Original command to throw away all the edits you made to the original photo while it was on the iPad.
753 Ways to Use Photos and Videos
Once you’ve taken a picture, you can do something with it right away. Mail it, text it, post it to Facebook or Twitter—all right from the iPad (if it’s online, of course).
That’s all useful when you’re out shopping and want to seek your spouse’s opinion on something you’re about to buy. It’s handy when you want to remember the parking-garage section where you parked (“4 South”). It’s great when you want to give your Twitter fans a glimpse of whatever hell or heaven you’re experiencing at the moment.
In iOS 8, the world of ways you can send pictures or videos has exploded; now you can hand one off either to an online entity (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and so on) or to another app on your iPad. Want to see? Read on.
Choose the Photos
Before you can send or post a photo or a video, you have to tell iOS which one (or ones) you want to work with.
To send just one, well, there’s no big mystery; tap its thumbnail, and then tap .
But you can also send a bunch of them in a group. How you do so, however, depends on where you start:
§ A Moment. You can’t choose batches of photos when you’re looking at a Year or a Collection. But every Moment bears a Share button next to its name. Tap it.
If there aren’t many photos in the Moment, you get a choice: Share this moment (send the entire batch) or Share some photos (you’re offered a page of thumbnails, so you can choose only a lucky few). If there are too many photos in the Moment to send in one batch, you go directly to the thumbnail page; choose only the ones worth sending, and then tap Share.
§ Photos from the Albums tab. If you begin instead on a page of thumbnails from the Albums tab, you can tap Select and then individually select the photos you want to send. With each tap, a appears, meaning, “OK, this one will be included.” (Tap again to remove the checkmark.) Then tap .
Either way, the next thing you see is the Share sheet described below.
Starting from the Albums tab gains you a couple of additional options, by the way:
§ Delete a batch. The button lets you delete a bunch of photos at once. (You can delete only photos or videos you’ve taken with the iPad—not ones you transferred from your computer.)
§ Create or delete albums. Add To lets you put the selected photos into one of your albums—a great way to organize a huge batch you’ve shot on vacation, for example.
You’re now offered an Add to Album screen. Tap the album into which you want to move these pictures. (If albums are dimmed, that’s because they’ve been synced from your Mac or PC. You’re not allowed to mess with them. The canned specialty-photo folders, like Panorama and Time-Lapse, are also dimmed, because only iOS can put things into those folders.)
This list also includes a New Album button; you’re asked to type out the name you want for the new album and then tap Save.
These buttons don’t actually move photos out of their original albums. You’re creating aliases of them—pointers to the original photos. If you edit or delete a photo from one album, it’s edited or deleted from all of them.
To delete an album you created on the iPad, start on the main Albums tab. Tap Edit, and then tap the button next to the album you want to delete.
Preparing to Send
Once you’ve opened a photo (or selected a few), tap .
Now you have a huge array of “send my photo here” options, displayed in three rows. Two of them scroll horizontally.
All right then. Here’s an overview of the options available on the Share screen.
So very cool: You can shoot a photo, or several, to any nearby iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, or Mac—wirelessly, securely, conveniently, and instantly. See AirDrop Between iPad and Mac for the step-by-steps.
You can also send a photo or video to another Apple gadget as an iMessage (or, if you also own an iPhone, to any cellphone number; see One More Safety Measure).
Address your message, type a little note, tap Send, and off it goes. All of this is described in Chapter 5.
If you’re sending a video, the iPad compresses it first so that it’s small enough to send as a text-message attachment (smaller dimensions, lower picture quality). Then it attaches the clip to an outgoing text message; it’s your job to address it.
The iPad automatically compresses, rotates, and attaches your photos or video clips to a new outgoing message. All you have to do is address it and hit Send.
If it’s a really big file (from a pro SLR camera, for example), you may be asked how much you want the photo scaled down from its original size, since many email systems reject attachments larger than 5 megabytes. Tap Small, Medium, Large, or Actual Size, using the megabyte indicator as a guide.
(Any video clip you send by email gets compressed—smaller, lower quality—for the same reason.)
Using the steps on Choose the Photos, you can send up to five photos at once. The Mail icon doesn’t appear at all if you’ve selected more than that; it’s too big for one attachment.
iCloud Photo Sharing
You can share batches of photos or videos with other people, either directly to their Apple gadgets or to a private Web page. What’s more, they can (at your option) contribute their own pictures to the album.
This is a big topic, though, so it gets its own write-up on iCloud Photo Sharing.
Twitter, Facebook, Flickr
If you’ve told your iPad what your name and password are (in Settings→Twitter or Settings→Facebook or Settings→Flickr), then posting a photo from your iPad to your Twitter feed, Facebook feed, or Flickr collection is ridiculously simple.
You’re offered the chance to type a message that accompanies your photo, as shown below. (As usual with Twitter, you have a maximum of 140 characters for your message. Fewer, actually, because some of your characters are eaten up by the link to the photo.) You can also tap Add Location if you want Twitterites or Facebookers to know where the photo was taken.
The Add Location option is available only if you’ve permitted Twitter or Facebook to use your location information, which you set up in Settings→Privacy→Location Services.
If you’re posting to Facebook or Flickr, you can also indicate whom you’re sharing this item with—just your friends, everyone, and so on—by tapping Audience beneath the photo thumbnail. Flickr also offers a chance to specify which of your Flickr photo sets you want to post to.
When you tap Send or Post, your photo, and your accompanying tweet or post, zoom off to Twitter, Facebook, or Flickr for all to enjoy.
And you were alive to see the day: Film a movie, edit out the boring parts, and then upload it to YouTube—right from the iPad.
Call up the video, if it’s not already on the screen before you. Tap . The Share sheet offers these video-specific buttons:
§ YouTube. The iPad asks for your Google account name and password (Google owns YouTube). Next it wants a title, description, and tags (searchable keywords like “funny” or “babies”).
It also wants to know if the video will be in standard definition or high definition (and it gives the approximate size of the file). You should also pick a Category (Autos & Vehicles, Comedy, Education, or whatever).
Finally, choose from Public (anyone online can search for and view your video), Unlisted (only people who have the link can view this video), or Private (only specific YouTubers can view). When everything looks good, tap Publish.
After the upload is complete, you’re offered the chance to see the video as it now appears on YouTube, or to Tell a Friend (that is, to email the YouTube link to a pal). Both are excellent ways to admire your masterful cinematography.
§ Vimeo. You’re supposed to have set up your name and password in Settings for Vimeo (a video site a lot like YouTube, but classier, with a greater emphasis on quality and artistry).
If you’ve done that, then all you have to do, when posting a video, is to specify a caption or a description, and then tap Details to choose a video size and who your audience is (public, private, and so on). Once you tap Post, your video gets sent on to the great cinema on the Web.
In the new, improved, extendable iOS, you can hand off a photo to other apps and services—beyond the set that Apple provides. If you tap More, you get this screen:
This screen is basically a setup headquarters for the row of “where you can send photos” icons. Here you can rearrange them (put the ones you use most often at the top by dragging the handle); add to the list (turn on the switches for new, non-Apple photo-sharing apps you’ve installed); or hide the services you don’t use (turn off the switches). (You can’t turn off the switches for Message, Mail, and iCloud Photo Sharing.)
The Copy button, on the bottom row of sharing options, puts the photo(s) onto the Clipboard, ready for pasting into another app (an outgoing Mail message, for example). Once you’ve opened an app that can, in fact, accept pasted graphics, double-tap to make the Paste button appear.
A slideshow is a great way to show off your photos and videos. The catch: The Slideshow button appears only on an entire album of photos—no other grouping. If you want some arbitrary batch of pictures in your slideshow, then put them into an album first.
You have a surprising amount of control over your slideshow, too. But beware: The controls are split up between two locations. Some of them appear when you first tap Slideshow:
§ TV or iPad. Where do you want the slideshow? On your iPad or on your TV? (This option appears only if you have an Apple TV.)
§ Transitions. What kind of crossfade or special effect do you want the iPad to create in the blend from one photo to the next? You’re offered five choices—Dissolve, Cube, Ripple, Wipe Across, Wipe Down. (Dissolve is the least tacky one.)
§ Play Music. Would you like tunes with that? If you want background music, turn this switch on.
§ Music. Finally, tap the Music pop-up menu to choose a song from your music collection.
The other set of controls is buried in Settings→Photos & Camera:
§ Play Each Slide For. You can specify how many seconds each photo hangs around.
§ Repeat. Makes the slideshow play over and over again until you stop it manually.
§ Shuffle. Randomizes the sequence of photos within the chosen album.
While the slideshow is going on, tapping the screen stops the show, freezing it on the current photo. If you open the Share sheet and tap Slideshow again, you resume the slideshow.
You must let each video play to its conclusion if you want the show to continue. (Or tap to interrupt a particularly boring video, swipe to the next photo or video, and start the slideshow again from there.)
You can feel free to turn the iPad 90 degrees to accommodate landscape-orientation photos as they come up; the slideshow keeps right on going.
This button offers a list of nearby AirPlay gadgets—the only one you’ve probably heard of is Apple TV—so that you can display the current photo on your TV or another screen.
Suppose you’re looking at a photo that you didn’t take with the iPad. Maybe someone texted or emailed it to you, for example. This button saves it into your own photo collection, so you’ll be able to cherish it for years.
Assign to Contact
If you’re viewing a photo of somebody who’s listed in Contacts, then you can use it (or part of it) as her headshot. After that, her photo appears on your screen every time she calls. Just tap Assign to Contact.
Your address book list pops up. Tap the name of the person who goes with this photo.
Now you see a preview of what the photo will look like when that person calls. This is the Move and Scale screen. You want to crop the photo and shift it in the frame so only that person is visible (if it’s a group shot)—in fact, just the face.
Start by enlarging the photo: Spread your thumb and forefinger against the glass. As you go, shift the photo’s placement in the round frame with a one-finger drag. When you’ve got the person correctly centered, tap Choose.
Use as Wallpaper
Wallpaper, in the world of iOS, refers to the background photo that appears in either of two places: the Home screen (plastered behind your app icons) or the Lock screen (which appears every time you wake the iPad).
You can replace Apple’s standard photos with one of your photos or with a different one of Apple’s. You go at this task in either of two ways:
§ Start in Settings. Tap Settings→Wallpaper.
Now you see miniatures of the two places you can install wallpaper—the Lock screen and the Home screen (facing page, top). Each shows what you’ve got installed there as wallpaper at the moment.
You can tap either screen miniature to open a Set screen, where you can adjust the current photo’s size and positioning.
When you tap Choose a New Wallpaper, you’re shown a list of photo sources you can use as backgrounds. Under Apple Wallpaper, you get two categories worth noticing.
The Dynamic wallpapers all look like soft-focus bubbles against solid-color backgrounds. Once you’ve installed the wallpaper, these bubbles actually move, rising and falling on your Lock screen or on your Home screen behind your icons. Yes, animated wallpaper has come to the iPad.
The Stills category is a bunch of lovely nature photography. It doesn’t move.
Scroll down a little, and you’ll find your own photos, in the form of the Camera Roll, Photo Stream, Panoramas, and Albums categories, as described earlier in this chapter.
All these pictures show up as thumbnail miniatures; tap one to see what it looks like at full size. If it looks good, tap Set.
Complicated, “busy” photos may make it harder to read icons and icon names on the Home screen.
Now the iPad wants to know which of the two places you want to use this wallpaper; tap Set Lock Screen, Set Home Screen, or Set Both (if you want the same picture in both places).
§ Start in the Photos app. The task of applying one of your own photos to your Home or Lock screen can also begin in the Photos app. Open one of your photos, as described in the previous pages. Tap , and then tap Use as Wallpaper.
You’re now offered the Move and Scale screen so you can fit your photo within the wallpaper “frame.” Pinch or spread to enlarge the shot; drag your finger on the screen to scroll and center it.
Finally, tap Set. Here again, you specify where you want to use this wallpaper; tap Set Lock Screen, Set Home Screen, or Set Both (if you want the same picture in both places).
You can print a photo easily enough, provided that you’ve hooked up your iPad to a compatible printer. Once you’ve opened the photo, tap the button and then tap Print. The rest goes down as described on Taking the Shot.
Once again, iOS 8 now offers a way to rearrange the Share buttons (this time, the second row)—or to add new buttons. They appear automatically when you install certain apps that have photo-sharing capabilities.
My Photo Stream
iCloud is Apple’s free suite of online services. It’s described in Chapter 15—but for an iPad shutterbug, its most interesting feature by far is My Photo Stream.
The concept is simple: Every time a new photo enters your life—when you take a picture with your iPad or import one onto your computer—it gets added to your Photo Stream. From there, it appears automatically on all your other Apple machines.
Even if you have a cellular iPad, Photo Stream syncs only when you’re in a WiFi hotspot.
Using Photo Stream means all kinds of good things:
§ Your photos are always backed up. Lose your iPad? No biggie—when you buy a new one, your latest 1,000 photos appear on it automatically.
§ Any pictures you take with your iPad appear automatically on your computer. You don’t have to connect any cables or sync anything yourself.
Actually, there’s one exception. Suppose you take a photo and then delete it while you’re still in the Camera app; that photo will never become part of your Photo Stream.
A similar rule holds true with edits: If you edit a photo you’ve just taken, those edits become part of the Photo Stream copy. But if you take a photo, leave the Camera app, and later edit it, then the Photo Stream gets the original copy only.
Here’s a sneaky one: You can drag favorite photos into your Photo Stream from your computer’s photo stash—a quick, easy way to get pictures from your computer onto your iPad.
To get started with Photo Stream on your iPad, you have to turn on My Photo Stream, which you do in Settings→iCloud. (You should also turn it on using the iCloud control panel on your computer. That’s in System Preferences on your Mac, or in the Control Panel of Windows.) Give your iPad some time in a WiFi hotspot to form its initial slurping-in of all your most recent photos.
Once Photo Stream is up and running, here’s how to use it.
On the iPad
Open your Photos app. Tap the tab at the bottom called Albums; in the list of albums, tap My Photo Stream. Inside are the 1,000 photos that have entered your life most recently.
Now, your i-gadget doesn’t have nearly as much storage available as your Mac or PC; you can’t yet buy an iPad with 750 gigabytes of storage. That’s why, on your iPad/iPhone/iPod, your My Photo Stream consists of just the last 1,000 photos. (There’s another limitation, too: The iCloud servers store your photos for 30 days. As long as your gadgets go online at least once a month, they’ll remain current with the Photo Stream.)
Ordinarily, the oldest of the 1,000 photos in your Photo Stream scroll away forever as new photos come in. But you can rescue the best ones from that fate—by saving them onto your iPad, where they’re free from the risk of automatic deletion.
To rescue a bunch at a time, open My Photo Stream so you’re looking over the thumbnails. Tap Select, and then tap the thumbnails of the photos you want to preserve. Once they’re selected, tap Add To (and then choose one of your iPad’s albums); or tap the button and tap Save Images.
Or, if you’re viewing one open picture in My Photo Stream, tap the button; on the Share sheet, tap Save to Camera Roll.
That’s it. Now the photos you rescued appear in both your Photo Stream, where they will eventually disappear, and in your albums, where they’re safe until you delete them manually.
On the Mac or PC
In iPhoto or Aperture (Mac), your Photo Stream photos appear in a new monthly album called, of course, Photo Stream. On a Windows PC, you get a Photo Stream folder in your Pictures folder.
On the computer, you don’t have to worry about that 30-day, 1,000-photo business. Once pictures appear here, they’re here until you delete them.
This, in its way, is one of the best features in all of iCloudland, because it means you don’t have to sync your iPad over a USB cable to get your photos onto your computer. It all happens automatically, wirelessly over WiFi.
You can also drag photos into your Photo Stream from your computer. That’s a quick, easy way to get them onto your iPad wirelessly. On the Mac, drag the photos into the Photo Stream album (within iPhoto or Aperture), and choose whether you want them dropped into your main Photo Stream or one of your shared ones. In Windows, drag them into the Photo Stream Uploads folder, which you designate in the iCloud Control Panel.
On the Apple TV
When you’re viewing your photos on an Apple TV, an album appears there called Photo Stream. There they are, ready for showing on the big plasma. You can use your Photo Stream in an Apple TV screen saver, too.
Deleting Photos from the Photo Stream
You can’t choose what photos go into the Photo Stream. Every picture you take with the iPad goes into it. Every photo you bring in from your computer goes into it. Every photo you save on your iPad from an app like Twitter goes into it. Every screenshot you make goes into it.
And, remember, the same 1,000 photos appear on all your Apple gadgets (assuming you’ve turned on Photo Stream on each one). You might think you’re taking a private picture with your iPad, forgetting that your spouse or parent will see it seconds later on that person’s iPhone. It’s only a matter of time before Photo Stream gets some politician in big trouble.
Even if you delete a photo from your iPad’s Camera Roll, it’s too late. The Photo Stream version is already out there, replicated across all your i-gadgets and computers.
Fortunately, you can delete photos from your Photo Stream. Just select the thumbnail of the photo you want to delete, and then tap the Trash icon (). The confirmation box warns you that you’re about to delete the photo from all your Apple machines (and, for shared streams, the machines of everyone who’s subscribed to your photographic output).
If you haven’t saved it to a different album or roll, it’s gone for good when you tap Delete Photo.
If you use iPhoto or Aperture, don’t forget that these programs offer an Auto-Import feature in their Preferences. That is, any photo that appears in the Photo Stream album automatically gets imported into the program’s permanent collection. In the event of an Embarrassing Photo Stream Mistake, don’t forget to delete that auto-imported copy of the incriminating photos, too.
iCloud Photo Sharing
The term iCloud Photo Sharing, new in iOS 8, is what used to be called a shared Photo Stream. It lets you send photos or videos to other people’s gadgets. After a party or some other get-together, you could send your best shots to everyone who attended; after a trip, you could post your photographic memories for anyone who might care.
The lucky recipients can post comments about your pix, click a “like” button to indicate their enthusiasm, or even submit pictures and videos of their own. It’s like having a tiny Instagram network of your very own, consisting solely of people you invite.
In designing this feature, Apple had quite a challenge. There’s a lot of back-and-forth among multiple people, sharing multiple photos, so iCloud Photo Sharing can get a little complicated. Stay calm and keep your hands and feet inside the tram at all times. Here’s how it works.
Well, here’s how it works if your equipment meets the requirements. Photo Albums can show up on an i-gadget with iOS 7 or later; on a Mac with OS X Mavericks (10.9) or later and iPhoto 9.5 or Aperture 3.5 or later; on a PC with Windows 7 or later and the iCloud Control Panel 3.0; or on an Apple TV (2nd Generation) with Software Update 6.0 or later.
You also have to turn on the Photo Album feature. On an iOS gadget, the switch is in Settings→iCloud→Photos; turn on iCloud Photo Sharing. On the Mac, open System Preferences→iCloud. Make sure Photos is turned on; click Options and confirm that Photo Sharing is on, too. On a Windows PC, it’s in the iCloud Control Panel for Windows (a free download from Apple’s Web site).
Create a Shared Photo Album
To share some of your masterpieces with your adoring fans, proceed like this:
1. Create the empty album. Open the Photos app. On the Shared tab, scroll to the bottom of the list (if necessary) and tap New Shared Album.
2. Name the new album. In the Shared Album box, name the Photo Album (“Bday Fun” or whatever). Tap Next.
3. Specify the audience. You’re now asked for the email addresses of your lucky audience members; enter their addresses in the “To:” box just as you would address an outgoing email. For your convenience, a list of recent sharees appears below the “To:” box.
When that’s done, tap Create. You return to the list of shared albums, where your newly named album appears at the top. It is, however, completely empty.
4. Pour some photos or movies into the album. Tap your new, empty album’s name. Then, on the empty next screen, tap the button to burrow through your photos and videos—you can use any of the three tabs (Photos, Shared, Albums)—to select the material you want to share. Tap their thumbnails so that they sprout checkmarks, and then tap Done.
A little box appears so that you can type up a description.
5. Type a description of the new batch. In theory, you and other people can add to this album later. That’s why you’re offered the chance to caption each new batch.
Once that’s done, tap Post.
The thumbnails of the shared photos and videos appear before you—and the button is there, too, in case you want to add more pictures later.
You can easily remove photos from the album, too. On this screen of thumbnails, tap Select; tap the thumbnails you want to nuke; tap ; confirm by tapping Delete Photo.
Adjusting an Album’s Settings
Before you set your album free, tap People at the top of the screen. Here are a few important options to establish for this album:
§ Invite People. This list identifies everyone with whom you’ve shared the album. To add a new subscriber, tap Invite People. To delete a subscriber, tap the name and then (at the bottom of the contact card) tap Remove Subscriber.
§ Subscribers Can Post. Your subscribers can contribute photos and videos to your album. That’s a fantastic feature when it contains pictures of an event where there was a crowd: a wedding, show, concert, picnic, badminton tournament. Now all the people who were there can enhance the gallery with shots taken from their own points of view with their own iPads or cameras.
§ Public Website. If you turn on Public Website, then even people who aren’t members of the Apple cult will be able to see these photos. The invitees will get an email containing a Web address. It links to a hidden page on the iCloud Web site that contains your published photos.
When you turn this switch on, the Web address of your new gallery appears in light-gray type. Tap Share Link for a selection of methods for sending the link to people: by Message, Mail, Twitter, Facebook, AirDrop, and so on.
What they’ll see is a mosaic of pictures, laid out in a grid on a single sort of Web poster. Your fans can download their favorites by clicking the button. (You can’t add comments or “like” photos on the Web, however.)
If you click one of these medium-sized photos, you enter slideshow mode, in which one photo at a time fills your Web browser window. Click the arrow buttons to move through them.
§ Notifications. If this switch is on, then your iPad will show a banner each time someone adds photos or videos to your album, clicks the “Like” button for a photo, or leaves a comment.
§ Delete Shared Album. That’s right: If the whole thing gets out of hand, you can slam the door in your subscribers’ faces by making the entire album disappear.
Read on to see what it’s like to be the person whose email address you entered.
Receiving a Photo Album on Your Gadget
When other people share Photo Albums with you, your iPad makes a little warble, and a notification banner appears: “[Your buddy’s name] invited you to join ‘[name of shared photo batch]’.”
Simultaneously, a badge like () appears on the Photos app icon and on the Shared tab within Photos, letting you know how many albums have come your way.
As you’d guess, you can tap the new album’s name to see what’s inside it; tap Accept if you want to join.
Once you’re subscribed, you view the photos and movies as you would any album—with a couple of differences. First, you can tap Add a comment to make worshipful or snarky remarks, or tap the Like smiley to offer your silent support.
Either you or the photo’s owner can delete one of your comments. To do that, hold your finger down on the comment itself and then tap the Delete button that appears.
You can also snag a copy of somebody’s published photo or video for yourself. With the photo before you, tap the button to see the usual sharing options—and tap Save Image. Now the picture or video isn’t some virtual online wisp—it’s a solid, tangible electronic copy in your own photo pool.
If your buddy has turned on Subscribers Can Post for this album, you can send your own photos and clips into the album; everybody who’s subscribed to it (and, of course, its owner) will see them.
To do that, tap the button on the album’s page of thumbnails; choose your photos and movies; tap Done; add a little comment about them; and tap Post.
Fun with Shared Photo Albums
Once you’ve created a shared Photo Album, you can update it or modify it in all kinds of ways:
§ Add new photos or movies to it. In Photos, open the shared Photo Album, whether it’s one you created or one you’ve subscribed to. Tap the button. Now you can browse your whole world of photos, tapping to add them to the Photo Album already in progress.
§ Remove things from it. In Photos, open the shared Photo Album. Tap Select, tap the item(s) you want to delete, and then tap the Trash icon ()—and confirm with a tap on Delete Photo(s).
§ Delete an entire shared Photo Album. Tap the People tab below an open Photo Album, scroll down, tap Delete Shared Album, and confirm by tapping Delete.
§ Change who’s invited, change the name. The People tab is also where you can add to the list of email addresses (tap Invite People), remove someone (tap the name, and then tap Remove Subscriber), rename the album, or turn off Public Website to dismantle the Web version of this gallery.
At any time, you can tap the Activity “folder” at the top of the Shared tab in the Photos app. Here, for your amusement, is a visual record of everything that’s gone on in Shared Photo Album Land: photos you’ve posted, photos other people have posted, comments back and forth, “likes,” and so on. It’s your personal photographic Facebook.
iCloud Photo Library
If learning the difference between My Photo Stream, iCloud Photo Sharing, and Shared Photo Streams isn’t hard enough, then hold onto your lens cap. With iOS 8, Apple introduces yet another online photo feature: the iCloud Photo Library.
The idea this time is that all your Apple gadgets will keep all your photos and videos backed up online and synced. The advantages:
§ All your photos and videos are always backed up.
§ All your photos and videos are always accessible from any of your gadgets.
§ You can reclaim a lot of space on your iPad. There’s an option that offloads the original photos and videos to iCloud but leaves small, iPad-sized copies on your iPad.
There are a couple of sizable downsides to iCloud Photo Library, too:
§ Photos and videos eat up a lot of storage space. Remember, your entire iCloud account comes with only 5 gigabytes of free storage. If you start backing up your photo library to it, too, you’ll almost certainly have to pay to expand your iCloud storage.
§ Things get a little complicated. The structure of the Photos app described in this chapter changes, for example; the albums usually called Camera Roll and My Photo Stream go away. They’re replaced by a new album called All Photos. (Camera Roll and My Photo Stream were just subsets of your whole photographic life anyway.)
If you decide to dive in, then open Settings→iCloud→Photos→iCloud Photo Library. (It may be labeled “Beta,” meaning that this service is still in testing.)
Once iCloud Photo Library is on, you won’t be able to copy pictures from your computer to your iPad using iTunes anymore; iTunes will be completely removed from the photo-management loop. That’s why, at this point, you may be warned that your iPad is about to delete any photos and videos that you’ve synced to it from iTunes (Photos Tab (Computer→iPad)). (Don’t worry—they’ll be safe on iCloud.)
And, of course, you might be warned that you need to buy more iCloud storage space.
Now the Settings panel expands and offers this important choice:
§ Optimize iPad Storage. If your iPad’s storage ever begins to fill up, iCloud will quietly and automatically replace the iPad’s full-resolution copies of your photos with smaller versions. They’re still big enough to view on the iPad’s screen and even zoom in a little, but they’re nothing like the full, printable originals.
If space gets tighter yet, your iPad gets even lower-resolution copies.
Of course, your originals are always safe on iCloud; whenever you try to do something with one of these photos, like sending it or editing it, your iPad quickly downloads the full-quality original and works with that. Meanwhile, this arrangement saves you a ton of space on your iPad.
§ Download and Keep Originals leaves the big original files on your iPad.
Finally, the uploading process begins. If you have a lot of photos and videos, it can take a very long time.
But when it’s all over, you’ll have instant access to all your photos and videos in any of these places:
§ On the iPad (or other iOS gadgets). In the Photos app, on the Photos tab, the new “album” called All Photos represents your new, online photo library. Add to, delete from, or edit pictures in this set, and you’ll find the same changes made on all your other Apple gear.
§ On the Web. You can sign into iCloud.com and click Photos to view your photos and videos, no matter what machine you’re using. The Moments and Albums tabs here correspond to the tabs in the iPad’s Photos app. Click a photo to open it full-size, whereupon the icons at the top of thescreen let you delete, download, or “favorite” it.
§ On the Mac, eventually. Apple intends to kill off iPhoto and Aperture, its photo-management programs, and replace them with a new Mac program called Photos. Until this new program hatches in “early 2015,” you have no way to work with your photo library using a Mac. You’ve been warned.
Capturing the Screen
Let’s say you want to write a book about the iPad. (Hey, it could happen.) How are you supposed to illustrate that book? How can you take pictures of what’s on the screen?
The trick is very simple: Get the screen just the way you want it, even if that means holding your finger down on an onscreen button or a keyboard key. Now hold down the Home button, and while it’s down, press the Sleep switch at the top of the iPad. (Yes, you may need to invite some friends over to help you execute this multiple-finger move.)
The screen flashes white. Now, if you go to the Photos program and open up the Camera Roll, you see a crisp, colorful image, in PNG format, of whatever was on the screen. (Its resolution matches the screen’s.)
At this point, you can send it by email (to illustrate a request for help, for example, or to send a screen from Maps to a friend who’s driving your way); sync it with your computer (to add it to your Mac or Windows photo collection); or designate it as the iPad’s wallpaper (to confuse the heck out of its owner).