iOS 8 Preview: Photos, Camera and Image Editing

BY Jason

Published 27 Jul 2014

photos hero

iOS 8 adds a number of features to the Photos and Camera app, including better photo management and organisation, editing, an all-new search feature, improved iCloud backups and much more. Read on to find out more about these features.

iCloud Photo Library

We’re taking more and more photos with each passing day, but the memory on our devices stays the same. iCloud Photo Stream was a good idea, but it ultimately capped off at the device storage limit. With iOS 8’s iCloud Photo Library, you no longer have to be concerned about filling up disk space, as the storage cap is defined by the iCloud limit and not your device. So it’s possible to have more photos than what your device can actually store, with the iPhone or iPad acting as a cache for your iCloud Photos:

iCloud Photo Library can automatically keep the original high-resolution photos and videos in iCloud and leave behind lightweight versions that are perfectly sized for each device.

You get 5GB of iCloud storage for free, 20GB for $0.99/month and 200GB for $3.99/month. Storage tiers are available all the way up to 1TB, but Apple has yet to reveal the pricing for these tiers.

Of course your photos being in the cloud means that each photo will be available on all your devices, without you having to do anything manually.

icloud photos integration

Edit Sync

The Photos app has editing capabilities built-in, and with iOS 8 these edits get synced to iCloud, and become available on all your devices. You can of course revert back to the original photo if you don’t like the edited version.

photo edit icluod

Smart Editing

Along with syncing edits, Apple has also improved the editing features, adding smart adjustments to fix light and color using a simple slider.

photos edit new features 1

Another new feature is the ability to straighten your photo and adjust the crop, after you’ve clicked it. There’s a circular dial that lets you further adjust the degree of rotation, as you can see in the screenshot below:

photos edit new featuresSearch

One option that has been absent in the Photos app since years has been the ability to search through the photo library. With iOS 8 Apple has finally added a search button to the Photos app, that you can tap and find photos based on date, time, location, or album name. You also get suggestions as you type, as well as recent searches, so that you can find what you’re looking for as soon as possible:

photo search

Third Party Filters

Apple’s Photos app has had inbuilt photo filters since quite sometime but most of us still use Instagram, VSCO Cam and other filter apps. With iOS 8, developers of these filter apps can make their filters available right within the Photos app, using the Extensibility framework we talked about earlier.

In the future, Instagram, VSCO cam or Aviary could have their own interface pop up within the Photos app, and you can apply your favorite filters and presets without jumping through multiple apps.

photo editing ios 8

Time Lapse mode

The Camera app adds a new shooting mode called Time Lapse. Time lapse photography, if you’re not aware, is a technique where photos are clicked with long time intervals between them, so that the when played together at a normal frame rate, the sequence appears to “lapse”. Here’s a demo of the time lapse mode in action:


Photo management is currently a pain in current versions of iOS, so we can’t wait for iOS 8 to make things much simpler, and for iCloud to play a much bigger role in the Photos app. This, along with other useful features like third-party filters and search will encourage users to click more photos and capture more memories.

Let us know what you think about these changes in the comments below.