How To Use Memories Feature in iOS 10 Photos App

BY Khamosh Pathak

Published 27 Aug 2016

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The new Photos app in iOS 10 has a new tab called Memories. Here you’ll find albums of sorts – Memories – generated periodically by the app itself, based on certain context. It can be a time, place, people you were with, or all of the above. The best way to explain it is when you come back from your next weekend trip, you’re sure to find a “Memory” for that location inside the Memories tab.

And the end result of the said memory is going to be an automatically generated video. That’s the heart of the feature. You’ll also see Highlights of all the photos and videos taken on the trip. The software smartly sorts out all the photos you took and only surfaces what it thinks are the best.

Let’s dive deeper.

Auto Videos Are Everywhere. And They’re Awesome.

One thing that’s constant – hauntingly constant – in the new Photos app is the automatically generated video, on the top of any new page you open. Be it an album you just created yourself, when you’re viewing all photos taken at a certain place, or of a certain person – it’s everywhere.

And all you have to do to view it is tap the Play button.

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The video will start playing. And here’s the best part – they’re pretty good. As long as you have some really good Live Photos and short videos in there, the auto-generated videos turn out to be something you might just want to save and share with your friends.

Because I think this is a much better thing to share (especially on a platform like Facebook or Instagram), than dumping an album of 79 photos.

Back to the video. One you play it, you’ll notice that there are options and controls, right there.

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There’s a scrubber of sorts, with themes for the video. Just pick a theme like Cool and in a couple of seconds, the video will have an entirely new avatar, a new template. New background score, transition effects, structure, everything. And there are a dozen or so effects you can try on.

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Below you’ll also see options for making the video length shorter or longer, and you’ll also be able to add your own music as a background by tapping the “Settings” icon. From this screen, you can also see a list of all the photos and videos in this video and remove something that you don’t like.

All in all, this looks really neat.

Access Memories Tab

The Memories tab in Photos app is kind of like your own curated photo magazine, except you did literally no work to put it together. And yes, that’s the best part.

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When you open it, you’ll already see memories created for you. Just tap one and you’ll see the video on top and in the bottom, a mish-mash of photos and clips from the said album.

And here you’ll see that they’re laid out in this really cool, big and small, tile-style layout, instead of the boring grid.

Because these are the machine picked photos – the best ones. You can go back to the grid layout, and see all the photos related to the album by tapping “Show all“.

Try Creating Your Own Albums

If you want to generate a movie based purely on the media that you handpick, the best way to go about it is to create a new album and add the said media to it.

So go to the “Albums” tab and tap the “+” button to create a new album. Give it a name (the name will appear in the video’s title card), and save it.

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Now, you’ll be shown the entire Camera Roll. Swipe around and tap on the photos/videos you want to add to the album. If you miss anything, don’t worry, you can always go back it the photo and add it to the album later, using the “Share” menu.

Once all photos are selected, tap “Done“.

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Now go to the album. You’ll see that your photos are just listed in the grid and there’s nothing interesting going on.

Tap the “Date” part above the photos.

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Now, you’re in the Memories zone.

As promised, the video card is on top, with the album name as title card (“That one time”, for my case). Photos are below. If you go even down, you’ll see a map of all the places where the photos were taken. And finally, there’s the “Related” section where you’ll see the machine generated Memories.

Just tap on the video to start playing or editing, as we talked about in the section above.

And that’s pretty much it. Enjoy your Memories.

A Third Party App

If you like this concept of auto-generated movies and can’t get enough, you should try a third party app called Quik or even Google Photos app. The basic principle is the same, but the feature set is far more robust.

How Did Your Memories Turn Out?

Do you like the auto generated videos? Did you create something really epic with it? Share with us in the comments below.