Almost all of Apple’s major built-in iPhone apps have been updated with new features in iOS 16, including the Photos and Camera apps. Photos has some new features including an option to get rid of duplicates and some locked folders for sensitive photos, as well as the Camera app can translate text and there are feature improvements for iPhone 13 users .
This guide brings together everything new in iOS 16 in the Camera and Photos apps. Many of these features are also available in iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura.
Locked and Recently Deleted Hidden Albums
In the iOS 16 Photos app, the “Hidden” and “Recently Deleted” albums under Utilities are locked with Face ID or Touch ID and cannot be opened without biometric authentication or password.
This protects photos you’ve deleted or those you’ve marked as hidden. Someone with access to your unlocked phone will not be able to open these albums without further authentication.
There is no option to not lock these two albums as it is a system level lock that cannot be overwritten. However, there is still an option to hide the hidden album.
In iOS 16, your iPhone will automatically detect any duplicate pictures you have in your Photos app. Duplicate photos will appear in a “Duplicates” album under Utilities in Photos, giving you the option to merge them to save space and reduce clutter.
The Duplicates album only shows up if you have duplicate photos in your library, and the merge feature is smart. It will retain the highest detail and most metadata, creating the best image possible.
If, for example, you have one copy of a high resolution photo and a second copy with more metadata, the Photos app will combine the best qualities of both photos into a single image.
After updating to iOS 16, your iPhone will constantly scan for duplicates, so duplicate images may appear over time and may not be available as soon as the update is installed.
Copy and paste changes
If you have multiple photos that you want to edit in the same way, or if you’ve made edits to one photo that you want to replicate on another photo, you can use the new copy-and-paste editing tools in iOS 16.
To use the option, make changes to an image, then tap the three dots icon in the top right corner. From there, tap Copy Changes to copy everything done to the image. Open another photo, tap the three-dot icon again, then choose Paste Changes to get the exact same adjustments.
Undo and redo changes
To streamline photo editing, iOS 16 adds simple undo and redo buttons, a feature missing in previous versions of iOS. With the Undo and Redo buttons, you can remove the edits you’ve made to photos one by one rather than having to undo all edits by reversing an image entirely.
The Undo and Redo buttons are located in the upper right corner of the image editing interface and will appear once you edit a photo using the built-in editing tools of the Photos app. You can undo and/or redo each change individually, making it quicker to go back and fix a mistake.
In previous versions of iOS, you had to manually change any of the settings changed from where you started or revert the changes entirely.
Sorting people albums
In a small but significant change, Apple has added an option to sort the dedicated People album by name in iOS 16. You can open the People album and press the two arrow keys to change the sorting from “Custom order” to “Name”. Choosing Name reorders the people in the album alphabetically.
iCloud Shared Photo Library
iOS 16 adds iCloud Shared Photo Library which is basically the same as the standard iCloud Photo Library, but can be shared with up to five other people.
There are a lot of ins and outs to know with the iCloud Shared Photo Library, so we’ve created a dedicated guide on iCloud Shared Photo Library which tells you everything you need to know about setting up the feature and using it with your family and friends.
Lift the subject from the background
While not strictly a feature of the Photos app, raising the subject of the background is one of the most fun random additions to iOS 16 because it looks a bit like a mini version of Photoshop. You can use it to extract the subject from any image or photo.
To use it in the Photos app, open an image, then long-press the main subject of the photo until it lights up. From there, you can drag it or choose the “copy” option to copy it to the clipboard. You can paste it into another photo or send it as a sticker in Messages.
When a video is playing in a memory, press to restart the video and play it from the beginning while the music continues to play. There are also new memory types for This Day in History and Kids Playing.
Featured Content Toggle
iOS 16 adds a toggle that allows you to prevent Photos and Featured Memories from displaying in For You, Photos Search, and Widgets.
The toggle is in the Photos section of the Settings app.
Foreground blur in portrait photos
When using Portrait mode, you can blur objects in the foreground of an image for a more realistic depth-of-field effect. This feature is limited to the iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max.
System-wide translation extended to the Camera app in iOS 16, allowing the iPhone camera to be used for real-time translation of panels, menus, wrappers, and more .
Just open the Camera app and point it at the text you want to translate. Tap the text select button to select the detected text and then tap the translate option to get instant translation.
The view can be paused to get translations overlaid on the text, allowing you to zoom in for closer examination. It’s similar to the Translate camera feature that the Google Translate app has had for a long time, and it’s handy when you just need a quick translation but don’t want to take a photo.
Improved quality for cinematic mode
On iPhone 13 models, the cinematic mode video recording feature is more accurate in iOS 16. It has a better depth of field effect for profile angles and around the edges of hair and glasses.
Have questions about the Photos and Camera apps in iOS 16, know of a feature we left out, or want to provide feedback on this guide? Email us here.