iOS is great for making photos… but management?
What are we getting from my wish list? Read more at iOS 13 for Photographers: Refinements, not Revolution.
In less than one week, Apple will host a keynote event to kick off its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, and we’re all but guaranteed to a get a peek at what’s coming with iOS 13 that should be released in September.
Here’s what’s on my wish list for iOS 13 as a photographer.
Photos as a File Provider
Apple did good things with iOS 11 in enabling applications to become File Providers, making it easy for other applications to access, edit, and update the documents stored within an application. Unfortunately they haven’t made the iOS Photos app a file provider, which means that integration options are limited for third-party applications.
I really hope that with iOS 13, Photos will become a true File Provider, enabling smoother options for third-party photography applications that want seamless integration with the iCloud Photo Library.
External Disk Support
In late 2018, the newest iPad Pro models began featuring a USB-C connection, but iOS was not updated to support the use of external drives for general file storage and retrieval. For photographers (or videographers) who are routinely managing large libraries of images, video, and other media, the ability to plug in an external hard drive via USB-C and manage those images through the Files app and other applications would be a key step in allowing media professionals to truly work in the field with an iPad.
The iOS Photos application surfaces some photo metadata via its various views such as showing geotagged images in the “Places” view on a map, but it lags behind its macOS sibling when it comes to managing other bits of metadata such as an image’s title, caption, or keywords. Bringing it on par with the desktop version of photos would be nice. Adding additional metadata management would be even better. Star ratings, anyone? ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Make me even happier and let me make these adjustments to multiple images at the same time.
The Retouch Tool
While it doesn’t have the granular options of Photoshop’s Healing Brush tool, the Retouch tool in Apple Photos works well for simple touch-up work. It would be great to have that tool on iOS, making use of the Apple Pencil on an iPad.
“On This Day”
In the last few years we’ve seen services (Timehop, Facebook) surface social media activity from past years, often bringing positive memories that can then be re-enjoyed and re-shared. Federico Viticci made a on this day shortcut for Apple Photos that can show you images from past years.
What if this was built into iOS and optionally configured to show as a widget or as a notification?
What if Photos had… Filenames?
I realize that silly old computer relics such as… filenames… are antithetical to the iOS experience, but we already get to choose names for our other documents across iOS. Your Pages document has a name. Your Keynote presentation has a name. Photos should be allowed to have names as well, and those filenames should be exposed in some user-friendly way for management.
Find Duplicate Images
Apple has done some amazing things with machine learning. Surely it can identify potentially-duplicate images and let me choose to delete some, right?
I can choose the thumbnail size when browsing my images in pretty much every desktop photo management application, including Apple Photos.
I’d love to do the same on my iPad.
That’s what’s top of mind for me…. Nothing there is revolutionary, but all of it would help make the iOS platform a lot closer to a first-class citizen for serious photographers who want to manage images on their mobile devices.
What’s on your iOS 13 wish list – photos or otherwise?