iOS 5: Creating Photo Albums on Your iPhone

| TMO Quick Tip

Did you know that you can create photo albums on your iOS 5 devices? Well, now you do. My work here is done! No, I’m kidding. I have some screenshots and stuff to show you, so I suppose that shouldn’t go to waste. Here’s the story on how you do it—complete with pretty pictures and everything.

First of all, you’ll want to open the Photos app on your device. When you’re there, make sure you’re looking at the album view. You’ll touch the Edit button at the upper-right to get started.

Then you’ll click on Add and enter a name for your fantastical new creation.

From the screenshot above, you can see that while you’re in edit mode, you can also remove your created albums by touching on their red minus signs. Here’s another interesting trick—the albums with the three grey lines next to them can be ordered any way you like. To do so, touch and hold on the lines to pick up and drag an album around. Neat!

Anyhow, after you’ve entered a name for the album you’ve created, the Photos app will let you walk through the rest of your library and choose images to stick in your new album.

After you’re finished adding all your images, click Done, and you’re, well, done. If at any time you’d like to edit one of your new albums, just select it from the album list and click on the arrow at the upper-right to get the option to add photos to it (or remove, share, or copy them, too).

Here’s a big ol’ bummer, though—the albums you create here won’t be able to be synced to your Mac. Still, I’ve found this useful for a lot of tasks, especially when I’m using other apps that access my albums (like Snapseed or the new mobile iPhoto). To me, it’s much easier to organize photos I want to edit within this master list. Now if Apple would just let me sync these albums, I’d be happier than a bug in a rug. Which is a saying that I never have used before in my life. You guys bring out the weirdo in me.

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Great tip (as always) Melissa.  Sadly not syncing with your iPhoto/Aperture library is a deal-killer for me, but just like it took years for Apple to bring this to iOS maybe we won’t have to wait so long for syncing albums to become a reality.  I know that would save me a lot of time to store a photo off the camera roll as I’m reviewing it on my iPhone than waiting until I get around to importing it on my home computer.

Come to think of it, if you could sync your albums, how much more a stretch would it be to sync them over-the-air through iCloud?  And then you would be very close to iPhoto/Aperture on the cloud…

Melissa Holt

Thanks, Substance! I think the iCloud-syncing idea is AWESOME. Apple, pay attention!


Not only are the albums created this way not synced to the Mac, they are not synced between iOS devices either.  Interesingly, in the new iOS iPhoto app you can create Journals, which are synced between iOS devices.  Perhaps an update of iPhoto and/or Aperture on the Mac will include Journals.  Or maybe there’ll be something in Mountain Lion…

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