Back in June Apple revealed its next generation of mobile OS, the iOS 9. The Beta version had been circulating at the hands of who ever curious enough to install it to their iDevice. Since then we have learned a bit more about this new OS.

The question for us, mobile photographers, is whether there is anything in this new update that will make our photography better?

The short answer to this question is, unless you are going to invest on also getting the new iPhone 6s, there are not many enhancements in iOS 9 that will directly affect our photography. Will it enable us to take good stock photos right out of the box? Most upgrades are done to the Photos app, another one for video and other various sundries.

With that out of the way, now let’s have a look at these updates one by one.


I am number 9

iOS 9 is planned to be released to the public in 2 weeks time, a week after the iPhone 6s announcement, or so I’ve been told. Every one are welcome to upgrade as long as they have an eligible iDevice (check the compatibility chart below).

Note that it is not necessary to buy a new iDevice to get this update, unless of course your device is not on the compatibility list, or you really want to upgrade your hardware too (which is recommended to take a full advantage of the features from this new OS).

iOS9 Devices Compatibility Chart

iOS 9 Devices Compatibility Chart

As I mentioned above the changes we will get from upgrading to iOS 9 will not be significant, not like when we moved from 7 to 8. Unless you missed the iOS 8 upgrade of course, in which case the change would be really huge! But for many of us the improvements are mostly done to enhance our photo experience, and to give better integration with other apps.

Here are some of the main enhancements/changes:

1. The first nice enhancement comes in the form of special Photos app folder for ‘selfies’ and ‘screenshots’. Currently the Photos has a couple of default folders like Favorites, Panoramas, Videos, Slo-mo, Time-Lapse and Bursts.

The new Photos app will add 2 special folders, each to hold Selfies and Screenshots respectively. This will coincide nicely with the new iPhone 6s feature which is a big upgrade to the Front Camera, aka the Selfie Camera.


Image Courtesy of

2. The second enhancement is about the way we browse through our photo collection in the Photo app. In the Album view you can open an image and from there you will see a strip of thumbnails shown at the bottom of the image. You can then swipe your finger across the strip left or right to quickly view the images in the collection. Swipe down on the shown image and you are back on the Album view. You can also apparently hide multiple photo via the share sheet.

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

3. The third enhancement is on how we ‘select’ multiple photos in one go! First you tap the select button, then tap on a photo and swipe sideways. Any photo you touch when you swipe will be selected! You can also swipe right and down to select multiple rows, or just swipe diagonally to select a ‘square’ of rows and columns. You can even stop swiping, scroll to another part of the album and start swiping again to select even more photos! This is really cool feature!

Check out the following video to see this feature in action:

4. The next enhancement is on the video controls. In iOS 9 you will be able to turn the LED light on and off ‘while’ you are recording a video. You can also select recording resolutions and frame rates on the app’s settings. You can choose from 720p/30fps, 1080p/30fps or 1080p/60fps. If the rumour about 4K/240fps is true than I suspect that there is also setting to choose for this feature.

5. You can now take photos from the Notes app, or access your photo library to add an existing photo or video to a note! I like this feature very much. It looks like Apple has realised that many people are actually using Notes quite frequently, I know I do.

6. Email more than 5 photos. This limitation is one of the most annoying ones for me. I’m really glad that Apple decided to lift this nonsense.

7. Clever Siri. You can now ask Siri to search Photos or Videos based on dates, locations and album titles.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, indeed there aren’t many enhancements that would significantly or directly improve our photography.  But note that these are not the ONLY changes that you will get from iOS 9, rest assure that there are plenty more.

To see what other things you can expect from iOS 9 please have a read at the official Apple iOS 9 Preview page.




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