Everything new in the Photos and Camera apps of iOS 16

Almost all of Apple’s main built-in iPhone Apps have been updated with new features in iOS 16including both the photos and camera apps. ‌Photos‌ has some new features, including an option to remove duplicates and some locked folders for confidential photos, plus the camera app can translate text and there are feature improvements for iPhone 13 User.

iOS 16 photo and camera tracking feature
This guide summarizes everything that’s new in iOS 16 in both the Camera and Photos apps. Many of these features are also available in iPad OS 16 and macOS is coming.


Locked hidden and recently deleted albums

In iOS 16 Photos app, both Hidden and Recently Deleted albums are locked under Utilities Face ID or touch identification and cannot be opened without biometric authentication or a passcode.

Photos locked albums ios 16

This protects the photos you’ve deleted or marked as hidden. Someone who has access to your unlocked phone cannot 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 overridden. However, there is still an option to hide the hidden album.

duplicate detection

In “iOS 16” your “iPhone” will automatically detect any duplicate pictures you have in your “Photos” app. Duplicate photos appear in a Duplicates album under Utilities in Photos, so you can merge them to save space and reduce clutter.

ios 16 duplicates

The Duplicates Album only appears if you have duplicate photos in your library and the merging feature is smart. It retains the highest detail and most metadata, creating the best possible image.

For example, if you have a high-resolution copy of a photo and a second copy with more metadata, the Photos app combines the best qualities of both photos into a single image.

After updating to “iOS 16”, your “iPhone” will continuously scan for duplicates, so you may see duplicate images over time and may not be available immediately when the update is installed.

Copy and paste edits

If you have multiple photos that you want to edit the same way, or if you’ve made changes to one photo that you want to replicate in another photo, you can use the new copy and paste editing tools in iOS 16.

ios 16 copy and paste photos edits

To use the option, edit an image and then tap the three dots icon in the top-right corner. From there, tap Copy Edits to copy everything that’s been done to the image. Open another photo, tap the three-dot icon again, and then choose the Paste Edits feature to get the exact same adjustments.

Undo and redo edits

To streamline photo editing, “iOS 16” adds easy undo and redo buttons, a feature that was missing in previous versions of iOS. The Undo and Redo buttons allow you to remove changes you’ve made to photos one at a time, rather than having to undo all changes by restoring an image entirely.

ios 16 undo restore photos

The Undo and Redo buttons are located in the upper-right corner of the photo editing interface and appear once you’ve made an edit to a photo using the built-in editing tools in the Photos app. You can undo and/or redo each change individually, so you can go back and correct a mistake faster.

In previous versions of iOS, you had to manually reset one of the edited parameters to the starting point, or undo changes entirely.

Sorting People Albums

In a small but meaningful change, Apple added an option in “iOS 16” to sort the dedicated People album by name. You can open the People album and tap the two arrow keys to change the sorting from Custom Order to Name. If you choose Name, the people in the album will be rearranged in alphabetical order.

Sort ios 16 people alphabetically

iCloud Shared Photo Library

‌iOS 16‌ adds one iCloud Shared Photo Library, which is basically identical to the standard iCloud Photo Librarybut can be shared with up to five other people.

Setting up the shared icloud photo library

There are many peculiarities to be aware of with iCloud’s shared photo library, so we created one dedicated guide to iCloud Shared Photo Library That tells you everything you need to know about setting up the feature and using it with family and friends.

Make the subject stand out from the background

While not strictly a Photos app feature, making your subject stand out from the background is one of the funniest random additions to iOS 16, as it’s 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 out or choose the “Copy” option to copy it to the clipboard. You can paste it into another photo or send it in messages as a sticker.

memory updates

When a video is playing in a memory, tap to restart the video and play it from the beginning while the music continues to play. There are also new reminder types for This Day in History and Children at Play.

‌iOS 16‌ adds a toggle to prevent featured ‌Photos‌ and Reminders from appearing in For Her, Photos, and Search widgets.

ios 16 photos show recommended content

The toggle is in the Photos section of the Settings app.


Foreground blur in portrait photos

Portrait mode lets you blur foreground objects in an image to create a more realistic depth-of-field effect. This feature is limited to the “iPhone 13”, 13 mini, 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max.

Blur in portrait mode ios 16

translate camera

System-wide translation has been extended to the Camera app in iOS 16, allowing the iPhone’s camera to be used for real-time translation of signs, menus, packaging and more.

Translate ios 16 camera

Just open the camera app and point it at the text you want to translate. Tap on the text selection button to select recognized text and then tap on the translate option to get an instant translation.

The view can be paused to overlay the text with translations, allowing you to zoom in closer. It’s similar to the translate camera feature that the Google Translate app has long offered, and comes in handy when you just need a quick translation but don’t want to take a photo.

Improved quality for cinema mode

For ‌iPhone 13‌ models, the video recording feature is more accurate in Cinematic mode in ‌iOS 16‌. It has better depth of field effect for profile angles and around the edges of hair and glasses.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the Photos and Camera apps in iOS 16, know of a feature we left out, or have feedback on this guide? Email us here.

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