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Edit Photos in the Photos App

I highlight working in third-party apps because they offer more features, but as of iOS 5, Apple’s built-in Photos app also includes a few basic editing tools. Tap a photo to view it full-screen, and then tap the Edit button to reveal the following controls:

  • Crop. Tap the Crop button to enter the Crop and Straighten editor, and then do the following:
    1. Drag the corner handles or the edges of the overlay to redefine the visible area of the photo.
    2. Drag the middle of the photo to reposition the image within the crop area.
    3. If you want to crop the image to a specific aspect ratio, tap the Constrain button and choose an option in the popover that appears. Further adjustments to the overlay don’t adhere to that constraint, though; you need to crop and then constrain again if you want to tweak the border.
    4. To straighten the image, press two fingers against the screen and rotate them left or right, like you’re turning a radio dial. (You may need to zoom in first, to provide enough padding for the image to fully fill the crop area.) A faint yellow grid appears to help you align objects in the scene (4.1).

    4.1 Grid lines help straighten the photo.

  • Rotate. If a photo was imported sideways or upside down, tap the Rotate button to turn the entire image 90 degrees counterclockwise.
  • Enhance. Tap the Enhance button to let the Photos app automatically apply tone and color correction.
  • Red-Eye. If people or animals have an evil glare about them, tap the Red-Eye button and then tap the affected red eyes to correct them. It’s helpful to first zoom in (pinch outward), but the app does a good job of identifying eyes even if you don’t tap right in the middle.

When you’re finished making edits, tap the Save button. Or, tap Cancel to discard the changes. Even after you’ve saved the picture, you can always resurrect the original version by tapping the Revert to Original button, followed by the Save button (the latter because you need to save the fact that you removed the edits).

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