Trying to share some photos with friends and family via iMessage and Messages App on your iPhone, but just can’t figure out how to do it? Yup, things are a little different in how we share photos in Messages and iMessage with iOS 12.
Since almost the beginning, all we needed to do to text a photo from our photo library was tap the camera icon and choose the pictures or videos we wanted to share.
But that little change is causing a lot of people major headaches and frustration.
- Here are the Biggest Changes to Messages and FaceTime in iOS 12
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It’ll take some time to adjust, but once that muscle memory readjusts, it’ll be as easy as pie to share all your favorite pictures with friends, family, and others again!
So let’s get to it!
How To Access Photos In Messages On iOS 12 With The Photos App
- Open a text in Messages or start a new conversation
- Tap on the Photos app icon in the App Strip
- No App Strip? Tap the grey App Store icon
- Select the pictures you want to share by tapping on the image thumbnail
- Find Recent Photos or tap All Photos
- All Photos opens the Photos App in Messages for access to all your images an albums
- To see suggested photos, tap the grey bar just below the App Strip (suggestions show only when iCloud Photos is enabled)
- Find Recent Photos or tap All Photos
- Finish your message
- If you decide, you don’t want to share a photo, just tap the x in the picture’s upper-right corner
- Press send
How To Share Photos in Messages & iMessage iOS 12 With the Camera App
- Open the Camera icon, as you did in previous iOS versions
- Look for the Photos icon in the top-left corner and tap it
- Your Recent Photos appear beneath your text message
- Tap All Photos to open the Photos App and choose from your Photo Albums
- Or tap the grey bar to see your photo suggestions (suggestions show only when iCloud Photos is enabled)
- Choose a photo or tap multiples photos (from recent, suggested, or from your photo albums)
- Press send
Take and Share a New Picture in iOS 12
- Tap the camera icon
- Press the take photo button
- Tap that Messages blue or green arrow to send your picture
Unlike previous iOS versions, photos snapped in the Messages App now get saved to your camera roll automatically. We know a lot of folks aren’t going to like this change!
Several of our readers already let us know that don’t like this feature–and really don’t want those pictures saved at all!
In older iOS versions, the iMessage camera allowed you to snap a photo quickly, send it off and not have it save to your photo library.
Also, in iOS 12 tapping the volume buttons in Messages no longer takes a photo–you must press the on-screen button.
Why Change The Way We Share Photos in Messages and Texts?
We think this change may be due to iOS 12 adding additional features to the camera app when used inside Messages which limits screen real estate.
When you tap on the camera icon in iOS 12, it not only launches the camera capture a new picture or video, you also get access to those fancy camera effects, memoji, sticker packs more for supported models.
Photos Effects only work when choosing video or photo mode–they do not show up for slo-mo, portrait, square or pano modes.
Unfortunately, in the Messages App you can only add camera effects to new photos, not photos stored in your Photo Library. But you can add more than one effect to these photos or videos—so that’s something.
You Can Still Message and Share Pictures from the Photos App Using the Share Sheet
Just like older iOS versions, you can send photos and videos to friends and family directly from the Photos App using the Message option in the Share Sheet.
How To Share a Picture or Video From the Photos App Via Text Message
- Open Photos
- Select an Album
- Press Select in the upper-right corner and choose which photo(s) and video(s) you want to text
- A checkmark appears on all selections
- Once you decide on all pictures/videos, tap the share button
- Choose Message
- A new text message opens with all images attached
- Type in the names, emails, or phone numbers of each person you want to send the pictures to
- When complete, press the send button
What’s iMessage and Message App Photo Sharing Suggestions?
New to iOS 12 are the Sharing Suggestions feature available in the Photos App and the iMessage Photos App. This feature uses machine learning to suggest recent images you might want to share with friends and family.
The ground rules: Sharing Suggestions requires that you enable iCloud Photo Library.
Photo Suggestions is Intelligent
With suggestions, your iDevice intelligently looks for photos with the images of your contacts and matches photos with those contacts as suggested images.
For this to work, you must first assign a photo (preferably a portrait or selfie of them) to each of your contacts in the Contacts App using the Assign to Contacts option in your Photo App’s Share Sheet.
Choose a Photo For a Contact Using Photos App
- Open the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad
- Tap on a photo that you would like to use with a contact
- Tap on the Share button
- Scroll the lower button options to locate Assign to Contact and tap it
- Find and tap the contact you want to use this picture with
- Move and scale the photo inside the circle, so the face is prominent
- Tap Choose to use this photo for that contact
- Tap Update to save it to the contact card
You can also assign your contacts photos using the Phone App or via the Contacts App directly via the Edit button, then add a picture.
We hope that you found this guide useful. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.
For most of her professional life, Amanda Elizabeth (Liz for short) trained all sorts of folks on how to use media as a tool to tell their own unique stories. She knows a thing or two about teaching others and creating how-to guides!
Her clients include Edutopia, Scribe Video Center, Third Path Institute, Bracket, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Big Picture Alliance.
Elizabeth received her Master of Fine Arts degree in media making from Temple University, where she also taught undergrads as an adjunct faculty member in their department of Film and Media Arts.