Whenever you take a picture, there is a lot more going on with your phone other than just applying some filters and hitting the capture button. Your iPhone (and just about every camera) captures many different pieces of information regarding these pictures.
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What is Photo Metadata
This information is known as Metadata or EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) and includes the following:
- Date and time the picture was taken
- Specific coordinates for the location of where it was taken
- Camera model and manufacturer
- Camera Settings
- Focal Length
- File Size
All of this information can be found within your picture, but it’s hidden from plain site. For some reason, Apple still has not made it easy to access this data. Today, we are going to take a look at some ways that you can access your Metadata for your pictures.
How to view photo information on your iPhone
When it comes to your iPhone or iPad, viewing the metadata for a picture can be quite a pain, as you’ll need to jump through a few hoops. The reason for this is that Apple made the decision that the everyday person shouldn’t need the EXIF data, so why would they include it in the Photos app?
Take advantage of the Files app in iOS 13 or iPadOS
The first, and easiest, way for you to view your Photo’s metadata is with the Files app. What you will need to do is open the Photos app on your iPhone. Locate the photo that you want to view the data for, and tap the Share button in the bottom left-hand corner.
From there, scroll down until you find the “Save to Files” prompt with the folder icon on the right side. You will be prompted to save the image to a specific folder within the Files app, so pick or create your folder and save it.
After the photo has been saved, you will need to head over to the Files app. Open the app, and navigate to the folder that you saved the picture too. Once you have located the photo, perform a Force Touch and press down on the picture until the menu appears. Then, you will want to look for “Info” and tap that option.
At first glance, you won’t see too much information here, but there is a menu button to “Show More”. When you tap on that, all of the EXIF information will appear for that specific photo. This is all fine and dandy, but then you will end up saving numerous pictures to the Files app and potentially taking up to much space in the process.
What about iOS 13 Shortcuts and Photos metadata?
Shortcuts has been the MVP of iOS since it’s inception under the name of Workflow. Now that Apple owns it, the application has been vastly improved, and that is even more true with the release of iOS 13. The latest iOS release turns Shortcuts into a system application, and not one that just needs to be downloaded via the App Store.
You can truly be shocked at the capabilities of Shortcuts and the integrations that it has with an array of apps and services. This is where your EXIF data comes into play, as someone has created a Shortcut which will prompt you to select a photo (or multiple photos) and then display that metadata on your display.
In order to take advantage of this, you’ll need to first ensure that you can download “Untrusted” Shortcuts.
- Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad
- Scroll down and tap on Shortcuts
- Toggle Allow Untrusted Shortcuts to the On position
Once this is done, you will be able to download Shortcuts from other sources such as RoutineHub or MacStories. In the case of EXIF data, you will need to hit the link here to download EXIF Photo Details iOS 13. This will take you to RoutineHub where you can view more information about the Shortcut.
The great thing about this Shortcut is that it can run from either the Share Sheet on your iPhone, or you can select a photo manually. Nonetheless, once the Shortcut is installed and selected, you will be able to view all of your EXIF data.
Head to the App Store for these Photo Apps
It should be a forgone conclusion that you can find some options in the App Store that allow you to view this data. Some of the apps are good, others are just okay, but regardless of that, here are some of our favorite options:
- Metapho (Free w/IAP) – Metapho is a simple and clean viewer for photo metadata such as date, file name, size, camera model, shutter speed, location.
- HashPhotos (Free w/IAP) – No more scrolling up and down to search photos. Tag, Map, Timeline and many great features will help you search, manage, edit and share your photos/videos.
- ViewExif ($0.99) – ViewExif is a powerful metadata tool for your photos. With the help of ViewExif, you can not only view metadata of photos, but also edit and remove metadata in photo.
- EXIF Viewer by Fluntro ($2.99) – EXIF Viewer is beautiful App along with Photos Extension, Recent Photo’s EXIF Widget and iMessage App. It is well crafted app for professional photographers who are serious about their work.
There are many more apps to choose from on the App Store, but these are just some our favorites. Let us know about your favorites in the comments below!
While it is frustrating that Apple still has not made it easy to view your photo information, there are other solutions. There are some that don’t even require you to download a third-party application leaving you to worry about whether your photos are safe.
Nonetheless, let us know if you have found any other methods for viewing your photo information. If you run into any issues using the Shortcut from RoutineHub, sound off and let us know so we can help you get it sorted!
Andrew is a freelance writer based on the East Coast of the US.
He has written for a variety of sites over the years, including iMore, Android Central, Phandroid, and a few others. Now, he spends his days working for an HVAC company, while moonlighting as a freelance writer at night.