It’s going to be easier to find pictures in Apple's Photos app with iOS 18 — here’s why

How to turn off Live Photos in iPhone Photos app
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Apple is set to introduce new categories to the Photos app in iOS 18 that'll make it easier for users to find different types of images. 

In fact, iOS 18 is looking to make some major changes to the Photos app overall. But the one change that seemingly fell by the wayside is an overhauled Utilities section that makes it easier to find different types of images. 

The list, originally reported by MacRumors, is considerably more extensive than the current options. 

Utilities exists in the Albums tab in Photos and, currently, iOS 17 only offers the following options: Imports, Duplicates, Hidden and Recently Deleted. However, it seems iOS 18 is adding several new categories, including:

  • Hidden
  • Recently Deleted
  • Receipts
  • Handwriting
  • Illustrations 
  • QR codes
  • Recently Saved
  • Recently viewed
  • Recently Edited
  • Documents
  • Imports 
  • Maps

There will also be some changes to the Media Types section — found just above Utilities in the Albums tab — which will now include an “animated” category. 

Both the Animated and Illustrations categories will likely be aimed at the new image generation features that come with iOS 18 as part of Apple Intelligence. However, it's unclear what they will do on any device incapable of using Apple’s new AI.

WWDC 2024

(Image credit: Apple)

During the recent WWDC Apple showed off some of the new image generation features coming for iOS 18. According to the presentation, users can generate new images in three different styles using a series of prompts and can place them in messages with a few taps of the screen. It will also be possible to generate your own emojis with AI and use your friend's memoji to create personalized emojis (pictured above).

These new categories will go a long way in helping users find the pictures they want to send, no matter when they were taken. 

This is great news, especially when we want to show off the images taken with the stellar iPhone 15 Pro Max camera. If you want more information on the new features shared by Apple then you can check out our WWDC blog which recaps all the main announcements from the event itself.  

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Staff Writer

Josh is a staff writer for Tom's Guide and is based in the UK. He has worked for several publications but now works primarily on mobile phones. Outside of phones, he has a passion for video games, novels, and Warhammer.