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iPhone Interface Idea: Select (and Delete) Multiple Photos


Select, Delete, and Send Multiple Photos on iPhone

If we can select multiple emails in Mail, and delete or move them to another folder in one go, then why can’t we do the same with our photos on the iPhone?

Deleting Multiple Photos

This puzzled me the other day when I had been on a little photo taking spree. I ended up with a load of shots that were great. But an even greater load of shots that were dreadful. Deleting the multitude of dreadful photos was a real pain – the only way to do it at the moment is to touch each thumbnail, hit the trash icon, and then “Delete Photo” on the slide up “are you sure?” pane.

So, for me to delete 10 photos, it takes 3 touches (or taps?) each. That, for those without a calculator to hand is a whole THIRTY touches. And that’s assuming all of the photos you wish to delete are next to one another. If they’re not then you might have to touch the “back to camera roll” button at the top and then scroll to find another dreadful photo, then touch that. A real pain.

If we could delete photos in my proposed way, then we would reduce it down to 3 clicks plus one click for each photo you wish to delete. Touch the “Edit” button at the top > Touch the thumbnail image of each photo you wish to delete > Touch “Delete (#) > Then confirm with “Delete Photos”.

Sending Multiple Photos

Similarly, it’s pretty annoying if you ever need to email more than one photo to someone. There is at least one app currently available that is solving this problem, aptly named “Multi-Photo Email“. That app is pretty much as good as it’s going to get from 3rd party offerings, but it’s not what I would call a complete solution to an integral missing feature. To send multiple photos with my proposed solution, you would do the same as for multiple delete, but hit “Send” rather than “Delete” (pretty obvious that one).

Rearranging Photos

A third useful, but not essential feature would be the ability to rearrange photos. Currently, photos are arranged in chronological order which makes perfect sense. Since the ability to take screen shots on the iPhone though, I have often found that I would prefer to be able to rearrange my Camera Roll to group screen shots separately from actual photos. Maybe that’s just me, but it wouldn’t be too much of a crazy idea seeing as you can rearrange Apps on the Home Screen, re-order towns in Weather, ticker symbols in Stocks, time zones in Clock, etc. etc.

All in all, it would make me that tiny bit happier to have the functionality to manage multiple photos easily in such a regularly used application.

Just a last minute idea, but being able to share photos via Flickr and Facebook (as you can with MobileMe) would be nice too. iPhoto 09 is ahead of the iPhone in that respect. Perhaps we’ll have to wait for iPhone OS 3.0 before we start cluttering that slide-up menu too much eh?


Hey, it looks like Apple are on the same wavelength as us (again!) as the new iPhone 3.0 firmware allows you to send multiple photos via email with a method almost identical to the one we’ve suggested here. They’ve even gone for the same red “tick” icons. I’m not sure if there’s a way to rearrange photos yet, but this is definitely a very welcome feature addition to see.

Written by
James is CEO and one of the co-founders of GoSquared. He also likes to talk about design.

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