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  1. Computer Skills
  2. iOS
Computers

How to Share Photos and Videos From an iOS Device

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:ShortLanguages:
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One of the key benefits of digital media is the ease and speed at which you can share our lives with family and friends. In just a few moments, you can snap a picture on a phone, and send it to a relative on the other side of the world so that they can view it, too.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you several ways to share photos and videos with your nearest and dearest from an iOS device.

Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)

Sending an MMS message is like sending an SMS, only with a photo or video attached.

You can send an MMS to anyone in the world, providing the recipient has a phone with MMS capabilities. This form of messaging predates the internet-based messaging of modern applications and they can be costly to send, especially overseas.

Send Photos and Videos via MMS

Tap the Messages icon on the Home Screen, press the Compose New Message icon, and then enter the phone number of the recipient in the To field, or tap + to add a contact from the Contacts.

Press the Camera icon at the bottom of the screen to select an existing photo or video, or take a new one, if you prefer. Enter a comment to go along with the photo or video (optional), and when you’re ready, press the Send icon.

MMS on an iPhone
Select an existing photo or video, or take a new one

iMessage

iMessage is an instant messaging service used to send and receive messages for free between Apple devices.

iMessage requires an internet connection, and, if enabled, you and the recipient will receive read receipts when a message has been delivered and read.

Enable iMessage

Before you can send an iMessage for the first time, you must first enable iMessage on the device, otherwise the message will be sent as an SMS or MMS, which may incur a cost. 

Tap the Setting icon on the Home Screen, and then scroll down until you reach Messages. Flip the iMessage switch to On.

Here, you can also choose to enable read receipts. Change the Send Read Receipts switch to On to activate.

Messages sent via iMessage will appear in a blue text bubble, while those sent via SMS or MMS will appear in a green text bubble. 

If the recipient hasn’t enabled iMessage or doesn’t own an Apple device, or you don't have an internet connection, an iMessage will be sent as an SMS or MMS instead. Change the Send as SMS and MMS Messaging switches to Off to send iMessages only.

iMessage on an iPhone
Enable read receipts to see when the iMessage has been read


Send Photos and Videos via iMessage

Sending an iMessage is similar to sending an MMS, only you can send an iMessage to an email address linked to an Apple ID, as well as a phone number belonging to an iPhone.

Tap the Messages icon on the Home Screen. Press the Compose New Message icon, and then enter the phone number or email address of the person you’d like to send a message to in the To field, or press + to add a contact from the Contacts.

Tap the Camera icon at the bottom of the screen to select an existing photo or video, or take a new one. Enter a message to go along with the photo or video, and when you’re ready, press the Send icon.

If the iMessage has been sent successfully, and you’ve enabled read receipts, it will display Delivered underneath the message, and Read when it’s been read.

Tip: If the person you’d like to share photos or videos with doesn't own an Apple device, third party instant messaging services such as WhatsApp and Skype are available cross platform and function almost identically to iMessage.

Email

An email can be sent for free to anyone with an email address. You can add attachments such as photos, videos and audio to the emails, although if an attachment is over 20 MB in size, you will automatically be asked to send it via Mail Drop instead.

Mail Drop lets you upload attachments of up to 5 GB to iCloud, and then send a link or preview to the recipient, which they can download for up to 30 days.

Send Photos and Videos via Email

Tap the Mail icon on the Home Screen and then press the Compose New Message icon. Enter the email address of the recipient in the To field, and then enter a subject in the Subject field (optional, but recommended.)

Email on an iPhone
Select the photo or video you'd like to attach to the email

Double tap the text area and select Insert Photo or Video. Press All Photos and then select the photo or video you’d like to add to the email. Press Use to insert. 

Enter a message to accompany the attachment, and then tap the Send icon. 

iCloud Photo Sharing

iCloud Photo Sharing allows you and up to a hundred of your friends and family to share photos and videos between yourselves. 

When a new photo or video has been uploaded, everyone invited to view that particular album will receive a notification on their device, and they'll be able to like and comment on each upload.

You can create multiple albums dedicated to subjects such as your children or pets, and each one can hold up to 5,000 photos and videos.

Setup iCloud Photo Sharing

Tap the Settings icon, and then press the name in the top, left-hand corner. Select iCloud > Photos, and then flip the iCloud Photo Sharing switch to On to enable iCloud Photo Sharing.

Tap the Photos icon on the Home Screen, and then press the Shared tab in the navigation bar. Tap + to create a new album and enter an album name. Press Next and then enter the email addresses of the people you’d like to view said album. Tap Create.

If you’d like to share an album with family and friends who don’t own an Apple device, tap on the album, press the People tab and then flip the Public Website switch to On. The album can now be viewed via the URL provided.

iCloud Photo Sharing on an iPhone
You don't need an iOS device to view an album with iCloud Photo Sharing

Upload Photos and Videos to iCloud Photo Sharing

Select the photos or videos you’d like to share, tap the Share icon and then press iCloud Photo Sharing. Choose the album you want to upload to, enter a comment (optional) and then press Post.

AirDrop

If the person you’d like to share a photo or video with is nearby and owns an Apple device, AirDrop is a quick and easy way to do so via Bluetooth.

Enable Bluetooth

Tap the Settings icon on the Home Screen and then press Bluetooth. Flip the Bluetooth switch to On. Don’t forget to ensure that the recipient has enabled Bluetooth on their iDevice, too, otherwise they won’t be discoverable.

Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center. Tap the AirDrop icon and select either Receiving Off to switch receiving off, Contacts Only to receive files from the contacts only, or Everyone.

AirDrop Photos and Videos

Tap the Photos icon on the Home Screen, and then select the photos or videos you wish to send. 

Tap the Share icon and wait for the recipients’ device to appear under the AirDrop section. 

Press their name to send the media. There may be a slight delay while the recipient chooses to Accept or Decline the file.

AirDrop on an iPhone
AirDrop is a quick and easy way to send photos and videos to people nearby

Conclusion 

In this tutorial, I have shown you several ways to share photos and videos with your friends and family from an iOS device.

Each method has its own strengths and weaknesses, but whichever way you choose will ultimately yield the same result and offer the recipient a glimpse of your day.

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