Wednesday, November 8, 2023

iOS 17.1 Lock Screen Photo Album Shuffle

Zachary McAuliffe:

Apple introduced Photo Shuffle for lock screen in iOS 16. However, you could only choose categories of photos in your library and camera roll, like People and Pets, or you could use the Select Photos Manually option and go through your library to find the right photos.

You were limited to 50 manually chosen photos, and the interface was awkward and slow.

Benjamin Mayo:

The problem was these automatic collections were often incomplete, and could not be edited – you couldn’t add or remove photos other than filtering out particular detected faces altogether in the People collection. This made the lock screen often useless as it would surface images that weren’t necessarily relevant or interesting, and no real way to fine tune it.

As of iOS 17.1, there’s a new option when you create a Photo Shuffle lock screen: the ability to choose a specific album. This gives you the control to choose what images you want to see on your lock screen, by curating a specific album or simply using the Favorites album.

This is probably my favorite new feature in iOS 17. I can now have more photos in the rotation, and I can tap the Lock Screen to switch to a new one. Because it’s based on an album, I can add new photos from the Photos app on my Mac, which is so much easier than the iOS interface.

Tim Hardwick:

The following steps show you how it’s done on iPhones running iOS 17.1.

There remain two bits of jankiness:


Update (2023-11-22): CTD:

This is a wonderful improvement. It’s a bit confusing understanding how it chooses to frame pictures though. I initially cropped some images to exact screen dimensions but it randomly zooms in on some. Then tried 9:16 ratio and it seemed better then reverted to zooming in. I think it’s trying to be smart based on content of the image but for some I want them displayed just so! Still lovely to see one of your chosen images each time you unlock.

John Gordon:

I remember the original iOS Lock Screen photo shuffle. That feature was huge for my father as his memory failed. Few seemed to miss it though.

I would prefer something simpler like that.

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