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Who doesn’t love fun with photos? For example, you can spruce up your photos in iMessage before you send them. You can add pizzazz, include a message, or just make your pictures more memorable.

Here’s how to use the camera effects in iMessage like stickers, filters, shapes, and more.

Open iMessage and let the fun begin

When you open an iMessage conversation and tap the Camera button, you’ll see a star on the bottom left. Tap it and check out all of the cool options you have for photos you want to share.

How to use iMessage effects like Memoji, filters, text, and shapes

The first option is for superimposing Memojis over your face. Tap the Memoji icon and pick the desired Memoji. If you don’t see any Memojis here, head over to this post and learn how to create them.

The next three options in the toolbar are for filters, text, and shapes. When you tap one, a small side-scrolling window will appear, but you can swipe up from that window to open it into a bigger window to see all of the items at once.

Filters include neat effects like Comic Book, Watercolor, and Noir. Select the one you like, move it where you want, tap the X to close the window, and then hit the capture button to snap the photo.

Text options give you word bubbles shaped like a heart, square, or circle. Pick the one you want, type in your text, move it where you like, close the window, and then hit the capture button to take the photo.

Shapes work the same way; select, move, close the window and capture the shot.

How to use iMessage stickers

You might also notice that you have sticker packs (Memoji Stickers and Emoji Stickers) in the toolbar next to the shapes. If you have apps or games installed that came with stickers, they will display here. Games like Word Chums and Angry Birds Match along with apps like Trello and GarageBand have cool packs.

To add a sticker to your photo, just slide to pick your pack, tap to open the game or app to see the stickers, and slide up to view them all if there are several.

Tap to stick one on your photo, move it where you like, close the sticker window, and hit the capture button.

Additional options

After you apply a filter or add text, a shape, or a sticker and tap the capture button, you will have a few more options.

Hitting the capture button will then display Edit and Markup buttons on the bottom. So, you can continue to use editing tools like crop, rotate, or brightness. And, you can also use tools to mark up your picture like an arrow, pencil, or signature.

When you are ready to send your jazzy new photo in the text message, you can do this in two ways. You can tap Done on the top right of the screen. This will pop your photo into the text message where you can add another or type a message.

You can also hit the blue arrow on the bottom right. This button will send your photo immediately in the text message without the option to add another or type anything.

If you like to share photos with friends and family through iMessage, then these neat new options are ideal. Create a funny picture, say something sweet, or make someone’s day with photo options right within the app. Have you tried this new feature yet? If so, let us know what kind of fun you’re having with it!

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How To Use And Send Memoji Stickers On Your Ios Device

Apple introduced new interactive stickers in iOS 13 known as Memoji Stickers. These are an upgrade over the original Animoji stickers which were well-received by users when they were introduced. Animoji stickers allowed you to record a short message as an animated character and send it to your friends and family. The new Memoji stickers are a creative play on the original Bitmoji stickers (which Snapchat uses). Memoji stickers allow you to make original creations of different stickers of your face and use these digital stickers across your iOS device. You can use them in iMessages, when posting photos and more. We’ll be covering how to create and use Memoji stickers on your iOS device in detail below, so continue reading.

How Memoji Work

You can design a Memoji sticker easily on your iOS device (more below). Once created, you’ll have a customized sticker pack of your Memoji self that you can send to your friends or family on iMessage or any other messaging platform. It’s a fun and creative way to express your feelings instead of a traditional emoji or thumbs up/down sign. Memoji are unique and can be made to represent you and add creativity to your messages.

Setting up a Memoji is very easy; simply follow the steps below:

1. Make sure you’re running iOS 13 / iPadOS 13 on your device.

2. In an app that supports stickers (such as iMessage), open up the keyboard.

You’ll see a variety of options that will allow you to customize nearly every aspect of your Memoji, from hair to eye color, nose shape, etc. You can easily design it to your liking.

Once finished, simply tap on Done in the top-right corner.

How To Send A Memoji

Once you’ve designed a Memoji, sending it is very easy. As mentioned before, Memoji have their own separate keyboard that you can use to select stickers and send. Stickers are automatically created for every new Memoji you create and can be found in the Memoji keyboard. To use them:

1. In an app that supports sending stickers, open up keyboard.

2. From the bottom-left corner, long-tap on the Globe icon on the keyboard.

3. Select the Emoji / Memoji keyboard option (highlighted below)

4. Choose from the variety of stickers available to send. Tapping on any one of them will allow you to send the Memoji sticker to your friends or family.

That’s it. It’s that simple. Using the Memoji stickers, you’ll be able to add some fun flair to your chats and messages instead of the plain, regular emojis.

Do you use Memoji stickers, or do you just figure them to be a gimmick? Let us know in the Comments section below.

Shujaa Imran

Shujaa Imran is MakeTechEasier’s resident Mac tutorial writer. He’s currently training to follow his other passion become a commercial pilot. You can check his content out on Youtube

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How To Use Imessage Apps In Ios 10 Messages

Your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch lets you spruce up your messaging game with stickers, emoji, reactions, bubble and screen effects, animated expressions of your feelings and iMessage Apps for things like OpenTable reservations, Apple Music integration, animated GIF creation and more.

This tutorial details important things pertaining to third-party iMessage Apps, including finding and installing them in the App Store, organizing them on the Messages App Shelf, disabling those you seldom use and deleting ones you no longer need.

Quick introduction to iMessage Apps

Third-party iMessage Apps allow you to do many things without ever leaving your conversation that previously needed to be accomplished in one or more standalone apps. For instance, iMessage Apps from your favorite developers may let you create an animated GIF to send to a friend, schedule dinner and a movie, send payments, share a song and more—all within their custom interface inside of Messages.

Some interactive iMessage Apps—namely games—require both the recipient and the sender to have them installed on their device.

What are the system requirements for iMessage Apps?

iMessage Apps require an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 10 or later and the iMessage service. People on macOS Sierra can only receive output from iMessage Apps in the form of photo attachments. Mac users cannot interact with iMessage Apps nor can they download, use or send them to others.

Non-iMessage users also cannot interact with iMessage Apps.

What types of iMessage Apps are there?

There are two types of iMessage Apps available:

Bundled iMessage Apps—Distributed as part of their container app. You can deactivate bundled iMessage Apps in Messages independently of the container app, but they won’t be permanently removed from the device unless the container app is deleted, too. You can quickly re-activate any disabled iMessage Apps without re-downloading them from the App Store.

As evidenced on the below screenshot, standalone iMessage Apps are labeled with an “Only for iMessage” on their App Store page and they put an icon on the Home screen like regular apps.

Bundled iMessage Apps are distinguished from their standalone counterparts with an “Offers iMessage App” label in the Messages App Store. Bundled iMessage Apps don’t have their own Home screen icon.

Will iMessage Apps cost me money?

Like with other apps on the App Store, some iMessage Apps won’t cost you a dime while others may set you back 99 cents or more. Most branded standalone iMessage Apps cost some money, especially games. You should be able to find a decent selection of free iMessage Apps in the App Store.

How are iMessage Apps created and packaged?

iMessage Apps are basically iOS extensions, like Photo filters and keyboards.

Part of an existing app download

Bundled iMessage Apps can provide the same features as their standalone counterparts and are listed on the App Store in the same category and with the same description as their container iOS app.

Standalone iMessage Apps are allowed to implement some extra functionality, like Apple Pay and the In-App Purchase mechanism. Developers can list standalone iMessage Apps in any relevant category on the Messages App Store.

iMessage Apps adhere to Apple’s screening process and must be submitted for approval before they are permitted to show up in the App Store. You can learn about third-party iMessage Apps development on Apple’s website.

How to find and install iMessage Apps

You can find and download iMessage Apps the old-fashioned way—by browsing and downloading them directly in the App Store. Or, you can download and install them from a dedicated App Store section that’s accessible within the context of the Messages app itself.

1) Launch Messages and create a new conversation or tap an existing one in your conversation list.

2) Tap the App Store button to the left of the text field to open your app drawer.

3) Tap the App Shelf button in the bottom left corner, it resembles four ellipses in a grid.

4) Tap the Store button.

The built-in App Store for Messages pops up, letting you:

Browse featured iMessage Apps

Browsing iMessage Apps by category

Find specific iMessage Apps

5) Find an iMessage App you wish to download, then tap the Buy (if it’s paid) or Get button (if it’s free). The app will download to your device.

6) Dismiss the Messages App Store to start using your iMessage App.

If this is a bundled iMessage App, it’ll get downloaded to your device along with its container app. If it’s a standalone app, it will be downloaded standalone and its icon shall appear on the Home screen.

Finding specific iMessage Apps

If you know the iMessage app’s name, you can find it quickly on the store using a built-in search feature. Begin by tapping the magnifying glass icon in the top left corner of the Messages App Store.

Now type your query into the search field. We suggest using the word “iMessage app” to make your search more relevant and exclude downloadable stickers and other unrelated content from search results.

Re-downloading iMessage Apps

If you previously downloaded this particular iMessage app and wish to re-download it, you will see the cloud icon in place of of the Buy/Get button.

If you see “Installed” next to the name, as shown below, the iMessage App app is already installed on your device.

You can re-enable any bundled iMessage Apps via the App Store’s Manage tab without re-downloading them, provided their container app is currently installed on the device.

Their standalone counterparts must be re-downloaded to re-use them after disabling. Any standalone iMessage Apps you have on your device, including ones you removed, can be found in the App Store’s Purchased tab.

Bundled iMessage Apps won’t show up in your Purchased items because they are packaged as part of the container app.

For example, the Airmail iMessage app that lets you add photos from email attachments to you conversations is distributed as part of the Airmail app itself so you won’t see it listed separately in the Purchased section.

Conversely, The Weather Channel distributes its iMessage app as a standalone download so it’s listed alongside your existing Weather Channel for iOS app in the Purchased section.

Downloading iMessage Apps inline

When someone sends you an iMessage app in an iMessage and you currently don’t have it installed on your device, it will appear in the conversation with a hyperlinked label which denotes its App Store name.

You can tap either the label itself or the iMessage app thumbnail in the conversation to be taken right to its appropriate listing in the App Store. From there, you can download and add the app to Messages with a tap.

Browsing Featured iMessage Apps

Tap the Featured tab to see a list of featured iMessage Apps, stickers and other downloadable content for Messages that Apple’s editorial team has curated.

Browsing iMessage Apps by category


Food & Drink



Photo & Video



Social Networking



Apple may add or remove built-in app categories over time.

How to use iMessage Apps in conversations

1) In Messages, tap a conversation in the list or create a new one.

2) Tap the Apps button (it looks like an App Store icon) to the left of the text field to open your Messages app drawer.

3) You can now:

Select a previously used iMessage app in Recents

Choose a specific iMessage app from App Shelf

Both these methods are described further below.

Selecting iMessage Apps from Recents

T app drawer defaults to displaying any recently-used iMessage Apps, stickers and other third-party content you have added to Messages.

Swipe left or right to flip through the recently used items until you find your desired app. Tap the arrow pointing upward to take Recents fullscreen.

Selecting iMessage Apps from App Shelf

If you’ve added lots of third-party content to Messages, Recents can become cluttered. To select a specific iMessage app faster, tap the App Shelf button in the bottom left corner (it resembles four ellipses in a grid).

Now swipe between pages of your downloaded iMessage Apps, stickers and other third-party content until you find an app you’d like to use.

Tap it, then choose any app-specific options you may be presented with.

4) Type an optional message, then hit the blue Send button.

iMessage Apps cannot be rotated, resized, stamped on chat bubbles or other items in the conversation like stickers. When you send an interactive iMessage app that the recipient does not have  installed on their  device, they can just tap its thumbnail in the conversation to download and start using the app right away.

How to organize iMessage Apps

You can reorder iMessages Apps on your App Shelf by way of dragging them around. iMessage Apps you no longer need can be temporarily disabled (bundled apps only) or permanently deleted form your device (both bundled and standalone apps).

Rearranging iMessage Apps on App Shelf

To rearrange iMessage Apps, tap and hold any item in App Shelf until the icons start to jiggle. You can now drag the icons around, relocate your most-used iMessage Apps to page 1 and more.

To move an icon between pages, drag it to either edge of App Shelf and wait until the next/previous page scrolls into view. Unfortunately, you cannot file iMessage Apps into folders inside App Shelf like you can do with ordinary apps on your Home screen.

Seeing freshly updated iMessage Apps

Any newly downloaded or updated iMessage Apps are listed under the New and Updated heading in the Messages App Store’s Manage tab so you can quickly identify those that may contain new content.

You’ll see a badge on both the Manage tab’s title and the Store button in App Shelf when any third-party Messages content has been updated.

Preventing Messages from adding iMessage Apps

By default, Messages installs and puts into app drawer any bundled iMessage Apps automatically as soon as you download their container app from the App Store.

To prevent this from happening, slide the switch Automatically Add Apps under the Messages App Store’s Manage tab to the OFF position.

This shall prevent Messages from automatically adding iMessage Apps to the Messages app drawer. Newly downloaded iMessage Apps will still add their respective toggles on the Manage tab, but they’ll be disabled rather than automatically enabled.

Disabling bundled iMessage Apps

You can temporarily disable bundled iMessage Apps through the built-in App Store’s Manage tab. Remember the distinction between disabling and uninstalling—disabling simply removes the app’s icon from App Shelf to reduce clutter and deactivates the Messages extension and slides its toggle on the store’s Manage tab to the OFF position.

This lets you reactivate any disabled iMessage app by toggling its switch in the Manage tab. Deleting the container app also removes its bundled iMessage component from the device.

How to delete iMessage Apps

You can delete iMessage Apps from Messages and your device in two ways:

Delete standalone iMessage Apps on the Home screen or through the Manage tab in Messages App Store

Disable bundled iMessage Apps directly and independently of their container app through the Manage tab or delete their container app on the Home screen

Deleting standalone iMessage Apps

1) Open Messages on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and tap a conversation in the list.

3) In the Messages app drawer, tap the App Shelf button in the bottom left corner that looks like four ellipses in a grid.

4) Tap the Store button in your App Shelf.

5) When the Messages App Store appears, tap the Manage tab.

6) To uninstall a desired iMessage App, slide its switch to the OFF position.

7) Tap Done to finish making the changes.

Standalone iMessage Apps cannot be temporarily disabled: they are permanently removed from the device as soon as their switch in the Manage tab is slid to the OFF position or their Home screen icon gets deleted.

Deleting bundled iMessage Apps

Because standalone iMessage Apps put an icon on your Home screen.

To remove them from the device, simply do what you would normally do when deleting any other app on your iPhone: press the Home button to get to the Home screen, enter the icon jiggle mode by holding your finger on any icon, then tap the “X” in the upper left corner of an icon of the standalone iMessage App you wish to delete.

Again, this only works with standalone iMessage Apps. Their bundled counterparts cannot be deleted this way as they don’t have a Home screen icon of their own.

Standalone and bundled iMessage Apps can be deleted more quickly by opening the Messages app drawer open, then tap and hold an app until you see the app icons jiggle and hit the “x” at the top-left corner.

To finish, press the Home button.

This is the same as toggling the switches in the store’s Manage tab, meaning removing a bundled app from the app drawer only disable the app whereas removing its standalone counterpart actually deletes its Messages extension from the system.

Have ideas for us?

Google Meet Effects: How To Download And Customize Your Meeting Background

As many of us have started adjusting to remote working and distance learning, it’s up to us to present ourselves in a fun and colorful way every time we log in to a meeting. Google Meet offers a ton of features to interact with your friends and colleagues but can you add visual effects to your background to hide things you don’t want others to see? That’s what we’re here to talk about.

Can you change your background on Google Meet?

Technically, no! Google Meet doesn’t natively let you apply backgrounds to your video feed. That’s because there is no option present inside Google Meet that lets you modify the background from your camera feed besides blurring it.

In contrast to Google Meet, both Zoom and Microsoft Teams allow users to set custom backgrounds. Zoom has its virtual background option that lets users replace their actual background with other images available on its app or from their own library. Teams recently rolled out a ‘Background effects‘ feature that allows you to select images as new backgrounds.

Is there a way you can add background effects on Google Meet?

Yes. Although Google Meet doesn’t currently let you add custom backgrounds, natively, you can still do it using a Chrome extension – Visual Effects. You can install this extension like any other Google Chrome extension made for Google Meet that boosts the capabilities of the video conferencing service.

Similarly, since, Microsoft Edge is also built on the same Chromium platform, you can use the same extension on that browser, as well.

This way you can save yourself from awkward looks that your shabby-looking surrounding attracts and present yourself in a fresh way.

What is Google Meet Visual Effects?

Visual Effects for Google Meet is an extension that’s available for Google Chrome offering a bunch of effects that can be applied to your existing background. These include Blur, Pixelate, Rainbow, Virtual Green Screen, Freeze, Inverse, and more.

You have to keep in mind that the extension is only available for Meet on the web users who make video calls from Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. This won’t work on Google Meet apps on your iOS or Android or on any other non-Chromium browser.

How to use Visual Effects for Google Meet

If you wish to apply Visual Effects to your video background on Google Meet, you will have to first install the Visual Effects Chrome extension on your browser.

Adding the extension on Google Chrome or Edge

The browser will now install Visual Effects to your browser and after the extension is successfully installed, it will appear in the Chrome toolbar.

You can now go over to your meeting screen on Google Meet to start using the extension. All the visual effects can now be applied by going into the meeting screen, hovering over the left edge, and then selecting the effect that works best for you.

What we found: In our testing, we noticed that it takes a little longer for the ‘Join now’ and ‘Present’ buttons to appear inside the initial meeting window. We believe that’s due to the extension loading all the effects for use inside the meeting.

Add a virtual background

If blurring your surrounding isn’t what you want to do, the next best option for you is to completely change it with a custom image of your choice. The Visual Effects extension offers a ‘Green Screen’ option that when enabled can apply a selected image as your background.

You can do this by joining a meeting, hovering over the left edge, and then locating a ‘Green Screen’ option in the pop-up sidebar. Now don’t just try checking the box under it as you would be prompted that you have no image selected to apply as a green screen.

What we found: In our testing, the ‘Green Screen’ feature was a hit and miss. If you’re lucky, you will be able to replace your current background with the image that you chose.

Try other effects for your meetings

Besides the usual blur and virtual background effects, the Visual Effects extension also lets you add a bunch of other effects to you as well as your background. You can choose any one of the following options – Blur, Bubbles, Contrast, Cube, 3D Movie, Donation, Flip, Freeze, Inverse, Insane, Rainbow, Pixelate, Soft Focus, Text Display, Face filters.

Among the ones mentioned above, we suggest you try 3D Movie, Freeze, Rainbow, Pixelate,  Text Display, Soft Focus, Contrast, and Face Filters. We’ve tried a bunch of them ourselves and they’re fun to use and easy to apply.

3D Movie



Soft Focus



What we found: Although most of these effects are a fun way to express yourself in meetings, there’s this one thing we don’t like about them. It’s the fact that when you apply any of these effects, the extension applies it to the whole camera-input instead of just your background. Unfortunately, even your face is now modified with the selected effect, giving you an excuse to not use them for long.

Can you expect Google Meet to roll out custom backgrounds?

Google is usually quite potent at keeping their ear to the ground and listen to valuable feedback. They have already rolled out the background blur feature to Meet and could very soon introduce the custom backgrounds we all crave. There hasn’t been an official announcement yet, but the update could very well be on the horizon.


How To Take Long Exposure Photos On Your Iphone

Are you looking for a way to take breathtaking long exposure photographs using your iPhone or iPad? If you’re intrigued by the beautiful, dreamy look of long-exposure photography and want to learn how to capture stunning shots from your smartphone, we’ll show you what you need to know. In this guide, we’ll explore what long-exposure photos are and how you can use your iPhone’s native camera app to create some fantastic images.

If you are looking at those gorgeous photos where waterfalls seem so smooth and silky, and you want to take similar ones, know that you only need an iPhone. Also, if you want to take your long-exposure photography to the next level, make sure to check our articles on how to use Lightroom and learn about image modifications you can do in Photoshop.

Table of Contents

What Is Long Exposure Photography?

Professional photographers use long-exposure photography to create stunning images of landscapes, light trails, and motion blurs. Long exposure often makes a difference between a snap photo and a piece of art. And yes, you can make art with your iPhone if you put in a little effort and learn specific techniques.

Until recently, long-exposure photography wasn’t easy to achieve with phone cameras because it requires a slow shutter speed, and only DSLR cameras were able to manage that. A slow shutter speed means keeping the shutter of a camera sensor open for a long duration. Typically, the camera will capture the photo in a fraction of a second, but for a long-exposure shot, you need to take it in several seconds. Instead of freezing the movement, the sensor will capture the motion, making the image pleasing to the eye.

Long-exposure photography demands specific light conditions. For example, you can’t keep the shutter open for too long in broad daylight. That will result in an image that looks too bright or burned. That is why professionals take long exposure images during low light conditions such as dusk or nighttime or use special filters for the camera.

How to Take Long-Exposure Photos With an iPhone

When taking long-exposure photos, you’ll need to remain steady. Every small movement or camera shake can ruin the results. Even though the iPhone doesn’t require a tripod, you should use one to prevent your phone camera from shaking.

Use Live Photo to Take Long-Exposure Photos

The built-in iPhone camera app is the simplest way to take a long-exposure photo. All you have to do is switch to Live Photo and then use the Long Exposure effect. Live Photos is an iPhone feature, and you can also take short videos. The video captured will be 3 seconds long because the camera records 1.5 seconds before you press the camera shutter button and 1.5 seconds after you press it.

You can keep your Live Photo as a video or add various effects. The long exposure effect allows you to convert the Live Photo into a long-exposure photo. Because a Live Photo is taken over 3 seconds, the converted photo will look as if you took it with a slow shutter speed. This is achieved because the app automatically layers each frame.

Follow these steps to take a long-exposure Live Photo:

Choose a scene that has constant motion in it. It can be traffic or pedestrians constantly moving, or a stream of water.

Tap the

Live Photos

icon at the top right of the screen to switch to this mode.

Point your camera at the scene and be as steady as you can be.

Take as many shots as needed until you are satisfied with the result.

Open the image in the gallery app and search for the


icon on the top left of the screen.

Tap the arrow pointing down, and a menu will appear. Select

Long Exposure

located at the bottom of the menu.

Your iPhone will take a moment or two to process the photo. This feature is available on iPhones with iOS 15 and newer. If you have iOS 14, you can open the Live Photo in the gallery app and search for the Long Exposure option in the Effects panel.

Use Third-Party Apps

Live Photo is a great option for creating long-exposure images if the light conditions are perfect. But if you want to take long-exposure photos in dark environments, using a third-party app might be a better option. You have many options, such as Easy Long Exposure Camera or Slow Shutter Fast Cam.

Third-party long-exposure apps are a great option if you have an iPhone older than iPhone 6. They can result in pretty unique images. Some of them work by overlaying multiple shots to create a long-exposure effect. Others allow you to manually control the camera shutter speed.

Slow Shutter Cam is the highest-rated long exposure app for iPhone. It gives you three shooting mode options and allows you to shoot in live preview, so you know how the result will turn out. You can choose the photo resolution and set the shutter speed, focus, and ISO manually. On top of that, you can pair it with your Apple Watch to use it as a self-timer.

ProCam 8 has a lot of tools, settings, and options to control your shots. It allows you to set a lower shutter speed and manually control the focus, ISO, and white balance. With this app, you can save your long-exposure photos as RAW files, which opens up more options after the shot is taken. The developers claim that with ProCam 8, you can make DSLR-like quality photos. However, this app seems a bit more complicated, and you’ll have to spend time learning your way around it instead of just shooting. Nevertheless, the long-exposure results with ProCam 8 are excellent.

3. Easy Long Exposure Camera

Easy Long Exposure Camera is an easy-to-use app for long exposure photos. You’ll use simple sliders to set the shutter speed, focus, and ISO. Remember that this app is strictly made for shooting in low-light conditions. All your photos will turn out completely white if you use it in daylight. It also supports Bluetooth remote shutter, so you don’t have to manually tap the phone and cause an accidental camera shake.

Tips for Better Long Exposure Photos on iPhone

Keep It Steady

No, it’s not necessary to use a tripod, especially if you opt for the iPhone’s in-built Live Photos feature. But keeping your phone still is essential when creating long-exposure photos, even in broad daylight. A tripod is a great thing to invest in if you are serious about iPhone photography.

Otherwise, you can leave your device on a flat, immobile surface or lean against a wall or a tree to steady yourself. To keep your phone as steady as you can while standing, press your elbows against your body and keep the phone close to your face.

Use Wired iPhone Earbuds as a Shutter Release

Camera shake can look good on some photos, especially if you’re trying to create artsy images. But most of the time, you want to avoid shaking your iPhone when taking long-exposure photos. Even a simple tap on the shutter button can cause the camera to shake. To prevent this, you can use iPhone wired earbuds as a distance shutter release. Plug them in and use the volume control buttons to take pictures.

Think About Motion

You can create stunning long exposure photos with an iPhone. All you need is some practice and lots of imagination. Capture moving water to get that silky, almost smoky effect. You can paint with light by shooting moving traffic during the night or by using a flashlight and moving it in front of the camera as if it’s a paintbrush. Finally, you can capture “ghosts” in your images. Of course, they won’t be real ghosts. But if you take a long exposure photo of people moving around or dancing, they will seem ghostly and otherworldly.

Taking long-exposure photos with your iPhone can be a great way to get creative and capture moments that are a bit outside the box! You can achieve light trails, celestial effects, silky water, and more by tweaking your shutter speed, ISO setting, and other parameters. Although using DSLRs or Mirrorless cameras will give you much better performance when taking long exposures, iPhones have come a long way and can create beautiful shots too.

How To Use Google Photos Locked Folder


Earlier, if you wanted to hide photos in Google Photos, you would either archive them, put them in the trash, or use a third-party app locker. Fortunately, Google has now introduced a native ability way to password-protect photos inside Google Photos. This has been made possible with the help of the Locked folder. What is the Google Photos Locked folder and how to add photos to it? Find the answer here.

What Is Locked Folder in Google Photos

Found in the Utilities section of Google Photos, the Locked folder allows you to hide sensitive photos and videos behind a passcode. The Locked folder uses your phone’s screen lock, which can either be a password or a biometric. That is, in addition to unlocking the device, you will need to unlock the Locked folder separately.

The items inside the Locked folder are kept private and no other app can access them. Such photos and videos are also hidden from other gallery apps. You can view them only inside the Locked folder after unlocking it.

Previously, the Locked folder was only available on Google Pixel phones, but it is now available on any non-Pixel phone running Android 6 or later.

How to Add Photos or Videos to Locked Folder

There are three ways to hide photos and videos in the Locked folder.

Method 1

1. Open the Google Photos app and go to the Library tab.

2. Tap on Utilities. If it’s your first time, you will see the Set up Locked folder option, tap on it.

Alternatively, scroll down and tap on Locked folder under Organize your library section.

3. You will need to unlock your device if you have a screen lock in place. In case you don’t, you will need to create it first before you can set up the Locked folder.

4. The Locked folder screen will appear. Tap on the Move items button or press the Add icon at the top.

5. Select the items that you want to add to the Locked folder and tap on Move at the top.

6. The item will appear in the Locked folder.

Method 2

Alternatively, open a photo or video in Google Photos and swipe up. Tap on Move to Locked folder.

Method 3

If you own a Google Pixel phone, you can save photos directly from the Camera in the Locked folder. This feature works on Pixel 3 and above.

To do so, open the Google Camera app on your phone. Tap on the Photo Gallery option at the top. The Save to menu will appear. Choose Locked folder.

Now, any photo or video that you capture will be saved automatically in the Locked folder. To save in the regular album, choose Photo Gallery from this menu.

What Happens by Putting Photos and Videos in Locked Folder

The Locked folder not only hides the photos placed inside it, but it also has an effect on other things as shown below.

Google Photos Features

The items added in the Locked folder won’t appear in Google Photos search, memories, movies, or albums. They will be visible only inside the Locked folder. Furthermore, you cannot move items to Trash from the Locked folder or put them in albums. The Locked folder also lacks the ability to edit pictures.

Restricts Sharing

When you add photos to the Locked folder, you won’t be able to share them either from the Google Photos app or directly through other apps. That’s because other apps cannot access the photos present in the Locked folder.

Cloud Functionality

Google Photos is used both as a regular gallery app and a cloud storage tool. However, any photo or video added to the Locked folder is stored locally on your device and will not be uploaded to the cloud. If a photo has already been uploaded to the cloud, the cloud backup will be deleted and the photo will be saved on your phone’s storage.

Data Transfer

Similarly, the items inside the Locked folder aren’t transferred when sharing with other devices using cable or USB transfers.


Both screenshots and screen recordings are blocked inside the Locked folder. If you try to capture either, the captured photo or video will appear black.

Uninstalling App

Generally, uninstalling the Google Photos app or clearing its data won’t affect the photos or videos. However, any item inside the Locked folder will be deleted permanently when you delete the Google Photos app or clear its data. To save them, you will need to remove them from the Locked folder.

How to Remove Photos from Locked Folder

Go to the Locked Folder inside Google Photos. Unlock the folder and tap on the photo or video that you want to move back to a regular album. Tap on the Move button. In case you want to delete the photo permanently, tap on the Delete button. Please note that the item will not be taken to Trash but will be deleted permanently.

If you want to move back multiple items, tap on the three-dot icon on the Locked folder screen. Select the items and tap on Move.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Password Protect a Google Photos Albums?

You cannot put a password on individual albums in Google Photos. If you want to hide a photo, you will need to move it to the Locked folder.

Can You Use a Different Password Than Lock Screen

Sadly, no. The Locked folder uses your device lock only. So anyone having access to the device screen lock will be able to unlock the Locked folder.

What’s the Difference Between Locked Folder and Archive

Archived items aren’t protected by any lock. They can be accessed by anyone and will also show up in the Google Photos’ search, unlike the Locked folder items. Furthermore, you can easily share archived photos.

Have Fun With Google Photos

The Google Photos Locked folder has been a much-awaited utility tool. Now that it’s here, you don’t need to rely on any external tools to password protect Google Photos. If you enjoy using Google Photos, check out the best tips to edit photos and videos in it.

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