Where did your iOS 8 Camera Roll go?

iOS 8 Photos App

Following Wednesday’s public release of iOS 8 and today’s launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, the Apple Support Forums are already buzzing with disgruntled users who are venting their frustration with iOS 8 presumably removing some of their photos, a point driven home by the company’s inexplicable removal of the Camera Roll album in iOS 8.

Indeed, it looks like Apple has introduced a major customer pain point by not elaborating whether the missing Camera Roll has anything to do with iOS 8’s newly gained ability to access large photo libraries in iCloud within the Photos app.

So, where did your Camera Roll go and is there anything sensible to be done about it?

Just to clear up any confusion, all your on-device photos are safe and sound and didn’t go anywhere after upgrading to iOS 8— they’re simply spread out in different locations.

Photos you take with your iPhone: any photo you now take with your iPhone will go in the Photos tab, under Collections and Moments. Moments are your photos organized by date and time they were taken, as well as location if available. Try to think of it as the new and improved Camera Roll. Additionally, photos you take with your iPhone will go in the Albums tab, under Recently Added where they will remain for 30 days.

Photos from your Photostream: the Photostream as we knew it doesn’t exist anymore. Now photos you take from a different device (ie. from your iPad) will go under the Recently Added album, and will also be added in the Photos tab, under Collections and Moments, along with other photos you’ve taken with your iPhone. The fact that there isn’t a specific Photostream album anymore can be confusing to some.

The main point of contention is the fact that some third-party apps continue to look for the missing Camera Roll. Because it can’t be found, those apps default to the new “Recently Added” album which only holds photos taken in the last 30 days.

As AppleInsider notes, those apps will show the “Recently Added” album as though it were the Camera Roll, “so the only way to share older photos is to create a new album and manually move the shots over”.

iOS 8 (Camera Roll, AppleInsider 002)

Needless to say, this is confusing some people to the point where they begin to wonder if their older photos have been deleted from the device (again, all your photos are safe and sound).

A good example is WhatsApp.

When adding a photo to the conversation, WhatsApp’s image browser defaults to the “Recently Added” album due to the missing Camera Roll. Worse, the app confusingly labels that album as “Camera Roll”. As a result, WhatsApp only presents photos taken in the last 30 days, suggesting other photos have been deleted somehow.

Of course, the Camera Roll problem with apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger is easily fixable in software. Therefore, future updates to problematic apps should fix this by defaulting to the Collections view rather than the “Recently Added” album.

iOS 8 (Camera Roll, AppleInsider 001)

To clarify once again.

  • iOS 8’s Photos app uses two types of special albums: “Recently Added” and “Recently Deleted”.
  • ”Recently Added” holds the photos and videos taken in the last 30 days
  • “Recently Deleted” acts as a temporary warehouse for the recently deleted photos and videos.
  • Once a photo or video is more than 30 days old, it’s only available under Photos > Collections, not in the “Recently Deleted” album.
  • You can manually remove any item in the “Recently Deleted” album

Those affected by the missing Camera Roll syndrome can make their life a little bit easier by manually creating an album named ‘Camera Roll’.

It couldn’t be simpler: just tap the “+” icon in iOS 8’s Photos app to create a new album. For the sake of convenience, name it “Camera Roll”. Now simply select all the photos from your Collection and add them to the newly-created album.

iOS 8 (Camera Roll, AppAdvice 001)

This ensures there’s a place with all your photos, including ones taken in the last 30 days. And don’t you worry, adding photos to an album simply adds shortcuts so no, you won’t end up with duplicates.

Another solution entails using a third-party app to manage and store your photos, which kinda defeats the purpose of managing your photographs through the stock app.

I guess you could say we at iDownloadBlog are torn over the missing Camera Roll in iOS 8.

To Sebastien, this is the most annoying thing about iOS 8 (“I am borderline pissed,” he tells me). On the other hand, our Jeff has gotten used to this change and it’s not ticking him off anymore.

To me, the new Photos app with its non-existent Camera Roll initially felt like a mess. A few short hours into iOS 8, the new system has grown on me. I’m now actually liking the new Collections view: the timestamp/location information next to each photo is quite handy, especially when quickly scrolling to a specific shot from the past.

How do you feel about the missing Camera Roll?

Is it a freaking mess or will you get used to it, do you think?

[AppleInsider, AppAdvice, Apple Support Forums]