iPhone Photo Albums - Not!

No way to organize your photos



My iPhone review

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May 2010 (see updates below):

I still like my iPhone, but boy there are a few things that just stick in my... one of them is the lack of photo album support.

From what I read, if you have iPhoto on your Mac, then it works great. I just happen to want to use my PC. And from what I see that's impossible.

Here's what you can do: In the photo sync folder you can create sub-folders and drop photos into them. They will sync to the iPhone and give you "albums". However, once you do this I cannot find any way to delete those photos! They're on your iPhone forever. (If you know how to solve this without a Mac, let me know.)

Here's what doesn't work:

  • All the photos are copied to the camera roll album as well. This makes that folder just one big dog-pile of photos. Next time you take a photo with the phone's camera you'll have to look at that pile of pictures again.
  • If a photo was taken rotated, that rotation indication is lost. So now my photos in my iPhone albums show up with the wrong rotation. You have to turn your head sideways to see them. Gaak. Terrible.

November 2010 TIP - Another bit of badness: iTunes does NOT backup your photos! So all this year I've been sync'ing my iPhone with iTunes on my PC and thinking my photos were safe. In fact they were not. Had I lost my iPhone I would have lost all my photos too. Damn. What to do? I created a folder on my PC called "iPhone Camera Roll". When I connect my phone to my PC I open a file explorer window and navigate to my iPhone. I then copy all of the files from my iPhone to my PC. I then delete all the photos on my iPhone. What a pain in the butt.

To solve the albums problem I've bought the app Photo Sort for $3.00. It allows photo browsing like the native iPhone Photo app does. But this one has a button to open an FTP server on the iPhone. Once you click this button, you can connect to the iPhone using Filezilla. So now I have another folder called "iPhonePhotoSort". Any photos I want to keep on the iPhone I copy into this folder. Creating sub folders creates "albums." Then I use Filezilla to copy all the files from my PC folder to my iPhone. Another pain in the butt, but at least it works.


Maybe someone reading this will say, "you idiot, you just have to..."  I would love to hear from you.


Jim Schrempp is a sometimes freelance writer (only Vanity Press will publish his work) living in Saratoga, California. His writings have appeared on numerous pages on his own web site. The opinions expressed in this piece are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of anyone else (although Jim wishes more people shared his opinions)