Teething issues notwithstanding, iOS 11 has been officially released and users can update their existing devices provided they are compatible. The new version of iOS has made sweeping improvements across the board, though some of the most important changes involve photos and videos:

Better photos and videos in Memories and more variations

Due to the improvements to machine learning, iOS 11 is able to identify better photos and videos to use as part of its Memories collections. That should mean more relevant photos and videos, and less that have people caught mid-blink or red eyed. Additionally the Memories that iOS generates are more varied as well, with new types of special occasions and events added to the mix.

Editing for Live Photos and new effects

Prior to iOS 11, Live Photos had many limitations and users often relied on third-party apps to edit or utilize them properly. In the update Live Photos can be edited directly to crop, apply filters, trim, mute, and so on. The most important change however is that it is now possible to select a frame to use as the main image (that is displayed). It also has some new effects that users can experiment with, namely loop, bounce, and long exposure.

Enhanced Portrait Mode and more filters

For iPhone 7 Plus onwards, Portrait Mode has undergone some improvements – and now supports image stabilization, flash and HDR. For all other users there are several new filters that can be applied to photos – Vivid, Dramatic and Silvertone. Each filter can use further enhancements to increase or decrease its warmth.

Built-in level for overhead photography

One of the less obvious but relatively useful features in iOS 11 is the built-in level. It isn’t enabled by default, but once it is turned on in settings a set of crosshairs will appear that you can align to make sure your phone is entirely level when you’re taking photos from overhead.

New formats with better compression

Another change that may go undetected at first is the fact that iOS 11 has switched the formats of its photos and videos to HEIF and HEVC respectively. Both these formats will allow for the same high quality of photos and videos, but their compression rates are far better and could reduce file sizes by up to 50% in some cases. It is worth noting that HEIF and HEVC are widely supported, and you should have no problem using the new format on editors on Mac or iMovie for PC alternatives.

There are a number of other changes involving photos and videos in iOS 11 as well, such as the inclusion of a QR code scanner, redesigned People section in the photo app, dedicated Camera settings, and a few more. On top of that iOS 11 includes numerous changes in other areas as well. The items listed above cover the most important changes in terms of their impact on how users capture, handle and store photos and videos going forward.