You can send a photo or video by email, by picture message to another cellphone, or to a Web page—all right from the iPhone.
That’s useful when you’re out shopping and want to seek your spouse’s opinion on something you’re about to buy. It’s handy when you want to remember the parking-garage section where you parked (“4 South”). It’s great when you want to give your buddies a glimpse of whatever hell or heaven you’re experiencing at the moment.
Start in the Photos app. Tap your way to the photo or video you want to send. Once it’s on the screen before you, tap the button. Now you have a bunch of options:
- Email Photo (Email Video). The iPhone automatically compresses, rotates, and attaches the photo or video clip to a new outgoing message. All you have to do is address it and hit Send.
At that point, you’re asked how much you want the photo scaled down from its original size. Tap Small, Medium, Large, or Actual Size, using the megabyte indicator as a guide.
Note: This size choice doesn’t appear when you’re emailing low-resolution images, like a screenshot (an image you captured from the iPhone’s own screen). The iPhone figures it’s not big enough to cause anyone any trouble.
Why is this necessary? Because many email systems won’t accept attachments larger than 5 megabytes; even four “actual size” photos taken with the iPhone 4 would be too big to send by email. The iPhone used to scale your photos down automatically, without offering any control over how much; be grateful that iOS 4 lets you choose. The Size button you tap controls how big the photo will be on the receiving end—and how long the message will take to send.
In general, when you send Small, the photo will arrive in the recipient’s message window about the size of a brownie. A Medium image will fill the email window. Large will fill your recipient’s computer screen. And Actual Size is intended for making printouts. It sends the full, multimegabyte originals (2048 x 1536 on the iPhone 3GS; 2592 x 1936 on the iPhone 4).
- MMS. You can also send a photo or video as a picture or video message. It winds up on the screen of the other guy’s cellphone. (The geek name for this feature is MMS, for multimedia messaging service.)
That’s a delicious feature, almost handier than sending a photo by email. After all, your friends and relatives don’t sit in front of their computers all day and all night (unless they’re serious geeks).
Tap MMS and then specify the phone number of the recipient (or choose someone from your Contacts list), type a little note, tap Send, and off it goes.
Tip: Free photo-sharing sites like Flickr and Snapfish let you upload photos from your phone, too. For example, Flickr gives you a private email address for this purpose (visit www.flickr.com/account/uploadbyemail to find out what it is). The big ones, including Flickr, also offer special iPhone apps (from the App Store) that make uploading easier.Keep in mind that this system isn’t as good as syncing your camera shots back to your Mac or PC, because emailed photos get scaled down to a very low resolution compared with the originals..
- MobileMe. If you’re paying $100 a year for one of Apple’s MobileMe accounts, then a special treat awaits you: You can send photos from your iPhone directly to your online Web photo gallery, where they appear instantly, to the delight of your fans.
There’s some setup required. Once that’s all set up, though, you can tap the Send to MobileMe button that appears when you tap the button.
You’re offered the chance to type in a name and a description for your picture. If you scroll up, you’ll find that the keyboard has been hiding a list of your the MobileMe Web galleries. Tap the album name you want.
When you tap Publish, the iPhone flings the photo on the screen straight up on that Web album, for all to enjoy. When the uploading is complete, the iPhone offers you buttons that let you take a look at the published items online—or send an email link to them to your adoring fans.
Tip: You can also post photos and videos to other people’s MobileMe galleries, if they’ve turned on the option that permits such craziness. The process is different, however: You’re supposed to email your photos and videos to the Web gallery’s private address. Your buddies will have to supply that info.
Learn more about this topic from iPhone: The Missing Manual, 4th Edition.
The new iPhone 4 and iPhone 4.0 software have arrived, and New York Times tech columnist David Pogue is on top of it with a thoroughly updated edition of iPhone: The Missing Manual. Each custom-designed page helps you use your iPhone for everything from web browsing to watching videos. The iPhone is packed with possibilities, and with this handy book, you can explore them all.