New in iOS 14: How to show thumbnails of photos and videos with actual aspect ratios in Photos on iOS


Whenever you browse the grid of photos and videos in the Photos app, whether you’re in the Photos, Albums, or Search tab, all of your media appears in tiny square thumbnails. But such a presentation is not always convenient.

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What is it for?

The fact is that the image can have a different aspect ratio: 4: 3 or 16: 9, the video can be slow-motion or normal, the photo is portrait or panoramic. But the Photos app makes no distinction between the two when it comes to displaying shots in a grid of three or five elements wide. Thus, each image and clip is squeezed into symmetrical thumbnail previews with a 1: 1 aspect ratio in typical Apple style. Even media files that you crop in a 10: 8, 7: 5, 5: 3, 3: 2, or custom aspect ratio will appear 1: 1 in the preview.

The problem with the grid of squares is that you can’t immediately tell if a photo or video is in portrait or landscape orientation, or what aspect ratio they have. Therefore, if you are looking for a particular image or clip, shot vertically with an aspect ratio of 16: 9 or horizontally at 4: 3, then you will not see it right away. But in iOS 14, Apple changed its approach.

In the Photos app in iOS 14 (a detailed overview of new features), you can sort and filter media content and even add captions to it. But when it comes to viewing it in a grid view, we still see the same squares in the default view. But now you can change this view and see the elements with the original aspect ratio and orientation.

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How to switch Photo to original aspect ratio

Whenever you’re viewing a three or five-element grid in Photos, click the ellipsis (•••) icon in the upper-right corner, then from the menu that appears, chooseAspect ratio grid“.

How to switch Photo to original aspect ratio

All photos and videos in the grid will be displayed in the correct aspect ratio, and not just in squares, and the correct orientation will also be taken into account. This allows you to quickly find portrait or landscape shots, images and videos taken in widescreen mode, as well as media with standard aspect ratio or custom cropping.

How to switch Photo to original aspect ratio

White space will separate photos and videos in light mode, and black space will fill the void in dark mode. Thus, the overall picture will not look as correct and symmetrical as the square grid, but you will still be able to see the entire contents of your media.

Changing the look of the grid doesn’t affect the entire Photos app — it only saves your selections for the tab you’re on. Therefore, if you switched to the “Aspect ratio grid“In the” Photos “tab, you will still see a square grid on the” Albums “and” Search “tabs, unless you also changed the grid display format there. But if you change the view in a specific album or folder, you will see the changes in all other albums and collections in that tab.

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Return to the square grid

As soon as you change the appearance of the grid, it will immediately take the required form. Therefore, every time you return to Photos and view a grid three or five elements wide, you will see the original images and videos in the correct aspect ratio and orientation.

To return to the symmetrical square view, tap the ellipsis (•••) icon in the upper right corner, then select “Square grid»In the action menu.

How to switch Photo to original aspect ratio

Again, changing the grid view only applies to the tab you are currently on, so if you changed it for Photos, and in Albums and Search you also want to return to squares, then there too you will need to configure this parameter.

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