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How to Share a Photo or Video From Your Smartphone

Not only is it simple, but you can bypass social media apps


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The only thing better than capturing precious memories on your smartphone is sharing them with those who matter.

The latest crop of smart handsets, including Apple’s new iPhone 15 and Google’s Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro, are equipped with professional-grade wide-angle, telephoto and portrait cameras. The phones let you remove the blur from grainy photos, focus solely on subjects, fuzz out uninteresting backgrounds and even apply special effects.

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The Pixel 8s use artificial intelligence to swap out faces that are less than perfect in a group shot with similar ones in your photo series. Another feature lets you resize and reposition photo subjects without altering the rest of the photo. Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra lets you zoom in superclose for razor-sharp images.

Most recent model phones let you create iconic black and white images from photos you’ve already shot.

So kiss goodbye to reasons for a bad photo. Now you have every reason to show off your skills.

Sharing photos, videos on iPhone

You can share images on an iPhone directly from the Photos app or include a photo or video in an existing text or email conversation. 

1. Go to the Photos app. The default Library view organizes images with the newest at the end. You can select For You memories and featured photos that your iPhone chooses, Albums divided into various sections or Search to find something by keyword. In the Library view, to find photos or videos from a given time, tap Days, Months or Years, then tap the horizontal ellipsis ⋯ within a circle icon at the top right to share all of them — or tap individual images to remove a check already bestowed.

2. To share a single photo or video, tap one of the image thumbnails, then tap the Share icon, a square with an arrow pointing up. Select how you plan to share it, including via Mail, iPhone’s default email app; Messages text; Facebook Messenger; or AirDrop to wirelessly send it nearby to another iPhone user. To share multiple photos, tap the thumbnail images you wish to share.

3. If you don’t see the desired app listed, scroll to the right to see more options. Still not there? Tap More at the end and select the app.

4. If you selected Mail or Messages, the app will open with your photo and video attached. Type a message to accompany your image and tap Send.

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Note: You may be asked what size photo to send because bigger files take up more data or you may get notified if your video file is too large. 

To add photos or videos to a conversation in progress:

1. In Messages, tap the plus sign + to the left of the chat window and select Photos. The same steps apply to apps like WhatsApp. Facebook Messenger may show a small photo or photo frame to attach an image.

2. In Mail, type out a message, such as “Check out this pic from the party!” and press and hold inside the message window. Tap Insert Photo or Video. If you don’t see that option, tap the little greater than sign > to the right in the bubble that pops up to find the phrase. The less than sign < in the gray area above the keyboard will reveal a photo icon in the second from the left spot.

3. Select what you want to share as you would in the Photos app, X out of Photos in the upper right of that section and continue with your text message or email.

Sharing photos, videos on Android phones

Whether your Android is a Google Pixel, Motorola Moto, Samsung or other smartphone, the process of sharing a photo, video or multiple images is similar to an iPhone. You can go through your main photos app or email, text message or social media direct message.

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1. Open your preferred photo gallery, such as Google Photos or Samsung Gallery on Samsung devices.

2. You’ll see thumbnails of your photos and videos organized with labels such as Albums, Library, Search and Stories. The choices will vary based on your phone and photo app.

3. Tap a photo or video clip you want to share and tap the Android version of the Share icon, which looks like two angled lines coming from a small circle at the left that connect to two other small circles at the right. It’s usually near the bottom of the screen.

4. Select the app you want to share the photo or video to from the list presented. If you don’t see the app you want, select More or the horizontal ellipsis ⋯ .

5. Once you select an app, such as Gmail or Facebook Messenger, start typing the recipient’s name to send the image.

6. To share more than one photo or video, press and hold on each thumbnail until a check mark appears for each image in the corner. Tap Share, choose which app you want to use and add the recipient’s name. In Google Photos, you can also create a link to images and paste it into email, a text or social media direct message such as Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.

Alternatively, you can grab photos or videos to share while you’re in a conversation.

1. When chatting with someone in an app, look for the + sign or photo icon, depending on the app you’re in. Choose Gallery or Photos and select the image you want to send. In Gmail or another email application, it may be a paperclip. Return to the app you were in. In Samsung Gallery, you can tap the less than sign < in the top left corner. The app will notify you if the file is too large.

2. Finish your message and tap Send.

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