In previous iOS versions, marking a photo as hidden simply removed it from the main camera photos and put it into separate storage available in the album list. But prying eyes can click on it to reveal them.
Meanwhile, an entire ecosystem of third-party “Secret Folder” apps has emerged to address this shortcoming, allowing secure photos to be protected via Face ID or Touch ID. Competing manufacturers such as Samsung offer the Secret Folders app as a built-in app designed specifically to meet this need.
Lock hidden photos
With iOS 16, you will no longer need a separate app. The Photos app itself automatically locks hidden and recently deleted albums. By default, these albums require Face ID, Touch ID, or your iPhone passcode to gain access.
This feature was not announced as part of the main WWDC keynote. Highlighted is the shared iCloud Photo Library added for the family. Starting with iOS 16, users will be able to create a family gallery with up to five other people to automatically share photos with each other.
The camera app even lets you send photos directly to a shared photo volume (toggle UI will let you disable the feature for each photo when taking individual snapshots).
iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 are scheduled to release public betas in July, and developer preview betas are currently available. iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS Ventura, and watchOS 9 will all be publicly released this fall.