How to Properly send photos through email in iOS 7

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A good part of our lives online these days is about sharing highlights of our lives online. Photo sharing and emailing is no exception. iOS 7 provides a few techniques with several options for sharing images.

Some info about the iPhone Camera

Image Dimensions – The dimensions of the images created by iPhone’s sensor are measured in pixels. On iPhone 4s, 5, 5c and 5s, the maximum image size is 3264 pixels wide × 2448 pixels high, or a 4:3 aspect ratio. When multiplying these dimensions together, you end up with an image containing 7,990,272 pixels – close enough to the camera’s touted 8-megapixels.

In case you’re wondering, the front-facing FaceTime camera is rated at 1.2 megapixels (1280 x 960 pixels).

Given that the iSight camera’s “3264 x 2448 pixels” measurement represents the maximum image dimensions you get with your iPhone, this size is officially referred to as the image’s Actual Size when the time comes to consider image resolution and how to properly configure the photo for emailing.

As with any typical image editing software on personal computers – such as iPhoto on the Mac – images can be resized within iOS software, including the Mail app, in order to address particular requirements relating to proper image sharing. For example, when emailing photos or when posting images to a web-based photo album for casual viewing, sending the full-size version of an image can be problematic. Besides, for viewing images online or embedded in emails, there are no advantages to sending them at maximum resolution. The only exception is when submitting images for printing. Relative to photo printers, computer displays are low-resolution devices.

For typical browsers and email clients opened on laptops or desktop displays, an image should ideally be anywhere from 600 to 1000 pixels on its longest side. This will allow it to fit comfortably on-screen – in a browser window or email message – without the viewer having to scroll around to see the image in its entirety.

Image File Size – The higher an image’s pixel count, the more data there is, the larger the file size becomes. iPhone images are saved at the sensor’s maximum resolution, by pixel dimensions. All image files are compressed and saved as JPEG (.JPG) files by iPhone’s software. The compression and file size can vary according to how much detail is present in the image, but these 8-megapixel images can take up anywhere from about 1.5 MB to 4 MB of storage space. If mailing in Actual Size, there may be technical issues attaching these large images, especially if you attempt to attach multiple images.

Additionally, mail service providers often impose restrictions on file attachment sizes.

When using the stock iOS apps, you can email images on your iOS device in two ways:

  • From the Photos app while viewing your images
  • From the Mail app while composing a message
  • Emailing a Single Image from the Photos App

    As you view your images individually while in the Photos app, you can email the currently viewed image by tapping on the sharing icon found on the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. This icon generally has a similar appearance in most apps – a box with an arrow exiting from the top.

    How to Properly send photos through email in iOS 7

    How to Properly send photos through email in iOS 7

    You will be presented with a panel full of sharing options. By tapping the Mail icon, you open a new Mail message with the image already pre-attached. All you need to do is address the message and include a Subject as well as the text message, if needed.

    How to Properly send photos through email in iOS 7

    How to Properly send photos through email in iOS 7

    When ready, tap Send. If you are sending an image that was captured with your device, you will be shown a list of image dimensions to choose from. This is where you decide what’s appropriate to set your image to prior to sending.

    For reference, the 8-Megapixel cameras on our iPhones (4s and later) produce the following image dimensions:

  • Actual Size: 3264 x 2448 pixels
  • Large: 1632 x 1224 pixels
  • Medium: 640 x 480 pixels
  • Small: 320 x 240 pixels
  • When emailing photos, while I occasionally select the Small size, I almost always use Medium, never larger.

    For web-based photo viewing services, like, I like to keep the absolute maximum image dimensions to 1000 pixels on the longest side. So, if posting directly to Flickr from my iPhone via the Mail app, I will select the Medium as well, as it’s closest to my 1000 pixel target.


    These are all settings that work best for me. For your purposes, feel free to use these as starting guidelines for your own image workflows.

    Emailing Multiple Images from the Photos App

    As you are perusing your images in the Photos app, you can select a set of multiple images to attach to an email message. Here’s how:

    When looking through all your thumbnails in your Camera Roll, Photo Stream, or Albums, simply tap on the Select button on the top menu bar. You can then select the photos to email by tapping on the desired ones. You will see a blue badge with a checkmark appear on the selected images.

    How to Properly send photos through email in iOS 7

    How to Properly send photos through email in iOS 7

    When finished selecting images, tap on the Sharing icon.

    Finally, on the next screen, select the Mail icon. Once again, a new Message is created for you with your selected images attached. Complete your email, and tap Send.

    As before, make your image size selection if and when prompted. This will be applied to each image in the email… then off it goes.

    Attaching Images From Within the Mail App

    If you decide that, while composing a text-only email message, you wish to attach one or more photos, you can do so easily. Simply tap anywhere within the message body to bring up a black pop-up selection bar.

    How to Properly send photos through email in iOS 7

    How to Properly send photos through email in iOS 7

    If you’re on an iPhone, tap on the right-facing arrow in the bar, indicating the presence of additional options. Then tap on Insert Photo or Video. You are then momentarily taken to the Photos app so that you can make your selection. Once you make your selection, your new image is added to the email message.

    Repeat the process if you need to include additional images.

    Once again, when actually getting around to sending the email, you may be asked to select the image size. The size you select will be applied to all the attached images if they are larger than the selected dimensions. The file sizes shown in parentheses reflect the total file size for the email, including the attached images.

    Third-party photo editing apps will often feature their own internal mechanisms for sharing photos through various services, so be sure to look for those.