Exif information attached to photographs taken with the iPhone contains useful details if only it could be accessed. iOS does not have an exif viewer, but here are 6 apps to use instead.
What is exif information? It is a comprehensive description of the conditions under which a photograph was taken. For example, the name of the device, the focal length of the lens and the aperture, whether the flash was used, the location at which it was taken, the ISO film speed rating, the date and time it was taken and more. This information is hidden within the photo file.
All cameras record at least some exif information these days and the iPhone stores a lot. It can be useful to know what camera settings were used, especially if you use manual settings when taking photos or if you have an iPhone and a digital camera and want to know which was used to take a photo. Exif information is both interesting to browse and also useful for anyone that wants to improve their photography.
Attributes like the photo location are very useful and you could group photos according to where they were taken or use the location when searching for photos. The downside of this that in this sharing world where everything ends up online, including our photos, people could extract the exif information and see the places you visit and when.
If you shared a photo taken at home, your home address would be included in the photo, invisible, but readable with the right software. For this reason, you might want to remove some or all the exif information from a photo before sharing it online.
The utilities here enable you to view the exif data in photos on the iPhone and some enable the data to be edited. You can clear unwanted exif information, such as the location, and add other information, like a copyright notice for example.
All these apps are in the App Store on the iPhone. Just search for the names to find them.
Price: Free | By: Zininworks Inc. | Size: 12 MB | iOS: 12.0 or later
Metapho is a free app for viewing the meta information stored in photos on the iPhone, but requires payment (US $3.99 / UK £3.99) to either strip metadata from photos or to edit the information stored in them.
The app shows all your photos and lets you browse the thumbnails. Tapping a photo thumbnail shows the most important exif information in an easy-to-read format, such as the ISO, aperture, shutter speed and so on.
The location the photo was taken is shown on a map. There is also a See All link which shows all the exix info in a raw state and it can be copied to the clipboard and then pasted elsewhere.
This is a simple exif viewer and is OK if your needs are fairly basic, but you need to pay to unlock the editor and there are cheaper alternatives.
Exif Viewer Lite by Fluntro
Price: Free | By: Fluntro | Size: 56 MB | iOS: 9.0 or later
If you are looking for a comprehensive exif viewer and editor that is packed with great features, check this one out. There is a free Lite version that has a few limitations, such as only allowing you to view and edit the most recent 50 photos, but it can be unlocked quite cheaply and the full app costs US $2.99 / UK $2.99.
There are several different views and List View shows large photo thumbnails with basic exif information overlaid on the bottom half of the image. Swipe over an image and a card is displayed showing slightly more exif information. Still only the basics, but sufficient for most purposes.
Tap a photo and the full exif information is displayed. It is comprehensive and presented in an easy-to-read format. A toolbar at the bottom of the screen enables you to delete the photo, remove the location, remove all exif information, or edit it.
A great feature of the app is that you can either overwrite the original photo with the exif edited or stripped version, or a copy of the edited photo can be saved to an Exif Edited photo album. It is always a good idea to keep original photos and this is perfect, You know which photos have been modified for sharing and still have the originals if needed.
In addition to List View, there is a thumbnails view and a map view. It is useful viewing all photos taken at a particular location for example.
If you edit photos soon after taking them, Exif Viewer Lite is OK, but if you want to be able to edit exif data on all your photos, the paid app is required. Free or paid, this app is recommended.
Price: Free | By: New Marketing Lab Inc. | Size: 33 MB | iOS: 10.3 or later
Exif Metadata is a free app that is supported by ads, but if they irritate you, a small payment will remove them (US $2.99 / UK £2.99). The app shows thumbnails of the photos on the iPhone and tapping one opens the Photo Details screen.
A larger image fills the top half of the screen and some very brief metadata is displayed below – just the basic camera settings. Below that is a map with the location of the photo. It looks good and the information is easy to access.
Swipe up and there are buttons to edit or remove the location. This is followed by the full exif information, which contains everything you are likely to need. Right down at the bottom are five buttons and you can edit the exif information, remove it, remove all metadata, copy it all to the clipboard so it can be pasted elsewhere, and Share Image. This last button offers options to share the image with or without metadata.
Exif Metadata works well enough, but it overwrites the original image if you change the exif information and it would be more useful if it saved a copy elsewhere. The ads are annoying in the free app, so you’ll want to pay.
The Photo Investigator
Price: Free | By: Daniel Anderson | Size: 16 MB | iOS: 9.1 or later
The Photo Investigator is a free ad-supported app, but the ads can be removed for a fairly cheap in-app purchase (US $2.99 / UK £2.99). Unlike some apps, the free version of The Photo Investigator can be used only to view exif information and the paid app is needed to actually edit the metadata.
Thumbnails of the photos on the iPhone can be browsed in the usual way, but the app overlays each image with a small Earth globe icon in the corner for any that have location information. A glance at your photos therefore instantly tells you which have and which don’t have location.
Select a photo thumbnail and a larger version is displayed. In the lower half of the screen is a tabbed area that is used to show basic file information, location on a map, the time it was taken, camera settings and caption. A large Metadata button at the bottom of the screen enables the exif information to be displayed in full (edited or removed if you pay).
The free app is OK if you only want to view exif information and the paid upgrade to allow editing is cheap.
Mexif – Image Metadata Viewer
Price: Free | By: Kok Chung Law | Size: 9 MB | iOS: 11.0 or later
Mexif is another free app, but this one really is free and there are no in-app purchases and no adverts. However, the app is just an exif viewer and it does not have any editing capabilities. It cannot strip out location information before you share a photo for example.
The app is very simple and has few features, but what little it does, it does very well. Some of the others can be annoying with their ads, icons and buttons, but this has none and is refreshingly simple.
It shows thumbnails of the photos on the iPhone and tapping one opens a larger thumbnail with all the exif metadata listed below. Right down at the bottom of the list is the location information with a map and address. Swiping left and right moves to the next or previous photo. The only button in the app is to show the raw exif data in the format it is stored.
If you just want to view exif information in photos, this is a useful app.
Price: Free | By: Kais Karim | Size: 2 MB | iOS: 8.0 or later
Exif Studio is another super simple no-frills app for viewing exif information stored in iPhone photographs. It is free, with no in-app purchases and no adverts. Just a useful app. It only shows exif information in photos and it does not allow it to be edited.
Thumbnails of photos on the iPhone can be browsed in the usual way and selecting one opens it for viewing. A thumbnail is displayed at the top of the screen and below are all the details like the camera settings, date, aperture, ISO and so on. Everything you need to know is there. Down at the bottom is the location information and a map with a pin shows where it was taken.
There are no options to strip location information or change any other details, but there is a Share Data link at the top. The usual iPhone sharing options are available and selecting Notes for example, creates a new note with a photo thumbnail and all the exif information. That could be useful.
If you just want to view exif information and save it, and you like dark themes on your iPhone, this app is good.
The best exif viewer and editor
If you just want to browse the exif information hidden in photos and see the camera settings that were used to capture it, then Exif Studio and Mexif are excellent. Your choice boils down to which interface you prefer.
If you want to strip out location information and be able to edit the other metadata stored with photos, Exif Viewer by Fluntro is a great app. The Lite version is free and the full ad-free app with all the features is the price of a coffee. It is recommended.