How to Use iPhone Slideshows

iphone slideshows
Using iPhone Slideshows. image credit: Thomas Barwick/Taxi/Getty Images

Photo slideshows used to involve clunky carousels of slides and a projector (and, often, sitting through long, boring recitations of someone else's vacation). Not anymore—at least not if you've got an iPhone or iPod touch.

The Photos app built into the iOS has a feature that allows you to quickly turn images from your photo library into a slideshow. You can even display your photos on an HDTV. Here's how.

NOTE: This article was written using the iOS 10 version of the Photos app, but the basic principles—if not the exact steps—apply to earlier versions, as well.

How to Create an iPhone Slideshow

Follow these steps to create a slideshow on your iPhone:

  1. First, make sure you have some pictures in the built-in Photos app
  2. Next, Launch Photos
  3. Tap Select in the top right corner
  4. Tap each photo you want to include in your slideshow. Use as many or as few as you like
  5. When you've selected all the photos you want, tap the action button (the box with arrow coming out of it at the bottom of the screen)
  6. On the action screen, tap Slideshow at the bottom
  7. Your slideshow begins playing
  8. When you're done with the slideshow, tap the screen and then tap Done.

iPhone Slideshow Settings

Once your slideshow starts playing, you can control a number of its settings by doing the following:

  1. Tap the screen. A number of buttons will appear
  1. To pause the slideshow, tap the pause button (the two parallel lines) at the bottom center of the screen. Restart the slideshow by tapping it again 
  2. Tap Options to control:
  • Theme—The slideshow feature comes with a number of built in transition styles. Tap this to choose one. It's applied immediately and begins playing the slideshow using it.
  • Music—Choose music to accompany your images, either built into Photos or from your music library stored or your iPhone.
  • Repeat—This slider controls whether the images in your slideshow will repeat or not. Leave it off and the slideshow ends when all images have been shown. Move it to on/green and the slideshow continues on by repeating images.
  • Speed—Represented by tortoise and hare icons, this slider lets you control how quickly the slideshow moves from one image to the next.

Displaying Your Slideshow On an HDTV

Looking at photos on your phone is nice, but seeing them blown up to a couple feet wide is better, isn't it (especially if you're a good photographer)?

If your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network and there's an Apple TV on the same network, you can show your slideshow on the HDTV connected to the Apple TV. To do this:

  • Make sure you're connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the AirPlay device
  • Create your slideshow and start it playing
  • Tap the screen to reveal the icons
  • Tap the AirPlay icon—a rectangle with a triangle pushing into the bottom of it—in the top right corner
  • When the AirPlay options pop up, tap Apple TV
  • You may be prompted to enter an AirPlay passcode. If so, it will be displayed on your TV. Enter the passcode on your iPhone
  • The slideshow will begin to play on the TV.

Slideshow Apps for iPhone

Want to take your slideshows to the next level? Check out these apps:

  • Flipagram—Not only can you choose the photos you want in this app, you can also choose their order, and then add visual effects, slide transitions, and music. Of particular interest is that Flipagram comes with free popular music tracks by artists like Drake, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and others. Share slideshows within the app's social network and gain followers. Free, with in-app purchases Download at iTunes
  • SlideLab—Like Flipagram, you can control the order of your photos, add filters, transitions, music, and more. The app also helps you crop, flip, and rotate images, and then export the whole thing as a video to share on Instagram or other places. Free, with in-app purchases Download at iTunes
  • Slide.show make.r—This app offers similar features to Photos, but adds the ability to apply visual filters and add text to slideshows. You can also share your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Free, with in-app purchases Download at iTunes