How to Use iPhone Slideshows

Perfect for using AirPlay to mirror your vacation pics on an HDTV

Couple looking at photos on an iPhone

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 includes a feature that turns images from your photo library into a slideshow. You can even display your photos on an HDTV.

This article was written using the iOS 12 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. Launch Photos then choose an Album to work with.

  2. Tap Select in the top right corner.

  3. Tap each photo you want to include in your slideshow. Use as many or as few as you like.

  4. When you've selected all the photos you want, tap the action button (the box with an arrow coming out of it at the bottom of the screen)

    Three iOS screens showing a photo album, Select button, then Share button in Photos app
  5. On the action screen, tap Slideshow at the bottom.

  6. Your slideshow begins playing. Click Done when you're finished watching it.

    Three iOS screens showing Slideshow share button, slideshow playing, then Done button

Tweaking iPhone Slideshow Settings

After your slideshow starts playing, you can control several of its settings by:

  1. Tap the screen to reveal additional buttons.

  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.
  3. 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.

    Three iOS screens showing Options, Done, and Pause buttons in Slideshow interface for Photos app

Displaying Your Slideshow on an HDTV

Looking at photos on your phone is nice, but seeing them blown up to a couple of 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, show your slideshow on the HDTV connected to the Apple TV:

  1. Make sure you're connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the AirPlay device.

  2. Create your slideshow and start it playing.

  3. Tap the screen to reveal the icons.

  4. Tap the AirPlay icon — a rectangle with a triangle pushing into the bottom of it — in the top right corner.

  5. When the AirPlay options pop up, tap Apple TV.

  6. You may be prompted to enter an AirPlay passcode. If so, it will be displayed on your TV. Enter the passcode on your iPhone.

  7. The slideshow will begin to play on the TV.

    Three iOS screens showing AirPlay, Apple TV Living Room, and

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, but 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.