In iOS 11 and earlier, importing photos from a camera to your iPad photo library has always been a bit clunky. You plug the SD card in using the Lightning SD card reader, or the hook the camera up to the USB adapter, and then the Photos import takes over your entire screen.
Also, all the images that you import got dumped right into the main photo library, leaving you to manually select them later if you want to add them to albums. In iOS 12, though, this has all been improved. Let’s take a look:
Photo imports can now happen in Slide Over and Split View, so you can let the import continue while you do something else. This alone is a killer feature, which I had just assumed would be in iOS 11 too (I haven’t imported photos for a very long time). But there’s a lot more.
First, any previously-imported images are detected, and set aside. This prevents the importing of duplicates. And when you’re selecting photos to import, a “counter” appears under the title on the screen tallying the total size of the selected images, in Megabytes.
Before you hit import, you can select an album into which the photos will be saved, or create a new album right from the import page. This may also have been the case in previous versions, but I no longer have an iOS 11 iPad to test it on. Please let me know on Twitter if this is the case.
Full-screen previews in iOS Photos import
Another fantastic addition is that you can now pinch on any of the import thumbnails to preview them full-screen, and swipe between them. This lets you easily make a selection of your best shots before even importing them. To help this triage, there’s a check box on each image, so you can select them as you swipe.
Then, when you’re actually importing, there’s a new progress indicator, in the form of a circle, which shows you how much time is left, or at least how much of the total job is left to import.
All in all, these are very solid improvements for folks using a camera with their iPad.