Q: I just upgraded to iOS 5 and am loving the Photo Stream capability, with one exception: I can’t figure out how to batch delete photos from the Camera Roll (whether it be on the iPhone itself or in iPhoto) after choosing the ones I like in iPhoto. I enjoy taking as many pictures as possible and then weeding out the ones I don’t like later. Will I be forced to either individually delete every photo or will I have to carry around everything I ever shoot?
A: iOS 5 does not provide any option for automatically removing photos from the Camera Roll after they’ve been uploaded to the PHoto Stream, so you’re basically left the clean these up on your own. You can batch delete photos in the iOS Camera Roll by tapping on the top-right button when in thumbnail view. You can then select multiple photos by tapping on them—a checkbox appears beside selected thumbnails and a button bar appears at the bottom of the photo view with options to Share, Copy, Add to an album or Delete the selected photos.
Unfortunately, there is no “Select All” feature—you’ll still have to tap each of the photos individually, but at least this a bit faster than deleting each of them one at a time from the photo view screen. Using the other options you can share photos by e-mail or iMessage, print photos, copy multiple photos to the clipboard or add them to a new or existing on-device photo album. Note that you can only share or copy a maximum of five photos at a time—these options will disappear when you select a sixth photo and return if you de-select it.
You can also remove photos from your device via a photo management app on your computer. THe Image Capture utility that comes with OS X provides the ability to select and delete photos directly on the iPhone or any other USB connected camera. This can be a much faster way to bulk delete a large quantity of photos from your camera roll.