Help! Sorting order incorrect from iPhone to iPad only for some photos

GTang 10 years ago updated 10 years ago 13
I am using version 3.4.1 on iOS 5.1.1 for iPad 3 and iPhone 4S.

The problem I have is when I transfer some photos/images (which themselves were previously transferred also from another device using the app) from the iPhone 4S to iPad 3, those photos/images ALWAYS appear BEFORE all of the photos/images natively taken and already stored on the iPad 3, as if those transferred photos/images were the first to be taken. This behavior is INCORRECT, as those photos/images should instead be listed AFTER (not BEFORE).

By comparison, the app behaves CORRECTLY if I use the app to transfer from iPad to iPhone or from iPhone to iPhone. So there is some peculiar behavior from iPhone to iPad. As well, the bug appears ONLY to photos/images which had been previously transferred to the iPhone using the same app (from either an iPad or iPhone). For photos/images taken natively by the iPhone (such as a screenshot), the sorting order after the transfer to the iPad is fine.

This is extremely irritating. I can't figure out why this is so. Can you please help?
Wow. Two days and no reply from the developer. :(

Thanks for contacting us. I'm sorry you are having problems with the app. First I would suggest to update our app to the latest version which we published just couple of days ago, the latest version is 4.0.

Regarding the issue of ordering on iPhone unfortunately we have little control as to how Apple orders the photos, basically when you take a new photo or when you take a new screenshot or when you save any photo via an app or email, etc, it will be placed as the last photo on the camera roll. We would like this to be different but unfortunately that's how Apple designed how the photos are saved on the iPhone's camera roll.

I hope this is somehow useful. Please let us know if you have any other question or comment.


Photo Transfer App
Hello, Enrique,

I understand that the expected behavior is that the saved photos from the transfer will be placed as the LAST photos on the camera roll, AFTER the photos already on the device. This is what I wanted as well. What I am reporting here (possibly a bug) is that if the transfer is done from an iPhone to an iPad, for photos that were previously transferred to the iPhone from another device, the photos sent to the iPad are placed BEFORE (not after) the photos already on the device. In this scenario, the transferred photos appeared in the camera roll as if they were the FIRST photos on the camera. This is not the expected behavior, thus I want to ask if this is a bug.
Updated. With 4.0, still the same.

Again, I want to emphasize that this behavior is only from iPhone to iPad (not iPhone to iPhone) and only with photos that had themselves been transferred previously using the app. Photos created natively with the device (iPhone) are transferred correctly to the iPad with the correct sort order. I wonder if those photos that are giving problems have somehow been corrupted by the app and messed up the date.

Here is more info, on iPad there are really 3 ways to see the photos. If you touch on the 'Photos' tab (on the top bar) then you see all the photos combined, in this case the photos should actually organized by chronological order (although I've seen that's not sometimes the case with some type of photos). Then, if you go to the 'Albums' tab and then go to the camera roll then the oder is set by when the photos were saved to the device, in that case the photos should appear in a similar fashion as on iPhone as described on my previous post. Finally, if you place the photos inside of an album they will be placed on the order you want, you can actually alter the order inside of the album by touching the 'Edit' button and then drag & dropping photos.

In general though our app just takes the photos transferred and we save them into the camera roll in the order transferred. We hope that soon Apple will allow developers to sort and 'insert' photos in a particular order or location.

I hope this makes more sense. Let me know if you have other questions.


Hi Enrique,

You made a very interesting observation. When I have the photos shown with the "default" setting (the "Photo" tab), the sorting order is incorrect as I have previously stated. However, if I relist the photos under the "Camera Roll" via the "Album" tab, the sorting order is now correct.

Can you explain why? This seems to be an important clue.

It seems that Apple decided to try to sort the photos on the 'Photos' tab in some sort of chronological order, it seems that it is trying to read the date of the photo (from the EXIF) data and organize the photos that way although after a few tests I have done it does seem to have trouble with some photos taken with different cameras so the order there is not always perfect chronologically from my experience. The best I can do is to create a new album, save the photos I want on that album and then I can manually sort them if necessary.

I hope this helps!

I see. Am I correct that this problem is NOT related specifically to iPhone to iPad transfer? I ask because the SAME photos when transferred from iPad to iPhone were sorted correctly on the iPhone. If this is related to the EXIF data, then how come the transfer is incorrectly sorted one way but correctly sorted another way. Which is the source and Which is the destination seems to be an issue in whether or not this bug occurs.
Correct, this does not have to do with the transfer, it has to do with the sort order of the photos on the iPad. The camera roll will always sort photos in the same order on iPhone and iPad, the difference is that the iPad has that extra general view 'Photos' which has the different sort order.
I understand. This makes sense. Do you know for a fact that the iPad "Photo" tab uses EXIF data on the "photo creation date" to do the sorting, whereas the "Camera Roll" tab uses perhaps the image filename to do the sorting? Is this documented somewhere on Apple's website?

BTW, the 4.0 update is great. I like the authentication, the new interface, and the animation of the thumbnails being transferred. The latter is particularly useful in keeping track of progress during a long transfer. Very pleased with this update.
Unfortunately I haven't found a specific link to documentation that states that they are order with the EXIF information but give our tests it seems that's the case. I'll keep digging about this for an official documentation and I'll post it here if I find it.

Thanks for the compliments on the new update. We are working hard to make it better!



Can you confirm that your app does not alter the quality and size of the photos during transfer? As a test, I checked the CRC of both the source and the transferred photo, and they differed. Do you know what of the photo is changed during the transfer (Is it just meta-data? If so, what?)?
Hi GTang,

Yes, our app transfer photos with the same quality and full details. The difference in the CRC may be related on how the photo is stored on the device and then read with our app. We are using the API's provided by Apple wich let us read the image from the photo database and not directly as a file, so we have to re-create the file which may be causing the difference but there is absolutely no loss on quality, size or metadata.


Photo Transfer App