Unless I’m missing something Apple has removed the ability to easily delete photos (and videos) in IOS 8, and particularly to delete all photos at once. This is kind of frustrating if you’ve just imported all your photos to iPhoto, and failed to choose the option to ‘delete photos’, and then decide you actually need to do so. It’s also annoying if you need to free up space on your phone or tablet quickly.
The solution I’ve found is to use a program called Image Capture which is pre-installed on all Mac computers by Apple (search for it in your computer’s search box) and from there you can select photos from your phone (or tablet) to delete them instantly. Image Capture is also great if you need to transfer individual or groups of photos and videos to your computer, without importing to iPhoto.
To use Image Capture simply connect your phone or tablet to your computer using a cable and the pictures will show up quickly in a list within Image Capture. You can Select All photos, or individual photos, and use the red ‘stopsign’ at the bottom of the application to delete them. Deleting photos this way has the neat effect of sidestepping the issue where IOS 8 actually puts deleted photos in a ‘Recently Deleted’ Folder, but doesn’t actually delete them for 30 days. Using Image Capture gets rid of them instantly.
One minor caveat is that Image Capture can’t ‘see’ photos that are already in your phone’s Recently Deleted folder. Hence you can’t select them in Image Capture to delete them. To delete these ones go into the Recently Deleted folder on your device, and delete them manually there. Another option is to use the new ‘recover’ feature on the device, to put them back in your main album, and then use Image Capture to delete them.
Apple really needs to restore its old Camera Roll feature or something similar. It shouldn’t be this difficult to delete photos you no longer want to keep.