During the holiday season, we take a lot of photos and share them with our friends and family. The Photo Stream in iCloud allows you take a photo on one device and have it automatically appear on all your other devices. And, sharing Photo Streams is easy. Just choose which of your photos you want to share and who you want to share them with.
How It Works
- When you take a photo on your iPhone or iPad, the original is stored in the Camera Roll. Once you close the Camera app, the photo is copied to your Photo Stream, which can be found in your Photos app. The original photo will remain in your Camera Roll until you delete it yourself.
- The Photo Stream then copies the photo to iCloud and then down onto all devices that are connected to that iCloud account. If you delete a photo from the Photo Stream, it will be deleted from all devices that are connected to your Photo Stream.
- If you have the current version of iPhoto in your Mac, you can enable Photo Stream and allow Photo Stream to automatically import the photo into your Library. You can also allow Photo Stream to automatically upload any photos you have imported into your Library from other sources, like a Digital Camera. To turn these features on and off, go to the iPhoto menu and click on Preferences. In the pop-up, click on the Photo Stream tab, and check what you want and uncheck what you don’t want. This is also where you can turn on the Shared Photo Stream feature that allows other people to see your streams.
- Each mobile device can hold up to 1,000 photos. When you get to 1,001 then the first photo drops out of the Photo Stream and will be deleted from all devices.
- Your iCloud account only holds the last 30 days of photo history so if you connect a new device to your iCloud account, you will only get the last 30 days of photos downloaded into Photo Stream, NOT all 1,000 that you have on the other devices.
- Photos will not be copied into Photo Stream if your mobile device has less than 20% battery life.
- Photos are copied into Photo Stream when you are connected to WiFi, not when you are connected to your cellular plan (3G/4G connection). If you have taken photos when you are on not on WiFi, they will be copied to Photo Stream next time you are on a WiFi network.
- Photos that already exist in your Camera Roll are NOT copied into Photo Stream when you first turn it on. They are only copied at the time you take the photo or the next time you are connected to WiFi.
Sharing Photo Streams
A Shared Photo Stream is a convenient way to share photos with other Apple device users and anyone on the internet. People subscribed to your Shared Photo Stream can even leave comments and “Like” individual photos.
On an iPhone or iPad:
- To create a Shared Photo Stream on a mobile device, just click the Plus sign (+) in the top left corner of the Photo Stream screen. Type in the Apple ID/Email for the people you want to share with, name the Photo Stream and then choose if you want it to be a Public Website or not.
- Once they have accepted your invitation, the Shared Photo Stream will simply appear in their Photos app on the Photo Stream tab.
- Once created, you can tap on the blue circle with the arrow, next to the Shared Photo Stream, to share with more people or to “Share (a) Link” to the public website.
On a Mac in iPhoto:
- The Shared Photo Stream can be found in iPhoto under the Photo Stream view.
- To create a Shared Photo Stream in iPhoto, select the photos you want to share and then click the “Share” button and select Photo Stream. On the pop-up you can choose an existing Photo Stream or click the “New Photo Stream” button. Type in the Apple ID/Email for the people you want to share with, name the Photo Stream and then choose if you want it to be a Public Website or not.
- Once it is created, you can select it, then click the Info button to share with more people or to “Visit (the) Website”, or copy and paste the website address into an email to invite non-Apple users to see it on the internet.
- You can also use the “Add To” button, to put more photos into an existing Shared Photo Stream.
More Good Info
An Apple Support Knowledge Base Article that defines Photo Stream limits.
Highlights of the Article
- Photos uploaded to Photo Stream are not counted against your iCloud Storage.
- A Shared Photo Stream can hold up to 1,000 photos.
- A Photo Stream owner can have up to 100 Shared Photo Streams.
- Any one photo can have up to 200 comments.
So as you can see, Photo Stream is more than just a simple “I took it on my camera, so it must be on my computer, too” feature. Just remember that the pictures stream over WiFi, all devices hold 1000 shots, and iCloud itself stores just the last 30 days’ pictures. But the new addition of Shared Streams means that your pictures will just show up automatically on Grandma’s computer, and nothing could be easier than that!