Shedding Light on iCloud Photo Library

There’s been a lot of hype about the recent iOS 8.1 update allowing iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users to use Apple Pay.  Admittedly this new feature steals the show, but up until the recent update, we haven’t been able to store a significant amount of backup photos on the iCloud. That deserves some attention!

Apple took a huge step forward a few years back, pursuing photo management with My Photo Stream. It was a neat way to share photos, back-up photos, and view them on any Apple device. Completely free without compromising your iCloud storage.

The downside was your pictures would be limitedly stored on the iCloud and videos weren’t even an option. Only the last 30 days of photos or a 1,000 picture limit. Then every other picture stored would delete your eldest picture. Even though Photo Stream was used as another storage area on your device, you still couldn’t edit or organize your photos in any way. You could only delete unwanted pictures like those not-so-pretty selfies.

As a way to keep recent photos, this was distinctly designed to be the pipeline between your iOS devices and desktop computer. Leaving you with long term back up options like external hard drives and third-party options such as SnapSync and Dropbox. Which can be a bit of a risk having to spread around your personal photos so you can keep some valuable memories.

Then along came iOS 8.1, the next big step in photo management.

Introducing iCloud Photo Library beta, allowing you to store all your original iOS photos and videos in one library on the iCloud. Save tons of storage on your iPhone and iPad, without having to entrust so many other cloud storage services!

The Photo Stream will still upload your recent photos, synchronizing them with your other devices. However, now you can keep them in the iCloud Library. iCloud Library does use your iCloud storage. So if you use more than the automatic 5GB of free storage, you can upgrade to 20GB, 200GB, 500GB or 1TB for a monthly payment ranging from $1 to $20. Even more, if you go over your storage limit, your photos won’t automatically delete, you just won’t be able to upload new snapshots or video.

Now you’ll be able to make changes from any device and iCloud Photo Library with sync the edits to all your devices.

If you’ve ever played around with Photo Stream before, you would’ve noticed that any changes or edits made to a picture using the Photo App didn’t sync to Photo Stream. Now you’ll be able to make changes from any device and iCloud Photo Library with sync the edits to all your devices! You can also restore to the original photo after you made any mistaken edits.

The update saves device space.

Another cool option if you want to beef up your iPhone storage, just check the “Optimize iPhone Storage” option under Photos & Camera in the Settings. It will save device space – we’re talking almost 90% – by keeping all the full resolution, original photos in the iCloud Library, replacing them with low-resolution photos on your phone. But if you want to keep high-res photos on your phone, you can select the “Download and Keep Originals” option.

With any new release, the word flawless will unlikely be used to describe iCloud Photo Library, which is why it will be in beta form for quite some time. We even read something about deleting pictures in the iCloud Photo Library and how it won’t delete pictures in other devices. We gave it a try and our pictures didn’t delete from our phone. Furthermore, we even re-synced everything and the picture appeared back to the iCloud Library. Just to be on the safe side, if you want to give this test a spin for yourself, try not to delete anything with worth.

Hopefully Apple will now be able to help all “self proclaimed photographers” in storing and syncing special moments. AIC will continue to keep you updated on the latest  technology news. The news includes Home Theater, Home Automation and Home Audio Systems.
***The release also included bug fixes with group text, email, messaging, battery drainage and much more. You can find the complete list when you click here.***

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