Thursday, March 24, 2016

The brilliance of iCloud Photo Sharing

How often do you find yourself running low on space on your iPhone or iPad?  When that happens, do you know what to do?  Do you end up deleting apps you don't frequently use, or even worse, do you end up deleting things you do often use, but have no choice because you are constantly running out of space thanks to the great pictures and video that your new iPhone/iPad take?    Fear not, you are not alone!  Ok, you say, what are my options outside of buying a device with more internal storage?  You have options, or at least AN option.  That option is a great one, and believe it or not, it's a free option at that!  

A few years back, Apple quietly introduced something called iCloud Photo Sharing.  Perhaps you've experienced this (if you are a client of mine, you most certainly have).    On your iPhone or iPad, you get a notification that someone has invited you to their shared photo stream.  If you are in the know, you quickly accept the invitation to view the photos that have been shared with you.  No emailing, texting involved, someone simply creating a shared stream, and inviting you to join and view their photos (and even videos).  Wait you say.  Sharing pictures and videos without emailing or texting (or using Dropbox, or Shutterfly)?  Sound to good to be true?  Well it is!  Apple has given you free space in the cloud to share, are you ready for this?  Up to 500,000 pictures and videos, and wait, it gets better, FOR FREE!  Whoaaaaaaaaaa.  This can't be...Well yes it can be, and it is!  Apple has provided free space for you to create 100 shared streams (or albums), each containing up to 5000 pictures and or videos (the videos can be up to 4:59 in length, anything over will not get uploaded).  If you calculate this folks, Apple has given you space for 500,000 pictures and or videos to store and share in iCloud, FOR FREE!  I can't stress the last part enough, IT'S TOTALLY FREE!  

Why haven't you heard about this?  I wish I knew.  Short of the fact that it's never been advertised, I quietly found out about it and decided it should be shared with the masses.  

So how does one go about creating a shared stream?  It's quite easy.
From your iOS device, go to Settings > iCloud > Photos > enable iCloud Photo Sharing.  



Next, head to the Photos App.  You can choose pictures either from an Album, or the Photos tab (they are the same pics, under the Photos tab, they are sorted).  Click Select (top right), then choose your photos and or videos (remember, if you want to upload a video, it MUST be under 5 minutes in length).  This next part is crucial to remember.  You can upload up to 1000 pictures an hour, and no more than 10,000 a day.  If you go over 1000 in an hour, the uploads simply stop.  So please remember to keep that in mind.  Ok, now that you've selected your pictures and videos, tap the Do-More icon (on your iPad it's on the top left, on your iPhone it's on the bottom left, it looks like a square with an arrow out of the top).   Next, tap iCloud Photo Sharing,



The next few steps are critical.  If you have either never created a shared stream, or never been invited to a shared stream, when you do create one, you simply give that stream a name.  However if you've created or been invited and joined one, the next step is important.  What happens is that when you click iCloud Photo sharing, it wants to put those newly chosen pictures into the last Shared Album you either created or were invited to.  So you MUST then tap where it says Shared Album.  




From here you can either click the + to create a New Shared Album,  or add the pictures you've recently selected to an existing Shared Album.    If you choose to create a New Shared Album, you'll give it a name, then tap next.  




Here you have the option to share your newly created stream with other Apple device users, or not.  If you choose not to share, the stream is still shared, with any devices you own.  

So let's review a few things here:  Apple has given you free space in the iCloud for 500,000 pictures!  You can create 100 shared streams, each containing 5000 pictures and videos (videos can be up to 4:59 in length).  Crazy.  What's even better is that even though you are allowed to only create 100 shared streams, there is no limit to how many streams your friends and family can share with you.  If you have 5 people in your immediate family, each of you can have and share 100 shared streams with 5,000 pictures and videos.  That's more pictures and videos than you'll ever be able to view!  Let's not forget your friends with Apple devices, so theoretically there's endless free space for pics and videos in iCloud for you, your friends and your family!

So what are you waiting for?  Start sharing your pictures with friends, family and loved ones around the globe!  

I hope you found this blog useful, if so, please share with others who may find it helpful.  Come back shortly for part II.

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