Apple has released a beta version of the new iCloud Photo Library App to manage your iCloud photo backups and syncs across your range of devices.
While Apple has been criticised for having larger storage costs than many competitors, the iCloud Photo Library beta will only be able to let users store every photo and video made, if their storage settings are high enough.
The problem we envisage with this app is that it is likely to use up your free 5GB of iCloud storage very quickly, despite its promise of saving storage space, so we’d recommend you learn as much as you can on how to get the most out of your iCloud storage before downloading the app. We have a dedicated page looking at iCloud Storage – click here to visit the page.
How Does the iCloud Photo Library App Work?
iCloud users can choose to keep the hi-res image in iCloud, while a lower-res image will be synced across your remaining devices, be it your iPhone, PC or Mac.
One important starting point is to suggest that if you have more than one iOS Device (by this we mean you have an iPad and an iPhone, or an iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad) then you should enable iCloud Photo Library in all of your devices, or none of them. If the communication isn’t set up properly, your devices will no longer talk to each other properly (i.e if you leave My Photo Stream on one device and enable iCloud Photo Library on another, your photos will not be synced as intended when the app was designed). Another way of saying this is…there’s no point doing it if you don’t do it right!
One of the best things about the iCloud Photo Library App is that you will never be away from your photos. You will be able to access lower-res versions of them in order to maximise your storage, or so we’re told. We are a little cynical on this point, and until Apple offers considerably larger volumes of free storage, we may remain on that point.
According to this BBC article, Apple’s storage is more expensive than most other cloud based storage solutions. So you may want to think about your options before signing up.
If you enable the new Photo app, your iCloud Photo Library will replace Photo Stream and your Camera Roll and simultaneously enables you to hold onto photos that are more than 30 days old, and store more than 1000 photos at a time. Hurrah!
It lets you sync albums as well as individual photos, which means that if you make an album of love-bird photos on your iPad, you’ll also be able to access them on your Mac and iPhone. On top of this, iCloud Photo Library will save the original file as well as any edited versions you may have saved.
Once you have enabled the iCloud Photo Library App, you should notice a few differences in your Photos:
- You will no longer see My Photo Stream. iCloud Photo Library will store all ofyour photos, including the ones which were saved in your Photo Stream, so the photo’s aren’t gone, they’re just stored differently.
- If you want to still see your most recent 1000 (or 30 days of) photos, then you can still enable this option after enabling iCloud Photo Library. All you have to do is go to Settings>Photos & Camera>Upload to My Photo Stream and you will be able to access them as before.
What Do I Need to Run the Beta?
The iCloud Photo Library App is only currently available in beta mode and won’t be compatible with every device.
- You need to be using a device that has been upgraded to iOS 8.1 or later.
- You need to have sufficient storage space. We predict this is going to become a massive issue, as our photo collections expand and our only option is to pay Apple for increased storage
Please note you will still be able to sync your photos and albums from your Mac or PC via iTunes when Photo Stream is activated.
How Do I Use the iCloud Photo Library?
iCloud photo library allows you to sync your photos across all of your devices. In case you don’t already know all about how to use iCloud Photo Library check out this video: