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If you want to share photos between your iPad and your computer, you can always sync them through iTunes, or I suppose you could go to the trouble of emailing them to yourself. But why bother when there's a way to sync images between all your iOS devices in your computer without the need of a single cable? You can do all this using Photo Stream, one of the components of Apple's free online service called iCloud. I'll tap on Settings, and then I'll tap on iCloud, and then I'll tap on Photo Stream, and you see two options: My Photo Stream and Shared Photo Streams.
The first tells my iPad to share any photos I take with its camera to iCloud and to any other devices of mine that have Photo Stream enabled. The second option allows me to share my Photo Stream with selected people as well as the public at large, and I can subscribe to other people's Photo Streams. So let's walk through the process. Back to the Home screen, I will now tap on the Camera app and I will take a picture of this lovely pencil sharpener here and I will return to the Home screen. Now I'll go to the Photos app, I tap on my Photo Stream, and now it has just the images I've stored there.
However, look what happened. Here's the picture of the pencil sharpener. This indicates that the image has been set up to iCloud and then the iCloud is syncing the image with all my devices. Go back to my Photo Stream. Now I can make these images available to other people. To do that, I'll tap on Edit and I'll tap a few images and then I tap Share. Now I tap Photo Stream and up pops this little sheet. There are few things I can do here. First of all, I could enter some names, so let's see, I may send this one to Christian Fletcher, and maybe I'll send this to Bubba as well.
The reason this works is because Photo Stream is aware of my contacts, so it will search my contacts for any matching letters. The other option is to simply tap on the plus button and it will show you all your contacts and then you just add them by tapping. I can then name my Photo Stream and then I can click on Next. At this point I can add a comment if I like, and then tap on Post, and here's my second Photo Stream. The people you've added will be notified by email about your shared stream. That message will include a link so that they can visit your stream.
In addition, an entry for your shared stream will appear on their iOS device as long as it's running iOS 6 or later, or their computer asking them to accept your invitation to view their stream. Once they do, they have access to that stream until you revoke it. Well, how do you do that? Once again, tap on Edit, tap on the Photo Stream, and you'll see this Edit Photo Steam window. If you'd like to delete somebody, just tap on their name and then tap Remove Subscriber. Yes, I really want to do that, and your other subscribers remain. You can also add other people if you like, just as we did in the past.
I'll cancel that. Or if you like, you can delete the entire Photo Stream, which means nobody has an access to it at all. You can also share your Photo Stream on a public website. To do that, flip the switch on, and below, you'll see a link to that stream that anybody who has the link can visit, and if you'd like, you can share the link and you have a number of options for doing that. You can email it, you can message it to somebody, Twitter or Facebook, or you can copy it and then paste that link into something else. That's the basics of Photo Stream on an iOS device. Now let's turn to the Mac.
Here on the Mac, once again, we'll go to System Preferences, click on iCloud, and we'll click on the Options button next to Photo Stream. Here you see the same two options that appear on an iOS device, My Photo Stream and Shared Photo Stream. We want both of those left on, so I'll click on OK and we will quit out of System Preferences. Given that there's no photos application on the Mac, where do we go now? We go to iPhoto of course. I will launch iPhoto, and when I do, you'll notice that there is a Photo Stream entry under the Web heading.
With it selected, I can see the images in my Photo Stream including the pencil sharpener image that I just captured on my iPad. I can easily add images to this Photo Stream just by choosing an image in my library or in an album and dragging it to the Photo Stream entry, so let's see, we'll go to Outdoors, I'll grab this image here, and I just drag it into Photo Stream. It will ask me where I want to share it. Put it in to my Photo Stream. and any second now, we should see that image appear, and here it is. Again, indicating that Photo Stream now has it and has now set it to my other devices.
If I want to remove that image, I'd just select it, press the Delete key and press Delete Photo. We'll go back to our Outdoors album. Notice that the image isn't gone from my album. It's simply been taken out of my Photo Stream. As you can probably guess, you can create additional Photo Streams, so I'm in my Outdoors album. I'll select a few images. Click on Share and then click on Photo Stream. Once again, I can add those images to my current Photo Stream or I can create a new Photo Stream. I'll choose that option, and very much like on my iPad, I now have the opportunity to add people as subscribers, rename the Photo Stream, and make it a public website.
We've done that on the iPad. I don't need to do it here, but it's the same idea. Once I'm finished with it, I would simply click on Share. Those people who I've added as subscribers will receive an email message and then they can accept or decline that invitation, and we'll hit Cancel. While we're in iPhoto, let's take a look at the Photo Stream Preferences. So I go to iPhoto, Preferences, and then click on Photo Stream. The first option allows you to switch on or off Photo Stream for iPhoto. You can choose to Automatically Import new images, as well as add all new photos you take to your Photo Stream.
You can also enable Shared Photo Streams just as you could in the iCloud System preference. Now let's move over to our Windows PC. Windows doesn't have a version of iPhoto, but that doesn't mean that it can't use Photo Streams. So we'll begin as we have before. We'll go to the iCloud Control Panel. Here's Photo Stream, it is enabled, and I'll click on Options, and sure enough, here are the two options we've seen before: My Photo Stream and Shared Photo Streams. There's one addition with Windows and that is that you're shown the path to where your Photo Stream is going to be stored.
If you like, you can change that. I don't care to, so I'll just click OK. That looks good. Now where exactly are these photos? Well, let's go to the Start menu, click Pictures, and here is the Photo Stream folder. So it's within your User Account and then in the Pictures folder. I'll double-click on there and you see three folders: My Photo Stream, Shared and Uploads. My Photo Stream is of course the photos that are in your Photo Stream.
Shared would include those Photo Streams you've shared as well as those Photo Streams that have been shared with you, and Uploads is where you add images to add them to the Photo Stream. Let's go back to My Photo Stream folder. I'll select a few images, right-click and then I'll choose Add to Photo Stream. Now I choose New Photo Stream. What this does is brings up the New Photo Stream window where just as we've seen in the past, I can add subscribers by their email address to my Photo Stream, I can give that Photo Stream a name and I can choose to make it a public website.
We've done that before. We don't need to do it again, so I'll just click on Cancel. Now if I had done that, a new Photo Stream would appear in the Shared folder. Let's take a look at the Uploads folder. Double click on that and currently, there's nothing in it, but I'd like to add images to my Photo Stream from my PC. To do that, I grab an image and I drag it into this folder. PC will think about it for a minute, move back to the Photo Stream folder, and there it is. So not only has it been moved into the Photo Stream on my PC, but it's now being synced with iCloud, meaning that all my devices now have that image in their Photo Stream.
With that, we wrap up our look at Photo Stream; a cool and easy way to sync and share images.
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