Join Seán Duggan for an in-depth discussion in this video iCloud Photos, part of iPhone and iPad Photography with iOS 12.
- [Narrator] The iCloud Photo Library feature from iOS 11 has had a slight name change in iOS 12. It's now just called iCloud Photos. This service will synchronize all of the images that you take with your iPhone to all of your other iOS devices as well as to the Photos program on your computer. Unlike Photo Stream, there's no 30-day limit attached to these synchronized images. iCloud Photos is designed to upload all of your images and videos to iCloud so you can access them from all of your iOS devices as well as your Mac via the Photos app and from icloud.com.
The files are uploaded in full resolution. As with the Photo Stream feature, uploading data is only done when you're connected to the internet via wifi so you don't have to worry about it using up your cellular data plan. When you add new photos on your iPhone or edit a photo using the Photos app, the new photos or the edits you've applied are synced to iCloud Photos and also to any iOS devices where you have this feature turned on.
The edits you apply in the Photos app on a device in iOS 12 are nondestructive, and this feature is preserved when the edits are updated to your other devices via iCloud Photos as well as to the Photos program on a compatible Mac. So you could remove the edits in the photos or apply new edits, and the images will be updated across all of your devices that have access to your iCloud Photos. Now, in order to get the most from the synchronization of image edits between the iOS 12 Photos app and the Photos program on a Mac, you'll need to be running the High Sierra version of macOS or later.
Of course, uploading all of those images will quickly use up more than the free five gigabytes of storage space that comes with an iCloud account, but you can easily purchase more storage right from your device. You'll also need to make sure that you have plenty of storage space on your Mac computer since the photos are downloaded there in full resolution. We'll take a look at a way to optimize image storage in the Photos program on a Mac a bit later. To upgrade your iCloud storage plan, go into Settings on your iPhone, and tap on your iCloud ID, and then go into iCloud.
Then, tap on Manage Storage and finally, Change Storage Plan. I'm currently set up to use the largest iCloud storage plan, which is two terabytes. This also gives me plenty of room to use it in a family plan so that my wife and daughter can have their iPhones backed up to iCloud. If you want to downgrade, there's an option for that. I'm just going to go back out and, before I turn on iCloud Photos, I want to just make a quick stop in the Photos app here to point out that, up in the top left, I have the Camera Roll and I also have the My Photo Stream album right next to it.
That's going to change once I turn on iCloud Photos. So to do that, I'm going to come back to my Settings, and I'm going to come down to Photos, and I'm going to tap on iCloud Photos to turn that on. Now, after enabling iCloud Photos, you'll see a new setting on the screen for Optimize iPhone Storage. And if you're doing this on an iPad, it would say Optimize iPad Storage.
Since the full resolution photos and videos are uploaded to iCloud Photos and then downloaded to any other device that has this service turned on, this has the potential to use up storage space pretty quickly. Choosing Optimize iPhone or iPad Storage will create a smaller version to store on your device. You can also choose to download the full resolution version at any time. If you have a high capacity device, you can choose Download and Keep Originals. For instance, on my 256-gigabyte iPhone, I typically use this setting unless I'm starting to run short on storage space.
All right, with that turned on, let's come back to the Photos app and notice the change there. Now, Camera Roll has been replaced by All Photos, and we no longer have a My Photo Stream album. This is because all of the images on your phone are being uploaded and synced to your different devices that are accessing the iCloud Photos.
- Shooting panorama photos
- Creating slow-motion videos
- Taking time-lapse videos
- Organizing photos
- Image editing with the Photos app
- Trimming videos
- Sharing photos
- Transferring photos to and from your device