How to Use iCloud Photo Library in Photos to Sync Pictures Between Devices [Mac Blog]

iCloud Photo Library was introduced with iOS 8, but with the launch of the Photos for OS X app, it’s now available on the Mac. In a nutshell, iCloud Photo Library is Apple’s newest photo service that lets you sync all of your images across all your devices and to iCloud.

iCloud Photo Library supports several photo and video formats, storing photos in their original format, and it makes all of your media available on any device that has iCloud Photo Library turned on. This how-to will walk you through how to turn iCloud Photo Library on for each of your devices and how to minimize the space your photos take up on each device.

Tips Before Getting Started

In order to fully take advantage of iCloud Photo Library, you should turn it on for multiple computers, if necessary, as well as your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. It is compatible with iOS 8.3 or later and OS X Yosemite 10.10.3 or later.

You must be connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi in order to begin the iCloud Photo Library upload process. Additionally, your device batteries must be fully charged, or at least connected to a power source.

Apple provides 5GB of iCloud storage for free. It is highly likely you will need more than that to store all of your pictures and videos. If you go over the 5GB limit, Apple will prompt you to upgrade to a larger storage capacity before continuing. iCloud storage starts at $0.99 per month for 20 GB of storage. The 200GB storage plan costs $3.99 per month, while the 500GB plan costs $9.99 per month and the 1TB plan costs $19.99 per month.

Be sure that all devices you wish to sync photos and videos on are signed in using the same Apple ID.

Turning on iCloud Photo Library

On OS X Yosemite:

  1. Open Photos for OS X.
  2. Select Photos from the menu bar.
  3. Select Preferences from the available options.
  4. Click on the iCloud tab in the pop up window.
  5. Check the box titled „iCloud Photo Library.“

Uploading of photos may take a long time, depending on the number of photos in your library and the speed of your Wi-Fi network. Some users have also found photo upload affecting overall performance of their Wi-Fi networks, so if you need to temporarily pause upload, you can do so for one day in preferences, with the option to manually resume uploading sooner than that if you wish.

Follow the steps above for any computer you wish to store and access the iCloud Photo Library from.

On iOS:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap iCloud.
  3. Select Photos.
  4. Toggle iCloud Photo Library to the On position.

Now all of your photos and videos (not just the most recent 30 days worth, or 100 photos) will be available across all of your devices. You will also see all folders, albums, and smart albums. You will be able to search for keywords and find people based on Faces tags.

Additional features such as creating books, cards, calendars, and slideshows, last imported albums, and Faces Tiles and data will only be available on computers they were originally created on.

You can keep the amount of pictures stored on a mobile device or computer with limited storage to a minimum. Although you have complete access to all pictures and videos, you don’t have to store them all on your device thanks to Apple’s „optimized storage“ option, which places recent, favorite, and frequently accessed images on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac and stores older, less accessed ones in iCloud. That way, you are only storing full resolution images of the most important pictures on your device.

Turn on Optimize iPhone Storage

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Photos & Camera from the list.
  3. Tap „Optimize iPhone Storage.“ This will also de-select „Download and Keep Originals,“ which will help keep the amount of space you use on your iPhone or iPad to a minimum.

Turn on Optimize Mac Storage

  1. Open Photos on OS X Yosemite
  2. Select Photos from the menu bar.
  3. Click on Preferences from the available options.
  4. Click the iCloud tab in the pop up window.
  5. Select Optimize Mac Storage.

With iCloud Photo Library turned on across all of your devices, you have access to every picture you’ve ever taken and stored in iCloud, including older photos, pictures you’ve uploaded to the Photos app from a DSLR camera, and videos you’ve taken since your baby’s birth.




Aperture and iPhoto Removed From Mac App Store Following Photos for OS X Launch [Mac Blog]

Following Wednesday’s release of OS X 10.10.3 and the new Photos for OS X app, Apple has, as promised, removed Aperture and iPhoto from the Mac App Store. Apple warned that development would stop on the two photo editing apps in the middle of last year, and put notices in the Mac App Store a couple months ago to let users know the apps would be pulled from sale following the launch of Photos.

The two apps remained available for download from the Mac App Store for approximately a day after Photos for OS X was released, but attempting to access them via search now gives no results and clicking through from an external Mac App Store link gives an „Item Not Available“ message.

Apple has ceased development on Aperture and iPhoto to concentrate its resources on Photos for OS X, its new photo editing software that integrates with the Photos for iOS app and iCloud Photo Library to let users access their complete set of photos on any device.

Photos for OS X has been described by many as an excellent replacement for iPhoto, as it includes more advanced tools and it runs much faster. Aperture users may find Photos for OS X lacking, however, as it does not have advanced tools like a loupe or brushable adjustments. It also does not support plugins.

With only one major photo editing app to focus on, it’s likely that Apple will make improvements to Photos for OS X that could bring its feature set more in line with Aperture in the future, making both casual users and professional photographers happy.

Photos for OS X is available through the OS X 10.10.3 update, and when opened for the first time, it will prompt you to migrate your existing Aperture and iPhoto libraries. Though they won’t receive updates beyond compatibility fixes, Aperture and iPhoto can continue to be used for editing purposes, both alone and in conjunction with the new Photos app.




Apple Confirms Aperture to Be Removed From Mac App Store After Launch of Photos for OS X

Shortly after last week’s deployment of OS X 10.10.3 to developers, Apple updated its official Aperture page on its website, adding a notice stating that Aperture will be removed from the Mac App Store when the Photos for OS X app launches.

The same notice can also be found in the app’s Mac App Store description, as noted by MacGeneration [Google Translate]. Once removed from the Mac App Store, it will no longer be possible for new users to obtain the Aperture software, but those who have previously purchased Aperture will continue to be able to download it from the „Purchases“ tab.

Apple first announced the shuttering of both Aperture and iPhoto back in June, but the company did not specify at that time that the software would be removed from the Mac App Store entirely. Instead, it said only that there would be „no new development of Aperture“ as it focused its resources on Photos for OS X.

Our first look at Photos for OS X came last week alongside the developer launch of 10.10.3, as several sites were given preview copies of the software ahead of its release. Reviews have suggested that the Photos for OS X feature set lies somewhere in between that of the consumer-oriented iPhoto and the pro-oriented Aperture.

iPhoto users will find they have more control over photos with new tools, while Aperture users will be disappointed to find that many tools, like the loupe, brushable adjustments, and custom metadata are missing. The general opinion is that in its current iteration, the Photos for OS X software is not suitable for professional users, and those who currently use Aperture will want to continue with the software or switch to an alternative like Lightroom.

The Photos for OS X software could see updates over the coming months to add more pro-oriented features such as third-party plugins, and there are certainly some benefits to the app – it integrates with iCloud Photo Library, its editing tools are easy to use, and it’s said to be much faster than iPhoto.

Photos for OS X will be released in the spring when the OS X 10.10.3 update is seeded to the public. Ahead of the official launch, Apple is planning to do a public beta, though a date for that is unknown.




Photos for Mac might be delayed for awhile

Look, let’s face it. iPhoto sucks. It’s slow. It’s buggy. It’s hopelessly burdened by skeuomorphic elements. It’s just behind the times. That’s why were were excited when Apple announced last year that they would be phasing out iPhoto for a…Read more ›



iCloud.com Photos App Gains New Zoom, Email Features

Apple’s iCloud.com Photos app was quietly updated over the weekend, adding a new zoom option to the toolbar that lets users zoom in on photos that have been uploaded to iCloud Photo Library.

As noted by German site iFun.de, Apple’s web-based Photos app has also gained a new feature that allows users to send photos via email directly from the website, making sharing photos easier than ever before.

The addition of new zoom and email features follows a major November update to the iCloud.com Photos app, which began allowing users to upload photos to iCloud for the first time. Before the addition of the uploading tool, the standard iCloud.com site only allowed users to view, download, and delete iCloud Photo Library images.

With the uploading tool and new sharing features, iCloud is slowly becoming a viable and useful storage option for users who wish to upload and manage entire photo libraries. Still in beta, iCloud Photo Library was initially introduced alongside iOS 8.1, letting users sync and access all of their photos on all of their iOS devices and Macs via the web.

Apple is working on a Photos app for the Mac, which will work alongside both the Photos app on iOS and the iCloud.com Photos app on the web. Photos, which will replace both Apple’s iPhoto app and Aperture, is supposed to be launching in the early months of 2015. There’s been little word on its development since its initial June introduction, however.




iCloud.com Photos App Gains New Uploading Capabilities

Following two weeks of testing on the iCloud beta site for developers, the consumer-facing iCloud.com site has gained support for uploading images to iCloud Photo Library (via iFun.de [Google Translate]).

Before the addition of the new uploading tool, the standard iCloud.com site allowed users to view all of their iCloud Photo Library images, as well as download and delete them, but it did not have a tool to allow users to upload photos captured with non-Apple devices.

New toolbar with upload support on iCloud.com site at top, previous iCloud.com toolbar on bottom
The new uploading feature on the iCloud.com site makes it possible to upload JPGs, but as with the beta feature, other image and video formats like .PNG, .MOV, .AVI, .MP4, and more are not supported. When a file is uploaded to the site, it syncs instantly to all of a user’s iOS devices, much like a photo taken on an iPhone or iPad or added to iCloud Photo Library via the iOS Photos app.

Currently in beta and introduced alongside iOS 8.1, iCloud Photo Library stores all of the photos and videos that a user takes in iCloud, making them available on all iOS devices and Macs. iCloud Photo Library images can be viewed in the Photos app on iOS or through iCloud.com on the Mac, and the upcoming Photos app that Apple is creating for Macs will also work with iCloud Photo Library.

Users should be aware that photos uploaded to iCloud Photo Library use iCloud storage space. Apple offers 5GB of storage space for free, with additional plans ranging from $0.99 for 20GB of storage space to $19.99 for 1TB of storage space.




iOS 8 Now Installed on Nearly 60 Percent of Active iOS Devices

After seven and a half weeks of availability, Apple’s mobile operating system is now installed on 56 percent of iOS devices, according to the latest data posted on Apple’s App Store support page for developers.

iOS 8’s installation numbers have increased approximately four percent over the past two weeks, which means iOS 8 adoption has jumped eight percent in the past month. During Apple’s October 16 iPad event, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that iOS 8 was installed on 48 percent of devices as of October 13. Before that, as of September 21, iOS 8 was installed on 46 percent of devices, indicating that adoption is steadily increasing after several weeks of stagnation.

The boost in iOS 8 adoption follows the October 20 release of iOS 8.1, which included several new features like Apple Pay that likely have enticed users to upgrade. Other desired features included SMS Forwarding, Instant Hotspot, iCloud Photo Library beta access and the return of the Camera Roll.

iOS 8’s initial release was plagued by a number of bugs that may have scared some users away. All HealthKit-enabled apps were pulled from the App Store prior to the launch of iOS 8 due to a major HealthKit bug. iOS 8.0.1, a fix to that issue, introduced new bugs that disabled cellular service and Touch ID for thousands of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users. iOS 8.0.2 was soon released, fixing the bugs of the previous release but introducing several other bugs. And finally, iOS 8.1 fixed many more issues with the previous updates, providing the most stable version of iOS 8 yet.




Apple Adds Uploading Capabilities to iCloud Photos on iCloud.com Beta Site

Apple has recently updated its iCloud.com beta site for developers, adding the ability to upload images to iCloud Photo Library for the first time. The standard iCloud.com site currently allows users to view all of their iCloud Photo Library images, as well as download and delete them, but there are no tools to allow for the uploading of photos.

On the iCloud beta site, it’s now possible to upload JPGs, but the site does not currently accept other image and video formats like .PNG, .MOV, .MP4, and more. When a file is uploaded to the site, it syncs instantly to all of a user’s iOS devices, much like a photo taken on an iPhone or iPad or added to iCloud Photo Library via the iOS Photos app.

The presence of an uploading tool on the beta site means that the feature will likely make its way to the main iCloud site in the near future, giving users a way to add to their photo libraries from their Macs and PCs.

Toolbar on beta.icloud.com site at top, non-beta iCloud.com toolbar on bottom
Currently in beta and introduced with iOS 8.1, iCloud Photo Library is designed to store all of the photos and videos that a user takes in iCloud, making them available on all iOS devices and Macs. iCloud Photo Library images can be viewed in the Photos app on iOS or through iCloud.com on the Mac, and the upcoming Photos app that Apple is creating for Macs will also work with iCloud Photo Library.

While users now have the ability to upload all of their photos to iCloud Photo Library via the iCloud.com beta site, doing so uses iCloud storage space. Apple offers 5GB of storage space for free, with additional plans ranging from $0.99 for 20GB of storage space to $19.99 for 1TB of storage space.

After being tested on the iCloud.com beta site, the iCloud Photo Library upload feature will make its way to the official iCloud site, but it is unknown how long testing will last.

(Thanks, Konrad!)




iOS 8.1 Brings iCloud Photo Library to All Users, With Images Accessible on iOS Devices, iCloud.com

iOS 8.1, released to the public earlier today, included Apple Pay support as its most notable feature, but it also brought several other updates to the mobile operating system, including iCloud Photo Library. With iOS 8.1, the iCloud Photo Library beta is now available to all iOS 8 users, as is a new iCloud Photos app that can be found within iCloud.com.

First introduced during WWDC, iCloud Photo Library stores all of the photos and videos that a user takes in iCloud, making them available on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Macs through iCloud.com. It will also work with the Photos app that Apple is creating for the Mac, which is expected in early 2015.

iCloud Photo Library. You’re never without your camera. Now you’ll never be without your photos. Every photo and video you take now lives in iCloud — giving you the freedom to access your library from any device, anytime you want. So you can view a photo from last week or last year no matter where you are.

iCloud Photo Library is designed to keep all of a user’s photos synced on all of their devices at all times. When an image is edited on an iOS device in the Photos app with Apple’s built-in editing tools, those changes are immediately uploaded to iCloud and visible on other devices right away.

iCloud Photo Library is also designed to free up valuable storage space on iOS devices. Full high-resolution photos and videos are stored in the cloud, while smaller versions of the images are displayed on devices, taking up far less storage space. iCloud Photo Library uses the iCloud storage space of each user, with 20GB of storage space available for $0.99 per month. Apple’s iCloud storage plans go up to 1TB, which is priced at $19.99 per month.

iCloud Photo Library can be enabled on iOS devices in the Settings app by going to iCloud > Photos and toggling on „iCloud Photo Library.“ The Settings app also lets users choose whether to optimize iPhone storage or download and keep original full-sized photos on their devices.

Once iCloud Photo Library is enabled, images and videos stored on iOS devices will be automatically uploaded to the cloud. They can be viewed as usual within the Photos app for iOS, and on the web, they can be viewed through the new iCloud Photos app on iCloud.com.

In the iCloud Photos app, users can perform several actions that are also available in the iOS version of the Photos app. Images can be favorited, which sends them to a special „Favorites“ album, they can be downloaded in full resolution, or deleted, which removes the photos from iCloud Photo Library on all devices. From the main „Moments“ view, it’s also possible to click on the „Select Photos“ option to delete or download multiple images at once.

iCloud Photo Library does not appear to be working flawlessly at the current point in time, which is likely why it’s still given „beta“ status. In MacRumors own testing, deleting some photos from the iCloud Photos app did not delete the photos from the iPhone 6 Plus they were taken on. A later sync even returned the photos to iCloud.com.

While iCloud Photo Library was available to developers during the iOS 8 beta testing period, Apple opted to pull it from the iOS 8 golden master ahead of iOS 8’s public release and demote it to beta status.

The reason behind iCloud Photo Library’s removal from the release version of iOS 8 was unclear, but it is possible Apple delayed the release in light of the negative press iCloud received in early September due to the celebrity photo leak.

With Apple having taken significant steps to bolster the security of iCloud, adding two-step verification and sending security emails when changes are made to iCloud or a device is restored, the company appears ready to let the public have full access to the new photo storage feature.




New iOS 8.1 features you need to know

iOS 8.1 is now available to the public. Along with bringing Apple Pay into the wild, this major update is packed with new features that bring harmony to your iPhone and Mac workflow. Instant Hotspot and SMS Relay connect your iPhone like…Read more ›