Saturday, May 7, 2016

Apple Photo services - experience and concerns

I use many Apple products and services. I find that there are some confusing choices Apple has made, and I cannot guess at how they make sense to Apple product management.

I have used Photo Stream for quite a long time. I have family members who do not otherwise use iCloud, who are set up to use my Apple ID for Photo Stream. We use/used this for:

  • automatic sharing of photos we take
  • looking at photos we take on Apple TV via Photo Stream
  • enabling download and saving of photos family members take to the core photo library on my computer
  • We delete photos after sharing that I did not mean to share for a variety of reasons
This shows up in a photo album My Photo Stream.

When iCloud Photo Library became available, the features were really attractive:

  • My entire photo library is sync'ed and available on configured Apple devices!
  • My entire photo library is available on the web via
  • All photos I take from configured devices are part of my entire photo library
  • I do pay for iCloud storage to have enough room for all of my photos.

Problems using both:

  • With the iPhoto OS X app before, I could see and download My Photo Stream photos to my photo library.  With the Photos OS X app and iCloud Photos on my iPhone:
    • I cannot see photos in My Photo Stream
    • I cannot delete photos in My Photo Stream

I was unable to find documentation about this feature change, and feature lack.  Apple support staff had inconsistent information.  Apple support staff cannot explain how I might be able to access or delete photos from My Photo Stream.

So what am I doing?

  • I use an iPad to access My Photo Stream, and on rare occasions use that to save photos to my computer sync'ed from the iPad.
  • I am living with no longer having immediate access to My Photo Stream.
  • Wishing Apple made different service decisions...