“Using iCloud Photo Library lets you shoot or import photos and videos from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, or the web and have them all go to a single library that you manage,” Zac Hall writes for 9to5Mac. “Delete a photo or video from any signed-in device and it goes to a trash folder for 40 days and can be recovered from any device before it’s fully deleted. Edit a photo’s color or light or crop it and apply a filter and the changes appear everywhere and can be reversed.”
“Create an album from any signed-in device and it appears everywhere else without syncing with iTunes. Select the heart icon on any photo or video and it appears in a Favorites album on all your devices,” Hall explains. “This is how I find the 200 photos that I really like the most out of 13,000 that I’ve taken over the years, which comes in handy when it’s time to make a Christmas calendar at the end of the year.”
“iCloud Photo Library (with a subscription to a proper storage tier) lets you access huge sets of photos and videos from iPhones and iPads (and Macs) which would otherwise have too low storage. Using the ‘Optimize Storage’ option lets you see thumbnails of your whole library and selectively download only the photos and videos you open,” Hall writes. “My iPhone 6s Plus is 128GB and it can’t comfortably store my photo library plus apps and offline music; even using the free Photo Stream feature on a 16GB iPad Air meant installing very few apps to accommodate the storage needs. Turn on iCloud Photo Library and you may still see the occasional low storage warning, but Photos will respond in the background by removing full images and videos stored in iCloud to free up space.
“But any number of things could go wrong with iCloud Photo Library or your iCloud account in general. So I do not recommend using Photos and iCloud Photo Library with Optimize Storage turned on anywhere without a Mac using the Download Originals option somewhere,” Hall writes. “Having at least one Mac with Photos setup to download original photos and videos that backup to Time Machine greatly minimizes the risk that something will get hosed in iCloud Photo Library.”
How to set it up and stop worrying about your photos — recommended — here.
MacDailyNews Take: This is how we do photo management, too.
Keep in mind that we use 100% Apple devices, of course — Macs, iPad, iPhones, and Apple Watches — which makes everything “just work” with backups (when you set it up correctly).