Apple launches iCloud Photos beta Web client ahead of iOS 8.1 rollout

Posted:
in iCloud edited October 2014
Apple on Saturday launched a beta version of iCloud Photos for iCloud.com users, activating the photo and video storage and syncing service planned to officially roll out on Monday with the debut of iOS 8.1.




With today's iCloud Photos beta release, it appears that Apple has also opened iCloud Photo Library access to all developers currently running the upcoming iOS 8.1 maintenance update on their devices. Prior to the iCloud Photos beta rollout, only a random sampling of testers were granted access to the service.

With iCloud Photos -- labeled as iCloud Photo Library on iOS devices -- users will be able to automatically upload photos and video from their Camera Roll to the cloud for storage and cross-device syncing. For example, if a user snaps a picture of a cat, the image will be pushed to the cloud, where it can be viewed from other devices signed in to that iCloud account or those who have been granted access through iCloud Photo Sharing.

The feature is akin to Photo Stream, except with support for full-resolution content and syncing of any edits made to the original image, which can be viewed through iCloud.com by date in Moments or as a stream in Albums. As with Photo Stream, other iOS devices can download photos from the iCloud Photo Library folder for local storage.

On the iOS side, Apple lets users choose whether to download full-resolution images, or save space by storing only optimized (compressed) versions locally. The number of photos, videos, panoramas and other Camera Roll content users can keep in iCloud Photos is based on their iCloud storage tier. Apple introduced a new pricing structure with iOS 8, starting with 5GB of free storage, with upgrades to 20GB for 99 cents per month, 200GB for $3.99 per month, 500GB for $9.99 per month or 1TB for $19.99 per month.




iCloud Photos and access to the iCloud Photo Library service is expected to roll out with iOS 8.1, while beta testers can try it out now by visiting the iCloud beta website.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    I'm confused.

    Currently, Photo Stream doesn't count towards our free iCloud storage. So is there any way to sync photos between devices without iCloud Photos other than manually syncing via iPhoto and iTunes?
  • Reply 2 of 36
    Photo stream was NEVER unlimited. It was always limited to 1000 photos. It was intended to allow users to essentially sync their photos on the iOS devices with their Mac and PC without the need to sync by having an online "stream" of your most recent photos. These recent photos would be viewable on all devices and stored forever on your Mac and PC for archive. It never made sense to users though. They assumed it was, as you called it, free unlimited photo storage. So Apple has now moved to a full-on photo library in the cloud which is much more like users expect things to work. It's not unlimited though. Storage space is never truly unlimited.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    rickfaced wrote: »
    I'm confused.


    Currently, Photo Stream doesn't count towards our free iCloud storage. So is there any way to sync photos between devices without iCloud Photos other than manually syncing via iPhoto and iTunes?
    <span style="line-height:22.399999618530273px;">I think they got rid of unlimited free photo streams. </span>

    I suspected as much.

    So, suddenly, photos are going to take up a chunk of iCloud that it didn't before. In other words, most people will have to pony up at least $12 a year if they want to keep devices in sync like in iOS 7 and earlier.

    And is it all or nothing? My iPhoto library is somewhere between 50 and 100 GB, but if I only have optimised photos, will it fit within 20GB? I don't relish the prospect of uploading them on a 1Mb connection. Maybe I need to change to a 100Mb upload connection that's recently become available.
  • Reply 4 of 36
    rickfaced wrote: »
    Photo stream was NEVER unlimited. It was always limited to 1000 photos. It was intended to allow users to essentially sync their photos on the iOS devices with their Mac and PC without the need to sync by having an online "stream" of your most recent photos. It never made sense to users though. They saw it as, like you called it, free unlimited photo storage. So Apple has now moved to a full on photo library in the cloud which is much more like users expect things to work. It's not unlimited though. Storage space is never truly unlimited.


    1000 photos per shared photo stream and unlimited photo streams.

    Exactly.

    Unlimited.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,592member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RickFaced View Post

     



    1000 photos per shared photo stream and unlimited photo streams.


    How does one create more than one photostream?

  • Reply 6 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post



    Photo stream was NEVER unlimited. It was always limited to 1000 photos.

     

    Don't forget the 30 days part too.

  • Reply 7 of 36
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,887member

    In iPhoto, select an album, click on Share, select iCloud and it goes there. You can select other iPhoto users or open the iCloud photo stream to all users (random URL which should keep most people from easily finding photo streams).

  • Reply 8 of 36
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,887member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by konqerror View Post

     

     

    Don't forget the 30 days part too.


    That's new with iOS 8. It never used to be limited to 30 days, just 1000 photos.

  • Reply 9 of 36
    rob53 wrote: »
    konqerror wrote: »
     

    Don't forget the 30 days part too.
    That's new with iOS 8. It never used to be limited to 30 days, just 1000 photos.

    Wrong.
  • Reply 10 of 36

    It seems there is quite a bit of misunderstanding about how Photo Streams work, so I will clear them up here.

     

    There are two types of photos stream. "My Photo Stream" and shared photo streams.

     

    Photos are added into this stream automatically from new photos being added to Camera Roll.

    My Photo Stream begins deleting photos after they are 30 days old or you reach the maximum of 1000 photos, whichever is shorter.

    Each photo does not count towards your iCloud usage.

     

    With shared photo streams, you can share photos with upto 100 people (or if you want to use it as a storage bin, share with nobody at all). 

    Each shared photo stream has a limit of 5000 photos.

    They never expire, and do not count towards your iCloud usage.

    Photos have to be added manually.



    The only other restriction (although I can't remember the number) is an account maximum for stored photos (it was around 10,000,000 if I remember right).

     

    ---

     

    In terms of what happens now with shared photo streams since iOS8/Yosemite - nothing. They exist exactly how they did with iOS7.

    Apple has not indicated in any articles that photo streams will now count towards your iCloud usage.

     

    I'm currently running the 8.1 beta with iCloud Photo Library turned on, which is obviously backing up my camera roll, and I have over 30 shared photo streams. Looking at my iCloud usage it is still the case that my streams are not listed and therefore I can only assume they are not taking any of my iCloud storage.

  • Reply 11 of 36
    mubailimubaili Posts: 377member
    rickfaced wrote: »

    1000 photos per shared photo stream and unlimited photo streams.
    I thought there is a 1,000 limit on the number of streams too. Anyway, that is how I used the photo streams as a remote backup in addition to local time machine.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,463member
    I am curious to see what Aperture does faced with the new paradigm given it was just updated for Yosemite compatibility. Come on Apple, if you can bring back camera roll you can rethink Aperture support.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,022member

    Can't fucking wait for this, so that I can stop auto-uploading to Google+. 

  • Reply 14 of 36
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post



    And is it all or nothing? My iPhoto library is somewhere between 50 and 100 GB, but if I only have optimised photos, will it fit within 20GB? I don't relish the prospect of uploading them on a 1Mb connection. Maybe I need to change to a 100Mb upload connection that's recently become available.

     

    Same question here.

    I'd be happy to pay for 20GB, and let my iMac be my "master" copy (with everything) while the iCloud is used as a transfer and syncing mechanism. Or use iCloud as a syncing mechanism to my "master", while storing an optimised smaller version (especially for videos!).

     

    But I don't think that's their intention. And it would probably require a method to set which libraries I want synced - not as "clean".

  • Reply 15 of 36
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,391member
    mazecookie wrote: »
    It seems there is quite a bit of misunderstanding about how Photo Streams work, so I will clear them up here.

    There are two types of photos stream. "My Photo Stream" and shared photo streams.

    Photos are added into this stream automatically from new photos being added to Camera Roll.
    My Photo Stream begins deleting photos after they are 30 days old or you reach the maximum of 1000 photos, whichever is shorter.
    Each photo does not count towards your iCloud usage.

    With shared photo streams, you can share photos with upto 100 people (or if you want to use it as a storage bin, share with nobody at all). 
    Each shared photo stream has a limit of 5000 photos.
    They never expire, and do not count towards your iCloud usage.
    Photos have to be added manually.


    The only other restriction (although I can't remember the number) is an account maximum for stored photos (it was around 10,000,000 if I remember right).

    ---

    In terms of what happens now with shared photo streams since iOS8/Yosemite - nothing. They exist exactly how they did with iOS7.
    Apple has not indicated in any articles that photo streams will now count towards your iCloud usage.

    I'm currently running the 8.1 beta with iCloud Photo Library turned on, which is obviously backing up my camera roll, and I have over 30 shared photo streams. Looking at my iCloud usage it is still the case that my streams are not listed and therefore I can only assume they are not taking any of my iCloud storage.

    Very good post. If I may, here are the sharing limits Apple has had set for the current Photo Stream way of doing things. This may change with Photos on iCloud.com and/or when the Photos app arrive for OSX.
    My Photo Stream upload limits

    The My Photo Stream limits below are based on anticipated upload patterns. My Photo Stream upload limits are as follows:

    Uploads to My Photo Stream per hour: 1000 photos
    Uploads to My Photo Stream per day: 10,000 photos
    Uploads to My Photo Stream per month: 25,000 photos

    iCloud Photo Sharing limits

    These are the iCloud Photo Sharing hourly and daily limits:

    Maximum combined number of photos and videos from all contributors per shared stream, per hour: 1000
    Maximum combined number of photos and videos from all contributors per shared stream, per day: 10,000
    These sharing limits are separate from the upload limits above. For example, in the same day you could upload 10,000 photos to My Photo Stream, then share those 10,000 photos or 10,000 other photos.

    Some additional limits for shared photo stream usage:

    Maximum shared streams an owner can share: 100
    Maximum shared streams a user can subscribe to: 100
    Maximum subscribers per shared stream: 100 (the number of subscribers on each shared stream)
    Maximum combined number of photos and videos from all contributors in any one shared stream album: 5000
    Maximum number of comments per photo or video in a shared stream: 200 (a comment can be either a Like or a text entry)
    Maximum characters per comment: 200
    Maximum number of invites a shared stream owner may send per day: 200


    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4858
  • Reply 16 of 36

    So what  of the 100 GB of photos that I have on my Mac that have been archived off of my iPhone? Are those going to make their way into cloud storage at some point (assuming that I pay for the extra storage space) or are they stuck there? Is that something that will have to wait for the new Photos app when it is finally released next year?

  • Reply 17 of 36
    deleted post
  • Reply 18 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post





    I suspected as much.



    So, suddenly, photos are going to take up a chunk of iCloud that it didn't before. In other words, most people will have to pony up at least $12 a year if they want to keep devices in sync like in iOS 7 and earlier.



    And is it all or nothing? My iPhoto library is somewhere between 50 and 100 GB, but if I only have optimised photos, will it fit within 20GB? I don't relish the prospect of uploading them on a 1Mb connection. Maybe I need to change to a 100Mb upload connection that's recently become available.

    Photostream is supposed to remain an option as long as you dont turn on the iCloud Photo Library option. Once you turn it on though, supposedly you cant go back. So if Photostream works for you just dont enable the library and should be ok.

  • Reply 19 of 36
    So how do I get my current iPhoto Library up to the iCloud Photos Library??????
  • Reply 20 of 36
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,556member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cheesehead Dave View Post

     

    So what  of the 100 GB of photos that I have on my Mac that have been archived off of my iPhone? Are those going to make their way into cloud storage at some point (assuming that I pay for the extra storage space) or are they stuck there? Is that something that will have to wait for the new Photos app when it is finally released next year?




    You ask if they are "stuck there" as if somehow you have been wronged. No, they are not stuck there. You can move them wherever you want. If I were you I would at least make one copy of your library on an external drive. Whether you choose to store them online through iCloud or some other service is up to you but regardless, make a local copy. 

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