Photo Stream

Slowly over the last year or so Apple has released and refined a gem.  It is called Photo Stream.  It was released with iCloud and started out as a very basic photo streaming service but has become very rich with features, many of which were unannounced.

  • The way Photo Stream works is that any picture that is:
  • Taken with an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
  • Imported to a photo library (on a Mac or Windows PC)
  • Manually moved into Photo Stream

is then uploaded to the iCloud Photo Stream.  The capacity of the cloud is 1000 pictures (no videos) and 30 days into the past.  Once your pictures are in the Photo Stream, all other devices get them automatically, including your Apple TV!  Computers get them and automatically save them permanently.

Once you enable iCloud (and Photo Stream as part of it) on all your devices, using your iCloud Apple ID the rest is automatic.  There is really no setup or configuring to it!

Photo Stream has evolved silently and slowly since its introduction.  The first big update was an ability to delete individual pictures from Photo Stream.

The most recent big update is the addition of Shared Photo Streams.  This is an ability to share specific pictures (from virtually any source, not just photos in your Photo Stream) with virtually anyone you want.

To do this, for example, on your Mac: first, open iPhoto (’11 or newer), select some photos to share and then click the Share button in the menu bar at the top of your screen.  Choose Photo Stream, and the create and name for a new Photo Stream.  In the resulting screen type the email addresses of those with whom you would like to share those photos and then click Share.

Recipients will receive a notification in their email, and after clicking on it, all of their Photo Stream enabled devices will be able to view and save the photos you shared with them!  It is so easy and you can even share photos directly from your iPhone or iPad!

So, go try it!  If you want to share photos with me, I will let you know if it works on my end.  Just use my email address:

For more info about Photo Stream, this is a good overview:

For more specific questions you may have about Photo Stream, this is a good source: