iCloud Photo Sharing Tips and Tricks

Most of our family uses iPhones, so photo sharing is much easier with the iCloud Photo Sharing feature, there are just a couple of gotchas you need to know about:

  1. The actual photos in sharing are limited to 4MP resolution. That’s a bummer and it means that you should only use this for people who want to look at it on a screen or print out a small photo. If you want to share really big stuff, then you need to use the iCloud Drive feature and share it that way. For 99.999% of what we do it’s just viewing on your iPhone, folks are not printing themselves, so this works fine. If they need a print, they can just ask me.
  2. The number of shared albums is limited to 200. I haven’t hit this limit yet, but it will happen. Also, you cannot sort or reorder the Shared Albums list so it is really tough to manage.
  3. The order of Shared Albums is pretty strange and I haven’t quite figured out how it works. It looks like some variant of latest photo added is what you get. That makes some sense as you want to look at albums with recent changes, but if you are archiving, it looks pretty wierd.
  4. It only works with Apple devices. If you have friends with Android, then you need to use Google Photos for sharing. I actually don’t like doing this as you give Google the rights to use your images for whatever they want. Apple encrypts the photos and they can’t look at them, so I just create Goolge shared photos when I need to for specific people.
  5. Do not add too many photos at one time. When I tried to add 800 photos, it spent about 30 minutes thinking and then nothing appears. So you want to select say 20 or so at a time.
  6. You can’t sort the order of photos in the Shared Albums. This is super annoying, but it is designed to work like Photostreams, so the order you add is what you get. Also, there are some annoying. bugs here, for instance, if you drag and drop photos from your Library to the shared album, they will land in random order. The only fix appears to be to use the Add photos and videos button when you are in the Shared album and then what you pick appears in date order. The order seems to have something to do with the transcoding of the photos, I think it puts them in transcode order, so. big photos take longer. In any case, the cure is to just do a few at a time.
  7. Or to create a dummy regular Album then select all to create the shared album. Go figure.
  8. Note that the behavior is pretty weird show how many are importing and the application returns and it looks like it has failed, but what is actually happening without any user feedback is that transcoding is happening and at some later point, if you have say 20 slides, it can take 2-3 minutes, suddenly the photos will appear. You will see that they lose their nice names and get some random names instead because of the transcode

I’m Rich & Co.

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