What is iCloud Photo Li­brary?

Your com­plete col­lec­tion of photos, avail­able on all of your de­vices

Mac Format - - FEATURE -

Al­though you can use Photos in iso­la­tion on your Mac, it be­comes some­thing spe­cial when you con­nect it to iCloud.

The point of iCloud Photo Li­brary is that you shouldn’t have to con­cern your­self with which de­vice you used to take a photo, or into which one’s li­brary you im­ported some pic­tures; ev­ery photo is avail­able to down­load and edit on any and all of your de­vices. Photos, and videos too, are au­to­mat­i­cally up­loaded to your on­line li­brary at their full qual­ity, edit­ing de­ci­sions are repli­cated across all of your de­vices, and you can roll them back on any de­vice as well.

You need to con­sider the im­pli­ca­tions of free space dwin­dling on your de­vices and in iCloud. On the iCloud side, Ap­ple’s sim­plest so­lu­tion is to of­fer you ad­di­tional stor­age be­yond the 5GB it pro­vides for free, rang­ing from 79p for 50GB to £6.99 for 1TB per month. Which­ever tier you pick, bear in mind that the space is shared with other iCloud fea­tures, no­tably email and iCloud Drive. If you aren’t will­ing to pay for as much space as it takes to store your en­tire li­brary on­line, you can fall back on Photos’ abil­ity to work with mul­ti­ple li­braries and be se­lec­tive about what’s up­loaded. You’ll need to be con­tent to work in a more old-fash­ioned way, switch­ing to the ap­pro­pri­ate li­brary, and man­u­ally im­port photos and videos from your cam­era to your Mac.

When it comes to lo­cal stor­age, Photos has a set­ting, which is ap­plied on a per-de­vice ba­sis, that de­ter­mines whether a de­vice stores the full-qual­ity orig­i­nals of all photos, if it has room, or ver­sions that are op­ti­mised for it. With

When you turn on iCloud Photo Li­brary on your Mac, it will be­gin up­load­ing your photos at full qual­ity. You can sus­pend the process if you need the band­width for other tasks.

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