iPhone Life Magazine - - How To -


One of the ma­jor ben­e­fits of iOS 8.1 and later is iCloud Photo Li­brary. All your photos can now live in the cloud rather than be­ing tied to a par­tic­u­lar de­vice, and any change you make to a photo or video on one de­vice is car­ried over to the oth­ers.

This comes with the ad­di­tional ben­e­fit of al­low­ing you to free up space on your de­vices. If you en­able iCloud Photo Li­brary, you can choose to store only op­ti­mized ver­sions of your photos and videos on your iPhone or iPad. The full-res­o­lu­tion ver­sions are kept in the cloud. Ver­sions that are less stor­age-in­ten­sive and that are per­fectly suited to the size and res­o­lu­tion of your iPhone or iPad are stored on your de­vice. This can save you gi­ga­bytes of stor­age space. And any time you want, you can down­load the full-res­o­lu­tion ver­sion.

To turn on iCloud Photo Li­brary and op­ti­mize stor­age on your de­vice, go to Set­tings > iCloud > Photos and en­able iCloud Photo Li­brary. If you're con­nected to a Wi-Fi net­work, your de­vice will im­me­di­ately be­gin up­load­ing and stor­ing your en­tire photo and video li­brary in the cloud.

On that same screen, you'll see the op­tion to Op­ti­mize iPhone Stor­age, mean­ing that as each photo or video is up­loaded, a ver­sion is saved on your de­vice that takes less stor­age. If you de­cide you want to have the full ver­sions of all photos and videos on your iPhone or iPad, sim­ply se­lect Down­load and Keep Orig­i­nals.

Of course, stor­ing your photos in iCloud may even­tu­ally re­quire you to pay to in­crease your iCloud stor­age once you've gone through the 5 GB of free space. Op­tions range from $0.99 per month for 20 GB to $19.99 for 1 TB.


While iCloud Photo Li­brary has gen­er­ally re­placed iTunes photo sync­ing, you can still opt for the lat­ter. To do so, make sure iCloud Photo Li­brary is turned off on your de­vice. Go to Set­tings > iCloud > Photos > iCloud Photo Li­brary and tog­gle it off. You'll have the op­tion to down­load or re­move pre­vi­ously synced photos and videos be­fore you can sync us­ing iTunes.

To sync photos via iTunes, con­nect your de­vice to your com­puter, boot up iTunes, and click the icon for your iPhone or iPad. Se­lect Photos from the menu on the left, check the box next to Sync Photos, and then se­lect whether you want to sync all photos or se­lected al­bums, events, and faces.

As you can see, you have a wide range of op­tions re­gard­ing man­ag­ing your data and media. In the end, iCloud may be the sim­plest op­tion. While it may en­tail pay­ing for more stor­age, once it's set up, it's mostly au­to­matic.

Jim Karpen, Ph.D, is on fac­ulty at Ma­har­ishi Univer­sity of Man­age­ment in Fair­field, IA. He has been writ­ing about the rev­o­lu­tion­ary con­se­quences of com­puter tech­nol­ogy since 1994. His Ph.D dis­ser­ta­tion an­tic­i­pated the In­ter­net revo­lu­tion. His site,, con­tains se­lected reg­u­lar col­umns writ­ten for The Iowa Source.

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