STORING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
MANAGING YOUR PHOTOS WITH ICLOUD PHOTO LIBRARY
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.
MANAGING YOUR PHOTOS WITH ITUNES
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, jimkarpen.com, contains selected regular columns written for The Iowa Source. firstname.lastname@example.org.