Automatic iCloud Photo Sharing Across Family?

zachlegomaniac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2008
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289
Hi all,

Is there any way to have my family's photos all uploaded into one location without having to manually add our photos to the family album each time we take photos? We use family sharing with separate iCloud accounts right now. When we try sharing an iCloud account we come across some pretty obvious problems. I've searched Google quite a bit so am fairly confident that the answer is "no," but figured I would at least pose the question here.

My wife and I currently manually plug in our iPhones to our shared Mac to make sure all of our photos stay in one library, but it's not ideal. We'd rather use (a shared) iCould Photo Sharing, but have all the photos automatically go to a common library.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

ZLM
 

JTravers

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2010
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Unfortunately, there's no way to do this using Apple's built in tools unless you all want to share one iCloud account, which is usually not a practical solution.

One solution would be to install an app like PhotoSync on your iPhones and your shared Mac. That app can auto-transfer photos to your Mac and import them into the Photos app. Not sure if it will add to an iCloud Photo Sharing album as well but at least all your family photos will be in one photo library.
https://photosync-app.com/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photosync-wireless-photo-video/id415850124?mt=8

Another solution would be to have a shared account with a 3rd party photo service like Google Photos and then have all iphones backup to the same Google Photos account.
 
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Luiggi7

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2017
129
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I would like to rise it up.

Now with iOS 12 we have shortcuts app. I have investigated to do it through shortcuts, but there is no easy way to do it.
If I add a photo to “family” album, and then I try it again, the picture is added twice. So it would be needed to verify if photo already exists before adding it, what carry us to he next problem:
We could check if photo was already added checking its name on iCloud family album, but there is an almost sure possibility that two different pictures have the same name (one from an iPhone and another one from a different iPhone).

Any suggestion???

What kind of problems would we have using same Apple ID on two different iPhones for me and my wife? I wonder that health data, iMessage, emails and all this kind of dada would be the same on two iPhones.

Any other app or method??? Could we make a suggestion to apple??? How can be that a so incredible service as iCloud has this so big lack.... is unbelievable.... I currently use amazon with the same account on both iPhones. But I loss a big amount of apple integration. Searching by words, syncing re movement of photos, etc. I would love if apple develop us an automatic iCloud photo sharing on families.
 
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Mike Boreham

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Aug 10, 2006
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Lightroom CC (not Classic) does this, but will cost you $10 per month for 1TB. Lightroom CC is a completely different product from Lightroom Classic.

For many years my wife and I used the same Apple ID, which meant all our photos were automatically combined into a single library and all edits sync'd....wonderful! Then she got an Apple Watch, which effectively forced her to have her own Apple ID, so we had the problems you describe.

Now we have Lightroom CC on all our devices, and all are signed in to the same Adobe ID, and it all works the same as Photos did when we had the same Apple ID.....in many ways better:

https://tidbits.com/2017/12/15/why-lightroom-cc-is-a-big-step-up-from-apples-photos/
 
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Luiggi7

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2017
129
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Thank you for your proposal, but that way I would loose the apple photos integration (search, space saving, sharing, remembers, ...)

I keep thinking that a new update in shortcuts may allow us to automate it by ourselves.
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

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Aug 5, 2001
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It is a major feature that many of us has waited on for a long while. It has to be either technically really hard, or there are privacy issues, unless I am sure Apple would have given us such a feature already. It would be so convenient, and help to lock people into the ecosystem even more.

What I do is to export-import my girlfriends Photos library on a regular basis, using PowerPhotos, and then have the same app comb through duplicates at the same time. Takes an hour, but it is worth it, since her photos are then added to our joined library and backed up using my 200GB iCloud account.
 
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Mike Boreham

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Aug 10, 2006
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What I do is to export-import my girlfriends Photos library on a regular basis, using PowerPhotos, and then have the same app comb through duplicates at the same time. Takes an hour, but it is worth it, since her photos are then added to our joined library and backed up using my 200GB iCloud account.
I tried similar, but one aspect you didn't cover was how you girlfriend gets access to the combined library on her devices?
[doublepost=1541411256][/doublepost]
Thank you for your proposal, but that way I would loose the apple photos integration (search, space saving, sharing, remembers, ...)

I keep thinking that a new update in shortcuts may allow us to automate it by ourselves.
I don't find these issues a problem in practice. You actually have better control and visibility of space usage with LRCC.
The memories Photos creates for me are mostly off target so I create my own albums instead, in both Photos and LRCC. Faces/people and AI search is at least as good in LRCC. (people better IMO). Sharing is better and shares full size files not the low res versions that Photos does.
 

T'hain Esh Kelch

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2001
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I tried similar, but one aspect you didn't cover was how you girlfriend gets access to the combined library on her devices?
She access my iCloud (on iCloud.com) if she needs access to any of the images on her own devices. Not optimal, but I have nothing to hide from her, so I don't mind, and for any image work she does it on my 27" iMac anyway instead of her 13" MBP.
Whenever I get her entire library over, she usually doesn't delete her entire library afterwards, so she still has a few favorites on the phone/computer. Doesn't matter to me, as I comb for duplicates on the next go anyway.
 

Luiggi7

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2017
129
15
I don't find these issues a problem in practice. You actually have better control and visibility of space usage with LRCC.
The memories Photos creates for me are mostly off target so I create my own albums instead, in both Photos and LRCC. Faces/people and AI search is at least as good in LRCC. (people better IMO). Sharing is better and shares full size files not the low res versions that Photos does.
LRCC losses two important things. The price, and the most important, the space saving on my device. What happens if I delete a photo??

I have developed a shortcut which makes a txt file with “synchronized times” and adds all pictures since last time to a shared album. The problem is that it requires a prompt to choose the shared album. It’s a shame.

Is there any way to request it to apple?
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2006
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LRCC losses two important things. The price, and the most important, the space saving on my device. What happens if I delete a photo??
I do understand the price issue. The benefits will not be worthwhile for many people.

I don't understand the space on device issue. LRCC has a lot of control over space management, much more so than Apple Photos. E.G.

The internal drive of my iMac is only 256Gb so I have the LRCC settings so that my 75,000 photo LRCC library is only 20GB on the internal drive, and the masters are 580GB on an external.

My MBP has a 512GB internal so I store smart previews on the internal using 86GB.

The LRCC Library on my iPhone uses 15.8GB but this is highly controllable as you can chose which albums have smart previews stored locally. On my wife's iPad she has the smart previews for all 75,000 and it uses 112GB.

When you delete a photo it is deleted from all devices and the Adobe cloud, like with Apple Photos.
 

Luiggi7

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2017
129
15
I do understand the price issue. The benefits will not be worthwhile for many people.

I don't understand the space on device issue. LRCC has a lot of control over space management, much more so than Apple Photos. E.G.

The internal drive of my iMac is only 256Gb so I have the LRCC settings so that my 75,000 photo LRCC library is only 20GB on the internal drive, and the masters are 580GB on an external.

My MBP has a 512GB internal so I store smart previews on the internal using 86GB.

The LRCC Library on my iPhone uses 15.8GB but this is highly controllable as you can chose which albums have smart previews stored locally. On my wife's iPad she has the smart previews for all 75,000 and it uses 112GB.

When you delete a photo it is deleted from all devices and the Adobe cloud, like with Apple Photos.
Does it have a search feature by places, people or even objects? It’s not so bad the price if you see at amount storage.

If I understand you well, it does similar than iCloud with space saving? You have all photos on iPhone but some of them are just thumbnails?
 

Mike Boreham

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Aug 10, 2006
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Does it have a search feature by places, people or even objects? It’s not so bad the price if you see at amount storage.

If I understand you well, it does similar than iCloud with space saving? You have all photos on iPhone but some of them are just thumbnails?
Yes it has similar intelligent search to Photos. Places uses Exif. The People recognition is superior to Photos IMO. It also has AI search so that it will recognise some objects. e.g. I can search for "boat" and it will find loads of pics with boats. Great for those of us who never got round to a proper keyword system.

Yes on the iPhone I can store just thumbnails or smart previews, and you can select by album which to use.
 

zachlegomaniac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2008
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Lightroom CC (not Classic) does this, but will cost you $10 per month for 1TB. Lightroom CC is a completely different product from Lightroom Classic.

For many years my wife and I used the same Apple ID, which meant all our photos were automatically combined into a single library and all edits sync'd....wonderful! Then she got an Apple Watch, which effectively forced her to have her own Apple ID, so we had the problems you describe.

Now we have Lightroom CC on all our devices, and all are signed in to the same Adobe ID, and it all works the same as Photos did when we had the same Apple ID.....in many ways better:

https://tidbits.com/2017/12/15/why-lightroom-cc-is-a-big-step-up-from-apples-photos/
Very interesting and thanks for sharing! Although I’d rather not shell out another $10 to a subscription - I’d still do it to make this work. The only thing we’d truly miss is sharing albums of our family with our extended family and friends via the Photos app. Do you imagine this would be a PITA or maybe you’ve tried it yourself?

Thanks to you and everyone else here for renewed suggestions. It would be so great if Apple could just make this work. Lightroom sounds like a good alternative. I used to use Google Photos for my work, but it just didn’t do it for me. That was a couple years ago though.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2006
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The only thing we’d truly miss is sharing albums of our family with our extended family and friends via the Photos app. Do you imagine this would be a PITA or maybe you’ve tried it yourself?
Lightroom CC can share albums with family and friends via a weblink, just like Photos. Unlike with Photos, family and friends can download full res copies instead of the low res versions that Apple shares.
 
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zachlegomaniac

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 20, 2008
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How do you capture video @Mike Boreham ? I finally found the auto import video and auto import photos from camera roll setting on the iOS app (just downloaded it to give it a try). Have you found this is the best way to get all of your photos and videos into Lightroom CC? I just wish I could find a solution for the cloud storage as well as creating the media. A one photo and video app to rule them all sort of thing. Thanks!
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2006
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UK
How do you capture video @Mike Boreham ? I finally found the auto import video and auto import photos from camera roll setting on the iOS app (just downloaded it to give it a try). Have you found this is the best way to get all of your photos and videos into Lightroom CC? I just wish I could find a solution for the cloud storage as well as creating the media. A one photo and video app to rule them all sort of thing. Thanks!
LRCC imports auto imports video and stills from my Camera Roll fine, and uploads them to the Adobe Cloud. Also videos and stills from a Sony RX10. As far as I am concerned it is one app to rule them all. Obviously it is not as capable as Lightroom Classic and doesn't have a print capability yet but LRCC is a work in progress, and there are ways round its short comings. Not sure if this is answering your question.
 
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