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lordhamster

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 23, 2008
1,338
1,225
Folks, need some advice here.

The Situation:

I'm currently on a Pixel 4XL, my wife is on an iPhone XS Max. I've pre-ordered a Pro Max for each of us. We currently both use Google Photos to store our 94,000 photos/videos (~375GB). I simply have my Google account logged into the Google Photos app on her phone. That way every photo she takes, and every photo I take go to the same place. With all the fancy baked in editing/hdr features of the new Pro Max, I'm tempted to just move my whole photo collection to iCloud Photos. The deep integration of iCloud photos into iOS/MacOS is tempting for me as we will be an all Apple house soon. Since I just signed up for Apple One Premium, I have 2TB of space in iCloud which should be enough for now.

The Complication:

Google Photos on iPhone is a little bit of a PITA. It isn't as deeply integrated into iOS, and often the app will die in the background meaning I need to re-launch it for photos to be synced with the cloud. We DO love the fact that both of us can instantly see all the photos we each take in the Google Photos app. Sending photos out of google photos is a little less elegant than from Apple photos as you can't "invoke" the photos from other apps, rather you need to go to Google photos then use the "share" function. Not a huge deal, but annoying.

I'd like the deep integration of Apple photos, but also don't want to lose the instant backup/sharing of photos between the wife and I... which is all fully automated.



The Question:

I'm torn between three options:

  • Stay on Google Photos and keep iCloud Photos disabled - Downside here is I lose deep integration, and sometimes the Google Photos app on iOS gets killed thus we could lose some recent photos in event of a lost/damaged phone.
  • Migrate my whole library to iCloud - I've already extracted all my Google Photos via Takeout, just need to borrow my friend's Gigabit internet connection to upload them all to iCloud quickly if I do this. Problem with this approach is I don't know how to "automatically" share all photos w/ the wife
  • Hybrid option - Use Google Photos AND iCloud Photos on the same device. Here I'd migrate my whole photo album to iCloud so I have the full history there, but continue using Google Photos so the wife can see my photos and for a redundant backup of iCloud Photos.
The Answer?

This is where I need your help! What should I do. How do you handle sharing photos with your spouse/partner? Anyone done a similar transition, if so, what are the pitfalls?
 

acousticbiker

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2008
792
133
My wife and I have all Apple computers/phones and Google smart home stuff. Here's our setup in case it helps:

  • We have a 2TB iCloud account
  • Both of our phones are under my Apple ID (this way we can seamless see each others' photos as if from one phone) but she can use her Apple ID for iMessage and FaceTime. Disappointing that after all these years (and even with the advent of Family Sharing), Apple hasn't come up with a good solution for sharing between spouses and among families. Shared albums are fine for one-offs and sharing outside the family but too manual for ongoing sharing.
  • Our iMac is the main hub through which everything flows
    • iPhoto is set to 'Download and Keep Originals' (Optimize iPhone Storage selected on phones)
    • Time Machine Time Capsule is local backup
    • Google Backup and Sync syncs all photos from iPhoto to Google Photos (in optimized/free format, as we primarily use so that our photos show up on our Google Hub screens and as a 3rd backup)
  • In case you weren't already using this feature, Google Photos does allow you to pick one 'partner' to share all your photos with automatically (they see everything you take). I imagine if both partners pick each other, you should be able to see all of each other's photos but not as seamlessly as sharing an Apple ID because I believe you need to go into a shared folder to view the pics
 
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lordhamster

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 23, 2008
1,338
1,225
My wife and I have all Apple computers/phones and Google smart home stuff. Here's our setup in case it helps:
  • In case you weren't already using this feature, Google Photos does allow you to pick one 'partner' to share all your photos with automatically (they see everything you take). I imagine if both partners pick each other, you should be able to see all of each other's photos but not as seamlessly as sharing an Apple ID because I believe you need to go into a shared folder to view the pics
Thanks for the response. Yes. I'm aware of Partner sharing. My wife however is on a free google account, while I'm on a hosted Google Workspace domain I own. So my account has unlimited storage and we are taking advantage of that. I DO have partner sharing to copy a low-quality version of each photo to my "generic" gmail account just for redundancy. I've heard that a failed google payment or a chargeback can cause Google to lock you out of your account...which is why I don't trust them as the sole backup location.

I'm thinking of moving everything into my iCloud account, turning on iCloud photos for the wife as well. We can then keep our iCloud accounts separate (with family mode on) for the recent photos, and if she NEEDs an old photo or one of mine she can use Google Photos. I'll probably keep using Google Photos on both phones w/ backup + sync just to keep all of our Google Nest / Chromecast screens showing the photos. I DO love that feature of Google photos.
 

cdcastillo

macrumors 68000
Dec 22, 2007
1,631
2,043
The cesspit of civilization
I can't think of a solution for your use case that does not involve keeping google photos (or syncing photos automatically through another syncing service, like dropbox). So I'd say hybrid option is the way to go.
 

acousticbiker

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2008
792
133
Thanks for the response. Yes. I'm aware of Partner sharing. My wife however is on a free google account, while I'm on a hosted Google Workspace domain I own. So my account has unlimited storage and we are taking advantage of that. I DO have partner sharing to copy a low-quality version of each photo to my "generic" gmail account just for redundancy. I've heard that a failed google payment or a chargeback can cause Google to lock you out of your account...which is why I don't trust them as the sole backup location.

I'm thinking of moving everything into my iCloud account, turning on iCloud photos for the wife as well. We can then keep our iCloud accounts separate (with family mode on) for the recent photos, and if she NEEDs an old photo or one of mine she can use Google Photos. I'll probably keep using Google Photos on both phones w/ backup + sync just to keep all of our Google Nest / Chromecast screens showing the photos. I DO love that feature of Google photos.
If you move everything to iCloud, you can view all of each others' photos (and have them in a single library without needing to share) if you use the same iCloud account on the two phones. If you each use different iCloud accounts, Apple's Family Sharing system has no means of allowing you to see each other's photos automatically (would need to create a shared album and manually add photos to that album)
I can't think of a solution for your use case that does not involve keeping google photos (or syncing photos automatically through another syncing service, like dropbox). So I'd say hybrid option is the way to go.
Using the same iCloud account for the two phones (which my wife and I do) would allow it and is not really an issue unless you are tied to other iCloud services as individuals (which we are not) - iPhones allow different Apple IDs to be used for iCloud vs iMessage and FaceTime
 

Armen

macrumors 604
Apr 30, 2013
7,404
2,270
Los Angeles
Folks, need some advice here.

The Situation:

I'm currently on a Pixel 4XL, my wife is on an iPhone XS Max. I've pre-ordered a Pro Max for each of us. We currently both use Google Photos to store our 94,000 photos/videos (~375GB). I simply have my Google account logged into the Google Photos app on her phone. That way every photo she takes, and every photo I take go to the same place. With all the fancy baked in editing/hdr features of the new Pro Max, I'm tempted to just move my whole photo collection to iCloud Photos. The deep integration of iCloud photos into iOS/MacOS is tempting for me as we will be an all Apple house soon. Since I just signed up for Apple One Premium, I have 2TB of space in iCloud which should be enough for now.

The Complication:

Google Photos on iPhone is a little bit of a PITA. It isn't as deeply integrated into iOS, and often the app will die in the background meaning I need to re-launch it for photos to be synced with the cloud. We DO love the fact that both of us can instantly see all the photos we each take in the Google Photos app. Sending photos out of google photos is a little less elegant than from Apple photos as you can't "invoke" the photos from other apps, rather you need to go to Google photos then use the "share" function. Not a huge deal, but annoying.

I'd like the deep integration of Apple photos, but also don't want to lose the instant backup/sharing of photos between the wife and I... which is all fully automated.



The Question:

I'm torn between three options:

  • Stay on Google Photos and keep iCloud Photos disabled - Downside here is I lose deep integration, and sometimes the Google Photos app on iOS gets killed thus we could lose some recent photos in event of a lost/damaged phone.
  • Migrate my whole library to iCloud - I've already extracted all my Google Photos via Takeout, just need to borrow my friend's Gigabit internet connection to upload them all to iCloud quickly if I do this. Problem with this approach is I don't know how to "automatically" share all photos w/ the wife
  • Hybrid option - Use Google Photos AND iCloud Photos on the same device. Here I'd migrate my whole photo album to iCloud so I have the full history there, but continue using Google Photos so the wife can see my photos and for a redundant backup of iCloud Photos.
The Answer?

This is where I need your help! What should I do. How do you handle sharing photos with your spouse/partner? Anyone done a similar transition, if so, what are the pitfalls?

I was in the same situation as you. Here are the reasons why I switched from Google Photos to iCloud Photos.
  1. iOS integration: Photos and Videos are backed up automatically with iCloud photos whereas with Google Photos you need to open the app for it to sync.
  2. Google's "free and unlimited" storage stores photos up to 16MP in resolution and 1080p for video. (The iPhone 12 shoots video in 4k).
  3. a 50GB iCloud storage plan is 99 cents/month. (I'm on the plan now). When needed I can upgrade to a 250GB family plan for $3.99/month. I'm aware storage is cheaper elsewhere but the tight integration with Apple's eco-system is worthwhile to me.
 
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eyespy03

macrumors member
Sep 17, 2020
81
77
I use a hybrid. I sync to both iCloud and Google Photos. This way, I can get to them and have a redundant backup should something happen on either platform.
 

cdcastillo

macrumors 68000
Dec 22, 2007
1,631
2,043
The cesspit of civilization
...Using the same iCloud account for the two phones (which my wife and I do) would allow it and is not really an issue unless you are tied to other iCloud services as individuals (which we are not) - iPhones allow different Apple IDs to be used for iCloud vs iMessage and FaceTime

The OP has already stated they use different iCloud accounts, hence my assertion that I can not fathom any other solution but the third option he stated (without the limit to Google as a 3rd party)


... 50GB iCloud storage plan is 99 cents/month. (I'm on the plan now). When needed I can upgrade to a 250GB family plan for $3.99/month. I'm aware storage is cheaper elsewhere but the tight integration with Apple's eco-system is worthwhile to me.
The OP already stated he has 2 TB of iCloud. The problem is not the space, but the automatic sharing between 2 persons.
 

Armen

macrumors 604
Apr 30, 2013
7,404
2,270
Los Angeles
The OP has already stated they use different iCloud accounts, hence my assertion that I can not fathom any other solution but the third option he stated (without the limit to Google as a 3rd party)



The OP already stated he has 2 TB of iCloud. The problem is not the space, but the automatic sharing between 2 persons.

Ah. I read through it too fast.
 

Devin Breeding

macrumors regular
May 2, 2020
176
135
Conway SC
I enjoy how seamless iCloud backup is, however my one and only complaint is that you can’t set default to share all photos with certain people. I guess it falls in line with their privacy first initiative but would be nice to choose. Overall it is not too bad since we usually just send or share the really good photos with each other anyways.

We don’t really want to filter through each others pointless screenshots and shopping photos anyways.

Thread hijack alert: Anyone know a way to prevent photos taken in messages app from saving to device?
 

Jeroen Hamers

macrumors newbie
Oct 14, 2020
2
2
Couldn't you do something 'smart' in Shortcuts.

In its rudimentary form: on close of the camera app, share the latest photo to the family album. Of course this might lead to missed photos and duplicates, but I'm sure the internet has solved that puzzle already? :)
 
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Devin Breeding

macrumors regular
May 2, 2020
176
135
Conway SC
They usually are not automatically saved to the camera roll, you have to actively save them. Or maybe I'm not understanding the question.
Example: When I’m out grocery shopping and take a pic using the camera icon next to the messages line of something we may want, the photo is automatically saved to camera roll. The photos received obviously I have to manually save.
 

Devin Breeding

macrumors regular
May 2, 2020
176
135
Conway SC
You are right! This was not the behavior last time I checked. Could it be due to iOS14? Now I also want to know how to deactivate it...
I know it has at least been the case since 13 but prior to that, don’t know.

Edit:

Apparently it was added in IOS 12. No way to disable it but is a more secure way to send pictures to unfamiliar people as it doesn't attach location data like it does sending direct from camera roll. Just wish it wouldn’t save to camera roll... 🤷🏼‍♂️

 
Last edited:

Paco II

macrumors 68020
Sep 13, 2009
2,285
706
I’ve had this similar conversation with myself but at the end of the day I just prefer Google Photos despite its limitations in iOS. Face recognition is superior as well as search.
 

lordhamster

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 23, 2008
1,338
1,225
Well, my first attempt at migrating all my Google Photos to iCloud has been an abysmal failure:
  • My Mac only has 512GB of storage...which meant I had to carefully unzip each 50GB Google takeout file and import them 1 by 1... while remembering to delete the already imported archives.
  • My "Gigabit" internet connection is 1000down/35up....so the upload speed is downright glacial. Not helping with the drive space issue either because the "Optimize" storage thing can't work till stuff is uploaded to iCloud.
  • A HUGE number of my imported files seem to be missing exif data embedded in the photos/videos. Meaning they all showed up as having been "created" yesterday when I try to load them into Apple Photos. Google exports tons of Metadata as JSON, but I currently have no idea how to take advantage of this in feeding it into Apple Photos.
For now, I think I'll flush iCloud and just use it alongside Google Photos for now...with Google photos containing my whole archive and iCloud just having all photos I take from Friday on.
 

acousticbiker

macrumors 6502a
Jun 28, 2008
792
133
Well, my first attempt at migrating all my Google Photos to iCloud has been an abysmal failure:
  • My Mac only has 512GB of storage...which meant I had to carefully unzip each 50GB Google takeout file and import them 1 by 1... while remembering to delete the already imported archives.
  • My "Gigabit" internet connection is 1000down/35up....so the upload speed is downright glacial. Not helping with the drive space issue either because the "Optimize" storage thing can't work till stuff is uploaded to iCloud.
  • A HUGE number of my imported files seem to be missing exif data embedded in the photos/videos. Meaning they all showed up as having been "created" yesterday when I try to load them into Apple Photos. Google exports tons of Metadata as JSON, but I currently have no idea how to take advantage of this in feeding it into Apple Photos.
For now, I think I'll flush iCloud and just use it alongside Google Photos for now...with Google photos containing my whole archive and iCloud just having all photos I take from Friday on.
Bummer, have you considered using the Google Photos app on your new iPhone Pro Max as the vehicle? Given you have 375GB in photos, it would only potentially work if you got the 512GB version but you could save photos from the Google Photos app to your iPhone camera roll. That said, not sure if you can select your entire collection at once or batches, etc but might be worth checking if you still want to try moving everything...
 
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lordhamster

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 23, 2008
1,338
1,225
Bummer, have you considered using the Google Photos app on your new iPhone Pro Max as the vehicle? Given you have 375GB in photos, it would only potentially work if you got the 512GB version but you could save photos from the Google Photos app to your iPhone camera roll. That said, not sure if you can select your entire collection at once or batches, etc but might be worth checking if you still want to try moving everything...
Interesting idea. I ordered a 256gb phone, but I might try on my iPad in small batches. Don't care if iPad gets bogged down uploading all week.
 

johaen8

macrumors member
Aug 17, 2010
94
160
Near Montgomery, AL
I know it has at least been the case since 13 but prior to that, don’t know.

Edit:

Apparently it was added in IOS 12. No way to disable it but is a more secure way to send pictures to unfamiliar people as it doesn't attach location data like it does sending direct from camera roll. Just wish it wouldn’t save to camera roll... 🤷🏼‍♂️

I really miss the iOS 11 messages interface for taking pictures.
ios11to12.jpeg

As you can see, when you opened the camera interface, it made a small camera feed that worked really well for quick snaps or selfies that you only want to send in a message. The pictures you took only went to the message and weren't saved to your phone. If you wanted, you could click the big camera button on the left and that would open the whole camera interface, and those images were saved to your phone. It's been years since we've had that interface and I still miss it.
 
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