iCloud photo library on iOS - download photos for offline viewing

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by pgolik, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. pgolik macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #1
    I have a ~100 GB photo library on my Mac (mostly photos taken with my dSLR). I put the library in iCloud, choosing to keep originals on the Mac, and all works well.
    Now I enabled iCloud photo library on my iPhone (a 128GB 6s with ~80 GB still free). I chose "optimize" on the iPhone, as the entire library is too big, but I'd like to be able to view a few GB worth of some of my recent and favourite photos on the phone. It synchronized correctly, but all the photos from my Mac show as thumbnails on the iPhone. When I tap a thumbnail, it does download the full resolution image, so I guess it works as designed. But it's tedious to do it image-by-image, and I'd like to get my favourite albums on the iPhone over WiFi, not having to use cellular data when I feel like showing a picture.
    And here's the question - is there a way to get an entire album (or, at least, a bunch of selected images) to download as full resoultion images to the iPhone? Kind of like it works with iCloud Music where I can make entire albums or playlists available offline? The ideal would be an option to have e.g. last year's photos download as full resolution automatically (as it worked with iPhoto/iTunes syncing).
     
  2. gsmornot macrumors 68030

    gsmornot

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    #2
    No, there is no way to do what you're asking other than to open each photo and let it sync to your phone. You will have to deal with the caching of the photos as you view them until you have cached each one.

    When you click the image thumbnail, you're loading a larger copy of the photo. This will be optimized for the device you're on at the moment. iPad and iPhone photos will be different sizes for the different displays. The real full size photo will not be downloaded until you either edit or send the photo. So, even after going through and clicking the photos you are only looking at the device sized photo. Its best to just decide now to allow or restrict the downloads over cellular and only do so when you're ready to show the photo. Over time you will have many of the photos cached. Also over time you will find that the phone will cache and reduce the photo as it sees fit so your effort may be in vein.

    Option two is to reduce the number of photos you sync in your library (last year only maybe) and sync those as full size on your device. Here I'm saying only sync from your Mac last year to the cloud. Not ideal if you want access to all photos but an option none the less.
     
  3. pgolik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #3
    Just as I thought. This is seriously limiting, and there could be a simple way of implementing this - just copy the solution for offline files in Apple Music.
    I'm considering turning iCloud Photo library off (and downgrading the iCloud plan), and going back to syncing with iTunes - does it still work as it used to with the latest iTunes/Photos?
     
  4. xmlninja macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    #4
    I feel for you. Im in the same boat as Ive recently got my fingers out of it and uploaded all my old photos (10 years of pics and videos) to iCloud photo library. However I will wait for apple to improve rather than going the long road of trying to sync etc in the mean time. I choose to live with it and try to submit and convince them that theres is a demand for features instead.

    I have an additional 50gb videos to upload. puh! Not sure whatever Im going to try to put photos and videos older than 5y in an other library yet and off load it on a NAS or something but I don't have one today and actually. 1tb of iCloud storage for 4-5 years is the same price as a NAS. I like iCloud so far and can only see it being easier to use in the future and I use a mac with time machine to keep local backup of my entire library.
     
  5. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #5
    I had the same issue, but found that over time it's become less of an issue as the photos I like to go back to stay cached once they're downloaded.

    I also notice that everything I've taken on all devices since I started using iCloud Photo Library is stored in full on all my devices. I have plenty of free space so I guess it hasn't seen a need to purge yet.

    At the very least I think the "Favorites" album should automatically be kept fully downloaded. Mine is because I thumbed through it in its entirety, so it's no longer an issue but still.
     
  6. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #6
    Whoah, I just discovered a neat trick. If you select all the photos in an album, and share them with an app like Transmit that accepts sharing from Photos, the phone will download ALL the FULL RESOLUTION versions of that photo from iCloud. It will say "Preparing..." while it does this. Then you can hit cancel and the downloaded images remain.

    I don't know how long they'll stick around, but this trick seems to be a nifty way to mass-cache large numbers of photos.
     
  7. thekayman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2014
    #7
    My photos library is about 100GB as well but I only have a 16GB iPhone. How much space is the library taking up on your phone?
     
  8. pgolik thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #8
    3.4 GB at the moment. I'll try the sharing trick, I hope once they're cached, they'll stay there, given that I have tons of space (it really feels good to upgrade to 128GB from a 16GB phone).
     

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