iPhone Sharing iCloud Photos library yet?

Gizmotoy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 6, 2003
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I know Apple changed a fair bit about how iCloud Photos works, or at least the Photos app itself, in iOS 13 and I was wondering if someone on the Beta could answer a question for me. Is it possible yet to share a photo library across devices with different Apple IDs like how Google Photos works? Something like the "Sign into a Different iCloud Photo Account for Family Sharing Accounts" section from this article:
It’s long past time for Apple to fix iCloud Photo sharing for families

What I'd like to do is merge photos from two phones into a single library each with "Optimize Library" set, and then on my desktop use "Keep Originals" in order to have a local copy of all images from both devices locally on my desktop. This permits a local and offsite backup in addition to Apple's sync operation.

We could have almost gotten away with straight up sharing an iCloud account between us, but the behavior of Messages breaks it (we'd be getting all of each others texts all well).

The existing iOS 12 Apple-approved workaround for this is a manual process using Shared Albums that downscales images and video, which isn't appropriate when the use case is for backup, and has a 5,000 item limit, which isn't enough for our library.

I guess I'm hoping they've made some changes so that iCloud Photos works for us.
 

TDPHunter

macrumors member
Jan 7, 2007
57
4
Orlando, FL
I'm waiting on the same functionality. My wife and I became parents of twins last year and we take an insane amount of pictures and videos throughout each week. We have airdrop "parties" at the end of the day or once a week to transfer photos to each other's photo libraries so that we both have access to them. It would be nice if we could have a shared family account. As of right now, I'm looking into using Shared Albums. But, I think that would just complicate things more.
 

Elwots

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2016
155
168
I'm waiting on the same functionality. My wife and I became parents of twins last year and we take an insane amount of pictures and videos throughout each week. We have airdrop "parties" at the end of the day or once a week to transfer photos to each other's photo libraries so that we both have access to them. It would be nice if we could have a shared family account. As of right now, I'm looking into using Shared Albums. But, I think that would just complicate things more.
We used shared albums until we found out the photo quality takes a hit.
 

zerolight

macrumors 6502
Mar 6, 2006
482
70
Glasgow
I gave up waiting a couple years back and switched to a Lightroom CC subscription. Log into both my and my wife’s Lightroom app as me. Done.
 

Gizmotoy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 6, 2003
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I gave up waiting a couple years back and switched to a Lightroom CC subscription. Log into both my and my wife’s Lightroom app as me. Done.
I actually use Lightroom, but like the Classic application. Maybe I should give CC a shot to take care of this use case. Thank you for the suggestion.

Are you able to get full resolution photos and videos back to a desktop automatically?

Do photos/video upload on cellular? It’s not mentioned.
 
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Gizmotoy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 6, 2003
1,081
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A note to anyone finding this later, I installed iOS 13 Beta 2, and the functionality has not been changed. You cannot sign into iCloud Photos using a secondary account like you can for the App Store, nor can you share full-quality photos & video between family members either automatically or manually from within the application.

If you manually copy photos around (via Airdrop or some other mechanism involving a Mac) you can get all family members access to full quality photos & video, but Apple counts all copies of them against your quota: so total iCloud usage is X times your actual library size.

Unfortunately it looks like another year of Photos not handling this case.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2006
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UK
I gave up waiting a couple years back and switched to a Lightroom CC subscription. Log into both my and my wife’s Lightroom app as me. Done.
Same here works brilliantly. I would probably stay with Lightroom (cloud) even if Apple fixed iCloud Photos sharing.
 
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Gizmotoy

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Nov 6, 2003
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Same here works brilliantly. I would probably stay with Lightroom (cloud) even if Apple fixed iCloud Photos sharing.
I was already on the 20GB plan, so have been playing with it. My main concerns are that it syncs to Lightroom Classic poorly. Every file claims metadata mismatches, and you can’t sync keywords. CC is limited in features, so moving is a major setback.

This might not be so bad if their storage prices weren’t 2x everyone else. I’m right on the edge of 1TB, so it’s effectively $30 a month ($20 of which is storage). That’s a lot, especially when you get a version of Lightroom that’s strictly worse than what I have now. It’s hard to justify being both more expensive and reduced features.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2006
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UK
I was already on the 20GB plan, so have been playing with it. My main concerns are that it syncs to Lightroom Classic poorly. Every file claims metadata mismatches, and you can’t sync keywords. CC is limited in features, so moving is a major setback.
Syncing between Classic and Cloudy Lightroom is supported but complex. You have to really know what you are doing, and there are some nasty pitfalls for those who don't.

Although supported by Adobe it is not recommended by them, eg this from their FAQ

"Should I use Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC together?
We encourage anyone who currently uses Lightroom Classic to download and try Lightroom CC in order to decide if you’d like to switch to Lightroom CC. Our recommendation is that you pick one and use it on an ongoing basis. We don't recommend using both together in the long term."

(underlining is mine)
 

Gizmotoy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 6, 2003
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Syncing between Classic and Cloudy Lightroom is supported but complex. You have to really know what you are doing, and there are some nasty pitfalls for those who don't.

Although supported by Adobe it is not recommended by them, eg this from their FAQ

"Should I use Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC together?
We encourage anyone who currently uses Lightroom Classic to download and try Lightroom CC in order to decide if you’d like to switch to Lightroom CC. Our recommendation is that you pick one and use it on an ongoing basis. We don't recommend using both together in the long term."

(underlining is mine)
Yeah, which makes it tough when the cloud version is missing features (no geotagging?!?). I'm about to give it a try to see if I can hobble along using both for awhile (are there other pitfalls than the keyword issues and face detection issues?). Maybe the cloud version will eventually become something useful for me.
 

Mike Boreham

macrumors 68000
Aug 10, 2006
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UK
Yes it is limited, but still a work in progress and being added to each update.

Maybe worth it for you getting to grips with syncing Classic and Cloudy, I think Adobe say what they say because it is not for the casual user or intuitive. There is help in the forums.
 
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Gizmotoy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Nov 6, 2003
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Yes it is limited, but still a work in progress and being added to each update.

Maybe worth it for you getting to grips with syncing Classic and Cloudy, I think Adobe say what they say because it is not for the casual user or intuitive. There is help in the forums.
I've found so far that I'm actually able to do most of what I need by using Classic on my desktop, with a small test collection synchronized to the cloud, and Lightroom CC on my mobile devices with their camera rolls synced to a collection. Everything makes it back to Lightroom Classic on my desktop.

I can't add keywords from the phones, adjust map locations, or use Sensei people search, but in a small experiment most everything else seems to work. Basically I care about photos from multiple devices merging and making it back to my desktop, which appears to work well. You can change ratings and do some basic edits on the phone and have them sync to Classic, which is a nice bonus.

I'll probably move on from this small test and attempt to synchronize my whole library and see what happens. Fingers crossed.