What Exactly is iCloud Drive and iCloud Photo?

Discussion in 'iOS 8' started by theturtle, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. theturtle macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2009
    Hey guys, I was hoping if I could get more elaboration on something.

    iCloud Drive is the Dropbox competitor while iCloud Photo Library is just your photo library in the cloud, correct?

    If you enable iCloud Photo Library, when you snap photos from your phone, is the full photo being uploaded? To my knowledge it is but what exactly is being left on the phone. Some sites say it's just a smaller file size and that iCloud Photo Library is mainly created so you can save space on your phone but that I don't understand is, if iCloud Photo Library was made to store ALL your photos, isn't that a guarantee that you'll have to upgrade to the bigger storage buckets? If iCloud data somehow gets nuked, don't you lose all those photos? Is this any more beneficial than just plugging in your phone and moving the photos to iPhoto?

    What exactly is the point of photo stream now? iCloud Photo Library seems to be the same as photo stream. Sorry for the multitude of questions. It just seems redundant and I wanted to make sure if what I'm thinking is correct

    Does anyone know whether or not the iCloud Photo Library storage would also count against the iCloud Drive storage bucket.

    Sheesh. Too many cloud services if you ask me.
  2. iolinux333 macrumors 68000

    Feb 9, 2014
    I don't think anyone really knows what's going on. Not even Apple.
  3. vigilant macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    iCloud Photo Library a replacement for Photo Stream in the traditional sense. The iCloud Photo Library is suppose to be uploading the full image up to iCloud, and make it accessible from every device.

    I believe iCloud Photo Library also does photo versioning so if you change an image, you should have the edited and unedited version in iCloud Photo Library similar to what happens in iPhoto.

    iCloud Photo Library is different from Photo Stream in that iCloud Photo Library is designed to allow you to save not just 1000 photos from any device, but all of them (barring no space limits) including albums and etc, and everything gets synced to the cloud.

    I believe Shared Photo Streams should continue to work as a mechanism that lets you share an album like set of photos with others if you decide to.

    The new iCloud Photo Library will take from your iCloud space. While Apple has very aggressive plans in the works for iCloud's expansive pools, it's not immediately clear if these numbers are definitely set in stone.

    Hope that helps clear things up.
  4. theturtle thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2009
    Still kind of confused.

    So if I enable IPL (icloud photo library) will my photostream be automatically disabled? Or can both photostream and IPL run congruently.

    Reason I ask is because I've been fiddling around with the settings and Im a bit miffed on some of the results Im getting. When I disable ICL and enable Photostream, my photostream photos come back but the actual Photo Stream album is gone. It all populates into the "recently added" album. From there, if I want to save a photo stream image, I have to go to the image, click the options button and then select save image. There is no differentiation between photos that are actually ON my phone and photos that are on photostream except the photos on my phone have a little heart in the middle to favorite it.

    I stand by my original point that Photostream and ICL are extremely redundant. I still don't get why both are needed when photostream is a lessor sibling of ICL. This reminds me of what google did with their google photos app vs the native photo app.

    What happens when you store all your photos in the cloud and then an outage happens. You'll be stuck with the low res photos that are meant to be "fillers."

    My brain is getting fried just thinking about this.
  5. theturtle thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2009
    Thought of another question.

    The selling point of iPL is you can have your entire photo library in the cloud without having to clutter your phone.

    But to have that, Im pretty sure I read somewhere that there will be "downsized" versions on your phone which would then give you the option to download the full sized version from the cloud.

    My question is, if you have 10,000 photos in the cloud, those 10,000 photos that are downsized and are on each of your device would eat up how much space? I get that its going to be compressed when compared to the full version but it'll still be eating up phone storage.

    Also, what happens in a situation where you're with family overseas and you don't want to turn on roaming. If you have no internet, what are our options to show the photos with the people around us? Will we be forced to show the compressed version or will that not even work without an internet connection.
  6. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    I think there are more questions than answers right now for this. Apple has been mum because I think they are still working out the details themselves.

    I am wondering the following:

    -How will iCloud photos be available on OSX when the new photos app wont be available until 2015 and Yosemite comes out in October?

    -will we be able to save our photos offline in our computers for backup, or are we relying on the cloud only for storage of all of our memories?

    -what if we don't have internet connection are we able to see our photos on iOS device or computer? (I know its rare to be without an internet connection these days, but it does happen....Like on a long flight with no wifi, subways in NYC, an iPad thats wifi only, etc...)

    -will we be able to migrate our current iphoto/aperture library? or will iCloud just encompass any photos taken going forward?
  7. adamfishercox macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2007
    iCloud Photos will work just like photo stream in a practical sense. If you have photos in your camera roll on your phone, just like now, they will always be on your phone until you delete them. They will ALSO be uploaded to iCloud Photos so that they can appear on other devices and still be in the cloud if you delete them from your local camera roll. You'll only need an internet connection to download photo that are in iCloud Photos but not on your Camera Roll.
  8. theturtle thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2009
    So from what I'm understanding, if I take a picture on my phone, not only will it stay on my phone but it will upload to the cloud as well. Will the photo that is on my phone be the full resolution photo? If so, that would defeat the purpose of saving space if its BOTH on my phone taking up space as well as in the cloud.

    If I delete the photo from the phone, it will be gone but I can still access it in the cloud.

    What happens with my full iPL though. My full collection that I moved over from my iPhoto (which Im assuming is in the works). How would I access my full library in a place where I don't have internet access? Would I have to think beforehand and figure out which photos I want to show family and friends and then download it (lol).

    Photostream doesn't use your storage bucket but has a photo and time cap. Really don't see why Photostream is even there.
  9. adamfishercox macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2007
    How Camera Roll + Photostream works today: When you take a picture, a copy is saved to your camera roll AND to your local photo stream folder, as well as being uploaded to the cloud. It will stay on your camera roll until you manually delete it and in your Photostream until 30 days or 1000 newer photos. The upside to this is that you can access your Photostream without an internet connection. The downside is most people have two full-resolution copies of their photos on their iPhone.

    How Camera Roll + iCloud Photos will work: When you take a picture, a copy is saved to your camera roll, and uploaded to iCloud Photos. A small thumbnail copy of the photo is stored in your iCloud photos folder. The full resolution photo will stay in your Camera Roll AND in iCloud Photos until you delete it from each (or, if you use up all your iCloud space, I assume photos will stop saving to iCloud until you delete some or buy more space.) You will be able to access the full-res image from you camera roll without internet, as it is stored on-device. From my understanding you will not be able to access iCloud Photos with no internet connection.

    In practice the two aren't that different. Photo Stream only allowed for about a month of photos on-device anyway, so you would have had to make sure to keep photos in Camera Roll to show them offline. Now you'll have more room to keep things in your camera roll because there won't be duplicates in a Photo Stream folder. If you decide you want to bring some older photos to your phone so you can show them with no internet connection, you will need to download them to your camera roll beforehand. A bit of a hassle, sure, but with Photo Stream you wouldn't even have this option unless the photos were less than a month old.
  10. luckydcxx, Jul 24, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2014

    luckydcxx macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2013
    I tried using iCloud Drive just now and it doesn't seem to be working. I dropped a PDF document into my "iCloud Drive" on my macbook running 10.10 and tried to open it with iBooks. There is no option to even open anything? How do I open this file on my iPhone running iOS 8 beta 4?

    I also just put a movie on my iCloud Drive from my mac and it shows that I used up 1 GB on my iCloud storage so it is there. I cannot access the movie. I tried opening the Apple app "videos" but it is not there.

    How am I supposed to open these files?

    It seems like we need to have an app called "iCloud Drive". This is where all of the files will be stored (like the dropbox app). You just open the app and all of your files are there. Seems very simple to me.
  11. afsnyder macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2014
    Ok lets put it this way. I understand exactly what going on.

    Currently with iCloud My Photostream 1,000 photos are taken to the cloud. If you take photo and you've maxed out My Photostream, it permanently deletes a photo at the back end and adds the new one. This works great if you have iPhoto on your mac and have it auto-import from photo stream but there is no Cloud of all your photos if you lose them off your devices.

    iCloud Photo Library is supposed to fix this by being a permanent replacement. Turn it on and you get all your photos backed up to iCloud in full resolution. All your edits also get saved and they are nondestructive. Best yet, your photos on your device are optimized to save space. If you run out of room on your phone, iCloud Photo Library will automatically clear space on your phone while keeping the photo in its spot in the cloud. This also works for videos I believe.

    Now if you get a new iOS device, not just the 1000 photo stream photos will be on your device, every single photo will be on your device.

    Unfortunately, this awesome back up service takes up part of your iCloud drive storage while the older Older Photostream didn't. To adjust for this, they adjusted their pricing and you can get a lot of space for your photos for pretty cheap.

    So in short iCloud Photo Library is just all your photos and videos on all your devices. And My Photo stream was just 1000 and they disappeared when you hit the maximum.

    These are back up solutions for the cloud. I think when the Mac version of Photos the app will have the full resolution photos so that would be a backup as well.
  12. apollo1444 macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2011
    read no further... this is explained very well
  13. Zetaprime macrumors 65816

    Dec 4, 2011
    Ohio, US
    Doesn't iCloud already do that? I've restored my devices from the cloud on many occasions and all my pictures and videos come back the same size they were originally. That means iCloud had stored them that way all along. Also When I view them on my Apple TV they're there as well and the Apple TV is pulling that from whatever was saved on iCloud.
  14. Agent-P macrumors 68030


    Dec 5, 2009
    The Tri-State Area
    So I just checked the page Apple has set up talking about how the new iCloud Photos Library works and it makes much more sense to me. Basically it sounds like a permanent PhotoStream with more features added. (though after reading through it I don't think I'll be able to get by with the free 5gb plan)

    This one is pretty self explanatory. The photos will be uploaded in their full resolution, unaltered state. And they can be accessed at full resolution from any iCloud enabled device.

    This looks like an option you can enable so after the full sized photo gets uploaded, it can leave behind a smaller file that is optimised for mobile view in order to take up less space on the device. While it doesn't go into specifics on how large they are or how you'll access the full sized photo again, I'd guess Apple will make it easy to access the full size photo with a toggle on the photo options for each photo in the camera roll. I'd also guess if you're trying to share an image via Messages or some other app it'll pull down the full size photo from iCloud Photo Library for the actual sharing.

    So that's good. iCloud Photo Library will essentially keep a version history of the photos as you edit them so you can always revert back to an older version (sort of like the way the versions feature works on Time Machine for OS X).
  15. LordQ Suspended


    Sep 22, 2012
    Silly question but I haven't seen an option for it; can you delete photos from iCloud drive but keep them on the phone and vice versa?
  16. notrack macrumors 6502

    Feb 19, 2012
    I don't have iCloud Drive enabled so I'm not entirely sure but afaik you'll have to put the files in the respective app folders. Maybe the Preview app will be able to read the generic iCloud Drive folder but it looks like apps will still use to their own folders. So, for example, if you want to share a Pages document with iOS, you'll have to put it in the Pages folder.
  17. adamfishercox macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2007
  18. ZAPELECTRIFIED macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2014
    CA, USA
    I think they need an actual "iCloud Drive" app. That way you can easily access everything in one place. It should also be able to open PDFs, MP3s, MP4s, MPEGs, GIFs, etc. Just like Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive.

  19. upsguy27 macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2007
    I'm pretty sure Apple will update all the built-in and iWork suite to have the iCloud drive capability closer to launch, all the screenshots of iCloud Drive on the Apple site look like a popup menu that you access from within Pages or a similar app.


    This is also what I was wondering, there's no way to access the photos from OS X right now, so what are they going to do? My guess is they'll either release a small update to iPhoto to support the iCloud photo library, or they'll add the ability to view all your photos from the Preview folder inside of iCloud drive.
  20. Stuke00 macrumors 68000

    Oct 11, 2011

    From my understanding, when you take a photo the full resolution is uploaded to the cloud and a smaller version is kept on your phone of your entire library. This is not yet enabled or supported in the betas according to the release notes. If you don't have internet access, you will be able to see your entire library but not the full resolutions. Just a screen optimized one.

    If you delete the photo off your phone, it will be gone from the cloud too. You get a notification telling you this beforehand.
  21. iSimx macrumors 6502


    Sep 26, 2007
    I was wondering if you signed up to a larger iCloud drive such as 1TB and fill that up with files/backups etc., what happens if you set up iCloud drive on another mac with a smaller hard drive, or SSD. Can you selectively sync like dropbox? or will it cause the mac to run out of space?
  22. Rugby209 macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2014
    How do videos work in iCloud Drive? If I decide to delete a video off my phone to save space will I still be able to access it from iCloud Drive? If so, will I essentially be streaming the video since it wouldn't be on my phone anymore? I created a bunch if home movies in iMovies over the years. It would be great to be able to store them in iCloud Drive and just stream them to all my devices.
  23. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    From what I understand, if you turn on iCloud Photo Library, no videos will actually stay stored on your device. Once they upload to the cloud, just the thumbnail photo of the video remains. Then when you play the video it streams from iCloud. Deleting the video means you are deleting the thumbnail from your devices AND the actual video from iCloud. You no longer will have to keep up with any particular place it is stored or deleted from, duplicate storage places, and etc. Delete simply and truly means delete.

    What's not exactly clear is what about if someone wanted to both store a video on the device and in the iCloud Photo Library.
  24. Rahul45692 macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2014
    Hello People, i wanted to upload my photos on to my mac from photos application in my iphone so i decided to use icloud and photostream when from settings i started icloud then to photos i clicked icloud photo library and after that all my photos disappeared it said this "automatically upload and store your entire library in icloud to access photos and videos from all your devices" i am not able to find my photos in iphotos of my mac...please help me i had almost 1000 photos...where did icloud took my photos..

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