iOS 5.0: Photo Stream
Another great benefit of iCloud, introduced in iOS 5.0, is Photo Stream.
Photo Stream seamlessly synchronises your last 1000 photos (photos and screen shots taken on your iPhone or iPad) across all your iCloud enabled devices. Take a picture on your iPhone and the next time you pick up your iPad, the same photo is in your Photo Stream.
This is a great feature which makes life that little bit simpler. Anyone that blogs from their iOS devices will appreciate this function. I write the majority of my blog posts on the iPad yet take the majority of photos on the iPhone. To transfer photos from iPhone to iPad typically involves uploading to Dropbox on the iPhone and then downloading from Dropbox on the iPad. Then I can use that local photo to upload to my WordPress blog.
Now, of course, I take a photo on the iPhone and it’s ‘automagically’ transferred to my iPad. I don’t have to do anything else.
It’s fair to say it’s early days for photo stream. Currently there is no way to manage the photos in the stream directly from your iOS device (other than to save a copy to “saved photos”). Similarly, you don’t have any access or control of your photo stream via iCloud.com.
Remember, photo stream maintains the last 1000 photos only, so it is worth making sure you save any photos you want to keep to “saved photos” (aka Camera Roll).
Having said all that, it is possible to manage you photo stream via your Mac or Windows PC. Head over to the Apple site here to download the Windows Control Panel. It should be noted that the Windows Control Panel only supports Windows Vista and Windows 7 (as I run XP it means I’ve not had chance to try it out yet….. Windows 7 upgrade time?).