If you’re a frequent reader then you may remember my thoughts on Apple’s iCloud Photo Library beta and my lack of faith in Apple and its ability to keep my photos safe. Nobody wants to lose photographs of their kids or loved ones because Apple’s cloud solution had a meltdown one day.
And I just don’t have any expectation of that not happening at some point.
During my time spent testing iCloud Photo Library I rediscovered one feature that I had actually forgotten about since the days of the iOS 7 betas. It was as feature that I never made great use of at the time because some key members of my family didn’t have iPhones, but now that they do, I decided to revisit it.
The feature I am talking about is iCloud Photo Sharing, and it’s really rather good.
Did you know you can easily create a web page containing some of the photos taken with your iPhone or iPad? This little-known feature is a great way to easily share pictures with friends and family, even if they don’t own an iPhone. Learn how to turn a photo album into a public website with this tutorial.
Recently, a pattern has begun taking shape that I fear signals something worryingly awful is afoot as excellence takes a back seat at Apple in favor of mediocre web services. It’s always been that way, critics might add. Indeed, here we are, at the end of 2012, and yet weekly outages of key iCloud services such as iMessage and FaceTime are still a norm rather than a rare exception.
While iCloud storm is raining on users, Apple seemingly struggles in figuring out how to sprinkle its magic dust on Internet software. With over half a billion iOS and Mac devices straining its data centers, something clearly had to give. The iPhone maker isn’t an isolated example: competitors experience outages, too. But Apple’s different in that its online woes are symptomatic of a much larger set of problems the company faces.
Cupertino’s infrastructure is lacking. For all the computational power its array of super data centers provide, Apple’s software underpinnings are outdated and increasingly incapable of handling high load. Software shortcomings are putting Apple at risk at a time when competitors like Google tap their massive scale and expertise to successfully marry hardware to Internet software in ways Apple cannot…
Not all iOS 6 features are supported across every iOS device on Apple’s compatibility list and that has been ticking some people off. Sometimes limited support stems from steep hardware requirements, but (too) often Apple is being accused of intentionally obsoleting older devices by going to great lengths to ensure certain software features are kept exclusive to the latest hardware (Siri, anyone?).
Luckily, with yesterday’s release of iOS 6 Beta 3 to registered developers, Cupertino added two features that previously were not supported on the iPhone 3GS, VIP Mail recipients and Shared Photo Streams…
Shared Photo Streams is a new feature in iOS 6 that allows you to selectively share photo albums with friends and family of your choosing. Unlike the My Photo Stream feature which is geared only towards individual photo sharing amongst iOS devices and computers owned by you, Shared Photo Streams brings a social element to iOS photography.
The streaming element comes from the fact that you can dynamically add or remove photos from a shared album and they will almost instantaneously appear or disappear on demand. Album viewers can also comment and like your photos, and you will receive push notifications any time someone does so.
Take a look at our full video walkthrough above for a look into how Shared Photo Streaming works.