If you want to share your photos and videos with friends and family privately, then Apple’s iCloud Photo Sharing feature in your Apple devices is another hidden gem.
As part of Apple’s Photos service, iCloud Photo Sharing can be used on Apple’s iDevices, Mac, Apple TV and PC. The good thing here is that shared albums do not count toward your iCloud storage. What’s even better is your privacy as it’s easier and safer to upload to your shared albums than to Facebook or Instagram.
Once it’s setup, you can share photos, videos, and memories with subscribers to the shared folder. You like the photos and comment on them, all privately between whoever is invited to subscribe.
It’s a great way to engage with family and friends and interact with moments you have had with each other. Everybody in the shared folder can share photos and videos.
Setting up iCloud Photo Sharing
Let’s properly setup your iCloud Photo Sharing feature first.
On your iPhone and iPad: go to the Settings app and scroll down to Photos and tap it then toggle the iCloud Photo Sharing switch to enable it.
On your Mac: launch the Photos app on your mac and from the menu bar at the top left click Photos then Preferences from the drop down menu. From the dialogue window that appears, select the iCloud tap and tick the box next to iCloud Photo Sharing. You’ll notice a new “Shared” section in your Photos app sidebar.
On your PC: after downloading iCloud for Windows, from the Start menu go to iCloud and open it. Click on Options button next to Photos and check the box next to iCloud Photo Sharing.
To disable, follow the same steps above and uncheck, or toggle off, the iCloud Photo Sharing.
Accessing your Shared Album
Accessing your iCloud Shared folder is easy. Follow these steps:
On your iPhone and iPad: if a shared album is not created when you open the Photos app then go ahead and open the Photos app and create a new album. Your device will ask you what type of albums to create; choose New Shared Album. Name your album and choose who you want to share it with and you’re good to go. The Shared Album will appear as a folder on your Photos library. From there, you can share photos, videos and memories.
On your Mac: your shared folder appears on the photos app. Open it and navigate to the Shared Albums under “Shared” section.
On your PC: go to your iCloud folder from the start menu and navigate to iCloud Photos. There, you will find all you photo folders including the Shared album.
iCloud Photo Sharing keepsake!
Now that you have setup your Shared Albums, it’s time to do something with them. There’s a lot you can do with your shared photos. You may want to dig deeper into the Photos app on your Mac to learn more about its features and what’s possible.
In the Shared Album, you can share photos, videos and memories and have your album subscribers interact with the stuff you share. With different services available that integrates with Photos app like Motif, Mimeo, WhiteWall, Wix, GooTimes and Shutterfly- available from the Mac App Store- you can make more out of your photos and produce beautiful designed photo books, calendars, etc.
There’s a lot of ideas to use iCloud Photo Sharing feature to create physical prints. For one, photos that you share with your family can be turned into beautiful photo books; photos of your newborn baby can be turned into a calendar documenting their first year’s milestones.
The key takeaway here is that you can have certain people subscribed to your shared folder that you share photos and videos with and have all the photos you care about in one place.
A note about Apple’s Photo Printing Service
One of the interesting things about Apple’s Photos app for Mac is the ability to turn your photos into photo books, calendars, cards, etc. and order your your prints. However, it looks like Apple is shutting down the photo printing service after at least a decade of being in operation.
There are, however, a lot of other similar photo printing services to make your photos into physical objects. As stated above, there are third-party apps that offer expanded selection of services. With these apps, users will be able to continue creating beautiful stuff they can then order.