iCloud Photo Sharing is a Personal and Private Instagram.


iCloud photo sharing is all about sharing -- it's in the name!

Every iPhone that's still ticking probably has this feature. It's been around for years, and it works like this:

  • Take a photo
  • Press the share icon (the square with the upward arrow)
  • Select iCloud photo sharing
  • Choose or create the album
  • People who are not you get to see it
  • Cool

It's simple and works like a more personal and private Instagram.

Invite and revoke

Like Instagram, you can easily invite people and revoke their viewing privileges any time. You can group any amount of photos into an album and share with any number of people. You do need to have either their phone number or email address, which is one area where Instagram excels. And yet, this means that strangers won't be following you or trolling you. I call this a win.

'Like' Instagram

Also like Instagram, viewers can comment and like a photo. Nothing spectacular here. And there's no need to reinvent liking and commenting.

Apple Filters Beat Instagram's.

There are also filters, like Instgram, though much much better. I know many may doubt this, Afterall, Instagram has 24 filters and each can be further tweaked via 13 individual adjustments such as Contrast, and Structure.

I concede that Instagram has good filters, but Apple has the App Store, and that allows me to tweak any image, with any possible filter and adjustment. For example, I can blow right past Apple's 9 predefined filters, and 14 adjustments --which are simultaneously simple and robust -- and head right to the extension icon (a little circle with three dots in it). This gives me instant access to 5 more apps that I downloaded, some of which have even more filters and tweaks and ...curves! If you want to take good pictures, learn what curves are. For Apple's quick literature on these features, check out this handy resources.

So why is it better?

Besides far better editing capabilities, iCloud Photo sharing allows you a website, that Instagram didn't initially have and the ability to choose to have this website on an album by album basis or not. I can choose to allow my friends and family to add their photos to my album, thus creating a sort of shareable photo wiki of an event, and -- here's the meat of it, folks -- it's all encrypted on the device and secure and private unlike Instagram, a wholly owned subsidiary of Facebook.

Let's say a new mom wants to share photos of her brand new baby. Maybe she doesn't want the whole world to be witness to her condition minutes after labor, yet these photos really carry meaning and importance to the birth. iCloud photo sharing would be the way to go, especially if you want to gather the photos from all the family in the waiting room, nursery, and perhaps even delivery room. They can all contribute and privacy can be upheld. Any invited person can instantly get an alerted message of a new photo, add their own, comment and like them, and do it privately and with out any advertisements of any type. Mom makes the choice, nobody else.

And that reminds me of an app I use for photos sometimes, which is, of course, accessible prior to iCloud sharing. It's called Metapho and it allows you to see and remove meta data that is embedded in photos. This is great for removing the location data stored in nearly every smartphone photo. If you send a photo digitally, chances are the recipient could easily find out where and when you were when you took it.

Anyhow, that's iCloud photo sharing. I use it often, and wrote this because I wish others did too. It's a nice feature that's available for free to any iPhone owner, and quite honestly, it's under appreciated. This 3:25 second video shows you the basics.