Use Shared Photo Streams On iOS The Right Way [Feature]

Use Shared Photo Streams On iOS The Right Way [Feature]

Shared Photo Streams came along with iOS 6, allowing us all to create our own little photo sharing social networks using nothing more than an iCloud account and our iOS devices. Creating and sharing Photo Streams is dead-simple, but managing some of the more non-intuitive features, like comments and subscribers, can be a bit tricky for the uninitiated.

We took a look at these new features and put together a guide on using Shared Photo Streams to help you get the most out of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch when creating and sharing your photos with your friends and family.

Share Your Photos Only With People You Want To

We constantly share our snapshots from our iPhones to Twitter and Facebook, we send them via e-mail and iMessage, print them from our phones, and even share them to group sites like Picasa and Flickr. It’s a veritable frenzy of photo sharing!

It’s all really amazing and fun, of course, but what about those times we just want to share our photos with a select group of friends or family members? Setting up special lists in Facebook or Flickr can be unintuitive and tricky, so chances are good that it doesn’t happen that often.

Luckily, Apple’s got shared Photo Streams in the new iOS 6, and it’s fairly straightforward to set up.

Launch your Photos app on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and then tap on the Photo Stream button in the bottom center of the screen. Tap on the Plus button in the upper left, and you’ll get the Photo Stream creation screen. Type a name or several names of people you want to share this Photo Stream with in the To: field, then name the Photo Stream in the field below. Finally, toggle the Public Website option to ON if you want anyone tobe able to view this stream on iCloud.com. Tap on the Create button to make your new, empty Photo Stream.

Now, tap on the Photo Stream you created and then tap on the Edit button in the upper right fo the Photo Stream screen. Tap on Add at the bottom, there, and then choose the photo or photos you want to add to the shared Photo Stream. Tap the Done button when you’re finished, and you’ll finally have a way to share photos you’ve taken with specific folks that you choose to. When you want to add more, simply tap the Edit button again, and Add more photos to the shared Photo Stream. The people you’ve shared with will see the new additions on their devices, as well.

Invite (Or Un-invite) Subscribers From Your Shared Photo Streams

Use Shared Photo Streams On iOS The Right Way [Feature]

We got a couple of comments on our tip about using shared Photo Streams on iOS devices. One of them was how to add new people to a Photo Stream once it’s been created. It’s fairly unintuitive (Apple, are you listening?), so here’s a quick step-by-step on how to do so.

Launch your Photos app with a tap. Then, tap on the Photo Stream tab at the bottom. If you’re using an iPhone or iPod touch, tap the blue arrow next to the name of the shared Photo Stream. If you’re on an iPad, tap the Edit button, and then tap on the shared Photo Stream.

Next, to add a new person, tap the Add People… section below the list of other subscribers and either add a person from your Contacts via the little blue button, or just type in an email address. Then tap the Add button in the top right corner.

If you want to delete a subscriber, tap the name of the person you want to remove in the list of subscribers, then tap the big red Remove Subscriber button. Boom! They’re gone.

Subscribers can only view or comment on the pictures with shared Photo Streams, on their own iOS devices or on the web. Hopefully, Apple will add a way for subscribers to add photos to a shared stream, as well, which will make the whole thing much more useful for groups who want to share among themselves.

How To Delete A Comment From A Shared Photo Stream

Use Shared Photo Streams On iOS The Right Way [Feature]

On the internet, comments can be as important as the content being articulated about. Of course, comments can also be rude, hateful, or just plain ridiculous. You know, like much of the content on the internet, as well.

So, if shared Photo Streams are like little photo social networks that contain only the people you invite, comments should never be a problem, right? Well, I don’t know about your friends and family, but mine can be both irreverent and irregular in their commenting activities. That’s why it’s handy to be able to delete comments that the original Photo Stream poster doesn’t want any more.

Here’s how to get rid of those commenting curiosities.

Launch your Photos app, and tap on the Photo Stream button at the bottom. Tap a shared Photo Stream you want to edit the comments from, and then tap on the comment bubble in the lower right hand corner. Tap and hold on the comment you wish to delete, and a popup menu will appear, with a Copy and a Delete option. Choose the Delete option with a tap, and the comment will disappear.

You can delete comments that you have made, as well as those from others in the shared Photo Stream that you created. You can’t delete a comment from a Photo Stream that you didn’t originally share.

Pretty cool, right?

Fix Shared Photo Stream Comment Sync Issues

Use Shared Photo Streams On iOS The Right Way [Feature]

Shared Photo Streams are fantastic, of course, barring the niggling detail that only the person who creates them can add photos to them. Sometimes, though, as with all tech, things don’t necessarily work the way they should. For example, sometimes you won’t be able to see comments that have been posted by subscribers. Other times, deleting a comment from a shared Photo Stream via iPhoto or Aperture won’t be reflected on your iPhone.

Here’s how to fix that.

First, if you’re having a comment sync issue, check the System Status notification on the iCloud Support webpage. If iCloud is down, there’s no amount of troubleshooting you can do. Just wait it out.

Second of all, make sure you’re connected to the internet. Sounds silly, but it can happen. Check your connection by launching Safari and going to a site that’s up all the time, like apple.com or google.com.

If your deleted comment is still showing up, make sure that the number of comments for a photo is the same on your iOS device and your Mac. Remember that the number in the speech bubble on your iPhone also includes Likes. Click through to the comments on the iOS device and count them manually to be sure there isn’t a mismatch.

If all of the above is fine, follow the steps Apple suggests, below:

  • Quit Photos.
  • From your Home screen, click your Home button twice. Your open applications should appear in a row at the bottom of your screen.
  • Scroll to find the Photos icon. Press the icon until the icons jiggle.
  • Tap the red circle in the upper-left corner of the Photos icon. The icon should disappear from the list.
  • Tap the Home button again to return to normal operations.
  • Tap Settings, then tap iCloud.
  • Tap Photo Stream. Tap Shared Photo Streams to turn it OFF.
  • Tap Delete Photos. The photos will be automatically re-added later when you turn this setting back on.
  • Tap the Home button to exit Settings, and wait about a minute.
  • Tap Settings, then tap iCloud.
  • Tap Photo Stream. Tap Shared Photo Streams to turn it ON.
  • Tap the Home button.
  • Open Photos. Tap the Photo Stream tab. Tap the name of the shared photo stream.
  • Test to see if the issue has been resolved.

If all of that still doesn’t work, email Apple support and see what they have to say about the matter.

  • Cgs101

    It would be fantastic to be able to share albums on internet browsers so people without ios devices can also see them. Until then photo stream is only good for transferring photos to your mac wirelessly…

  • grelca

    It would be fantastic to be able to share albums on internet browsers so people without ios devices can also see them. Until then photo stream is only good for transferring photos to your mac wirelessly…

    You can. That’s what the “public website” option is for. :)

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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