I haven’t been a fan of Photo Stream. When it was first introduced I thought that it would be a great idea until I quickly discovered that it was all or nothing. Every photo I took with my iPhone and every screen shot I captured was being sent to my Photo Stream. There was no way to pick and choose which pictures to put into Photo Stream and worse there was no way to delete individual pics that you didn’t want in your Photo Stream. I immediately turned Photo Stream off and cleared out my Photo Stream via the iCloud.com website. Apple updated Photo Stream to allow you to delete individual photos and at least that made it usable. However, there was no real way to be selective. Every pic you take goes into your Photo Stream and YOU have to remember to delete the ones you don’t want in there.
iOS 6 Brings Shared Photo Streams to the Table
Now that iOS 6 is out we have both the regular Photo Stream and Shared Photo Streams. Apple has also built-in Photo Stream support into Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion as well as the latest iPhoto and Aperture. Finally you can now be “selective!” I setup a couple of shared Photo Streams with friends and was pleased that I could just choose which photos to share to which Photo Stream. As a matter of fact I even turned off “My Photo Stream” since you still can’t choose which photos go into your regular Photo Stream. Just this morning I tried a test I setup a NEW shared Photo Stream, but didn’t share it with anyone. I wasn’t sure if you could create shared Photo Streams that you don’t actually share and to my pleasant surprise the answer is YES! Now I have a Photo Stream that I can choose which photos to share and those photos will appear on all of my devices automatically.Shared Photo Streams aren’t perfect. I would also like the ability to share a Photo Stream with someone and also have them be able to add photos to it too. In other words a two-way stream option.
The Bottom Line
These shared Photo Streams are accessible from iOS devices, Mac OS X, the web, and Apple TV. That’s exactly what I wanted!