I have a nice Canon 600D and I do take one or two pictures. Pictures like stories should be shared and although it is perfectly possible to share your images through social media such as Facebook and Flickr, Apple have provided us with shared Photo Streams. It is sharing of our images on a more personal level and I have found that it is pretty easy to set up. The first thing to do is to go to your settings application in iOS, whether you are using the new iPad or maybe an iPhone 5. When the new iPod Touch generation five becomes available, you’ll also be able to set up photo sharing through the photo stream with that device also. In the settings application got to iCloud and look for the sunflower icon in the list, tap on it, so that you can turn on your Photo Stream and also your shared Photo Streams.
iCloud Photo Stream Setup
How to use Shared Photo Streams in iOS 6
You can set this in motion either from when you are looking at the iCloud PhotoStream or you can do it from a single photo. Let’s first look at how you do this when you are looking at a picture and you would like to share it with someone that you know. So you have the photo taking up full-screen and in the menu bar at the top you tap on the icon to do a share. You have a number of choices from the pop-up menu, you can send the image out by e-mail, Message, Twitter, Facebook, but in this case what you want to do is to tap on the sunflower icon for the Photo Stream. Next you will see a dialogue box which will show you the shared Photo Streams that you have already and an option to create a new Photo Stream.
It is at this point that you choose who you want to share the photographs with. I don’t think it is possible to add more people to a shared photo stream at a later date, so make sure that you have all the people that you want to add, listed in the ‘To’ field. You can give your Photo Stream a name and you can also decide if you want to make it available through a public website. This would be for sharing with people that don’t have an Apple ID and who could even be Windows users. The shared photo streams that go to a public website are supposed to be available to be viewed on iCloud.com. As I write this I have yet to see evidence of this part of the photo stream service. I would have expected that they would be somewhere that a URL could be grabbed and then sent out. I have seen the invitations to the shared photo stream, and it was for setting up to see the Shared Photostream in the Apple ecosystem.
iPhoto and shared Photo Streams
When you are using iPhoto on the iPad you will be able to see the shared Photo Streams amongst the albums sitting on those delightful glass shelves. Next to the name of the shared Photo Stream you will see a little picture of a cloud, to show it is a shared stream. Tap on one of those albums and you’ll see just the photos that have been shared in this way, with those lucky individuals.
On the Mac you can comment and Like
Within iPhoto on your Mac you’ll also be able to see those shared photo streams by tapping on the icon for Photo Stream in the left-hand menu area. You will notice that in the bottom left-hand corner of a photo that has been shared there is a speech bubble. Tap on this and then to the right you will see a comments area. Not only can you make comments on individual photographs, but you can also click on the Like button.
Getting Social in iOS with your photos
In iPhoto on iOS, there doesn’t seem to be the same facility for seeing and creating comments in Apple PhotoStream. If you want to take part in the social commenting on images using your iPad or iPhone, then you will need to open up the Camera Roll app. In the Camera Roll you will see a speech bubble to the bottom right-hand corner that will give you the number of comments already made. Tap on this and those comments will be viewable in the bottom left-hand corner of the image.
The verdict on Shared Photo Streams
Once you have created a shared Photo Stream, you can add more photos to it. I have looked in a number of places both on the Mac and also on my iPad to see if I could add more people to the shared Photo Streams without any success. We have to remember that this is the first iteration of this sharing of photo streams. I expect there will be improvements in later versions and I would expect to be able to add other people to the share in future versions.
My overall view of this new feature in iOS 6 is that it is a good well worthwhile feature to have, even if it needs one or two improvements. It will be used by all sorts of people within the Apple ecosystem and I think it will be especially useful if you have an Apple TV. Where is Photostream on iCloud?