ICloud Photo or Photo Stream? What is the difference between services on iPhone, iPad and Mac


ICloud Photos (formerly called iCloud Media Library) and My Photo Stream offer the ability to transfer photos and videos to Apple devices and personal computers. Both functions work in a similar way, except for some nuances, for example, iCloud Photos also allows you to update videos, while My Photo Stream works exclusively with photos.

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ICloud Photos and My Photo Stream: What’s the Difference?

ICloud Photo

From what devices can i view photos in iCloud?

To access your files, you need to sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID. Both features work on Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Windows PCs, and iCloud Photos can also be accessed from Apple Watch and iCloud.com.

ICloud Photos and My Photo Stream: What's the Difference

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What types of files can i send to iCloud

ICloud Photo supports 8 formats, including JPEG, TIFF, PNG, HEIF, RAW, HEVC, GIF and MP4. My Photo Stream file support is limited to just a few file types: JPEG, TIFF, PNG, and RAW.

My Photo Stream does not support Live Photos or videos.

What types of files can i send to iCloud

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How content is stored in iCloud Photos and My Photo Stream

ICloud registered users (when registering an Apple ID) are provided with 5 GB of free space, but if this amount is not enough, it can be expanded for a fee.

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ICloud Photo uses iCloud storage for photos and videos. ICloud Photos allows you to store an unlimited number of photos and videos (as long as the storage space allows).

Files are saved in original format and full resolution, if desired, users can use the option “Optimize storage”to save space on your device. Optimized images will have a resolution of 2,048 × 1,536 pixels, panoramic photos – 5,400 pixels (width).

All changes to iCloud Photos are saved in the cloud and sync across all devices under the same Apple ID.

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“My Photo Stream” does not use iCloud space! The service allows you to send up to 1000 photos (only photos) created by the user in the last 30 days.

In My Photo Stream on iPhone and iPad, photos are uploaded at the optimized resolution (2,048 × 1,536 pixels), while on Mac and Windows computers, they are uploaded at their original resolution.

Changes made to the My Photo Stream album will not sync across other devices.

How content is stored in iCloud Photos and My Photo Stream

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