Apple's My Photo Stream service is shutting down in July
Apple is shuttering its My Photo Stream service in July. The company is directing users to opt for iCloud as an alternative.
The service has been around since 2011, which is when iCloud was introduced. For those unaware, the My Photo Stream service syncs your photos between your Apple devices using iCloud. So if you take a picture on your iPhone, it will be available on your iPad automatically. The images that are synced by My Photo Stream are only stored on your device for 30 days, and are then deleted from your iCloud. It's sort of like a temporary cloud storage, but it is quite useful for saving images on a specific device.
Apple's My Photo Stream is shutting down, backup your photos now
Apple has announced that My Photo Stream has been scheduled to be shut down on July 26, 2023. The announcement from the company (spotted by 9to5Mac) states that new uploads are being stopped a month earlier, so your new photos will no longer be synced between devices from June 26th. Users are advised to save older photos on their device's photo library, or on iCloud. The original photos that were taken on your device will not be deleted.
To save photos that are available in My Photo Stream, open the Photos app > head to the Albums > My Photo Stream > Select the photos that you want to save, and tap the share button to save the images on your device.
The thing is My Photo Stream is free to use, it doesn't use up your cloud storage space, but it also doesn't save the content permanently, the media is deleted automatically every 30 days. iCloud Photos will save the content permanently, the catch here is that it's not free. The main difference between the two is that My Photo Stream does not keep your entire library synced, it only uploads your most recent photos on a temporary basis. The images were not synced in their original resolution. It is also worth noting that the images saved by the service do not count against iCloud's storage limit. Remember when Google Photos ended its unlimited storage for photos? It's almost the same story here.
With iCloud you get a measly 5 GB of free cloud storage for your photos, documents, iPhone backup, etc. That's way too little from a consumer's point of view, considering how expensive iPhones and Macs are. In comparison, you can get 15 GB of Google Drive space for free. Apple could have offered more iCloud storage for free, but the thing is My Photo Stream isn't enabled by default, it has to be toggled from the Settings. This means not many users may actually be using it, so it's easier for the company to shutter it and point them in the direction of a subscription, just like everything else is nowadays. Speaking of which, you can get the 50 GB plan on iCloud for about $1 a month. . Or, you can use something like Google Photos to backup your media. You can then access the media on other devices too. Personally, I think it would be more economical and privacy-friendly to just save photos, videos, documents on an external hard drive