Tag Archives: iCloud

Why is My iPhone out of Space? What Can I Do?

For those that take and edit a lot of photos on your iPhone (or iPad), storage space can become a concern after a few months have passed. For those that use iCloud to do backups of your iOS device, this can also become a concern. I made a video (about 6 minutes long) that includes just a few tips that I use regularly. I’m sure there are far more that I’m not aware of.

iPhone Space Available Image

The three main things I cover are storage space of photos themselves, apps that can take up storage space, and backup space on the iCloud. To get started you’ll open the Settings on your iPhone and then choose General > Usage. It may take a few moments (about 10 seconds on my iPhone 5) but you will then see a screen with a lot of information. The top most thing is the storage. It shows you how much is available and how much has been used.

In my case I’m doing OK right now since I still have 8.3 GB available. How much is that? A large game app might be 1 GB, and a 1000 photos taken with the iPhone 4S/5 built-in camera will be around 2 to 3 GB. So with 8 GB available, I can take a few thousand more photos. So I will keep taking shots. 🙂

Here Comes Trouble — iPhone 5, iOS 6, and iCloud

The new iPhone 5 is almost here. Two million of them were sold in a mere 24 hours. I’ve decided to pass on this upgrade. My iPhone 4S is a great phone, and the upgrade to the camera wasn’t quite enough to get me to cough up the extra money to do an early upgrade. Even though I won’t get the new phone, I’ll still get to play with the new operating system for the iPhone called iOS 6. It has a wealth of new features including the panorama photo and the ability to share Photo Streams. It will be released in just two days.

I recently showed the new panoramic feature on iOS 6, and the video below shows a bit of the sharing feature. I’m not entirely sure if it is worth watching, but put it up here anyway 🙂

With the new Photo Stream you’ll be able to create albums on the iCloud.com site. The albums can shared just with specific people or the public. Apple highlights this new feature here.

During the next few days more than two million new iPhones will be unboxed. That is two million new cameras. Millions of current iPhone users will be downloading/installing iOS 6. Millions will be signing up to use iCloud with lots and lots of new photos. Millions will be telling Siri to “Take a Photo” (which will now start the camera app under iOS 6). With all this new stuff only one thing can happen — trouble.

Every year when Apple releases the new iPhone the web gets inundated with a LOT of data going back and forth. I’m willing to be that Apple servers will be overloaded and lots of people will be complaining about it. In the last few days there have already been a few issues with the iCloud email and iMessages. During this upcoming week of Apple cheer try to stay calm. It may take a few extra hours or days, but sooner or later you’ll get things up and running.

Relax. Take a few deep breaths. And enjoy your new iPhone, iOS, and iCloud PhotoStreams.

Say Cheese

iCloud Photo Stream: What’s Right, What’s Wrong?

Apple introduced iCloud when they released the latest operating system (iOS 5) for your iOS device(s). This lets you keep many things automatically synced between all your devices by having it all sitting on a remote computer, or in other words, the cloud.(1)

From Apple: “With iCloud, when you take a photo on one device, it automatically appears on all your other devices. No syncing. No sending. Your photos are just there. Everywhere you want them.”

iCloud Transfer

With iCloud photos end up on all your devices.

When I snap a shot the photo gets uploaded to the cloud. This only works when you have a wifi connection sync Apple didn’t want your entire data plan being used when you upload hundreds of photos every month. Your other devices will occasionally check the iCloud to see what is new. At that point they will download the latest pictures to your device.

So far, so good. I love the sound of that. Being able to snap with my iPhone and then do the editing on my iPad with the photos from the Photo Stream album is great. Or getting them right on my computer. However, there are limitations in the current system. Here are my good and bad thoughts, along with what I hope will get changed in the future.

The Good

  • Full resolution photos get uploaded to iCloud.
  • Full resolution photos will be downloaded onto your computer if it is using the iCloud option.
  • You can view your photos on all your iOS devices and computers.

The Bad

  • You can’t get full resolution photos from the iCloud down to your iOS device.
  • You are limited to 1000 photos. Older photos start getting deleted when this happens.
  • At this time there is no way to delete photos from the iCloud other than a complete wipe.
  • There is no way for you to view any of the photos via the web. The iCloud site has no interface to the photos.
  • There is no way for other people to view photos that are in your iCloud. You need to be logged in with your Apple ID to see the photos.
  • The sequence of photos in the Photo Stream doesn’t always match the order they were taken.

Suggested Changes

The biggest problem (in my opinion) is that photos are reduced in resolution when transferring from iCloud to your iOS device. From what I’ve seen the biggest photo that will make it is 1920 pixels on the largest side. This is significantly reduced from the iPhone 4S native resolution of 3264×2448 pixels. This is no problem when just viewing photos on a mobile device, but miserable if you plan to edit the photo on your iPad. Losing the resolution is not good if you ever plan to print the photo or display it on a higher resolution monitor due to loss of pixels/information.

Apple should allow full resolution images to be brought to iOS devices. Currently if you are viewing an image that is in the Photo Stream you can choose “Save” to get that low resolution photo onto your camera roll. Apple could add a “Download” option to the popup selection that would get the full resolution image onto your camera roll.

I can understand the limit of 1000 photos. Apple doesn’t want to use too much bandwidth getting hi-res images on all your devices, and they don’t want to cause storage problems on iOS devices. I can understand both problems. But having images start to vanish after awhile is bothersome. One solution would be if Apple could keep a monthly archive of your images sitting on your iCloud. They could have a web interface to let you download and delete these archives. The number of these that would be stored is controlled by how much iCloud space you have (Apple already allows you to buy more than the free 5 Gig that every user gets).

There needs to be a way to delete photos from the iCloud. I’m sure I’m not the only person that accidentally click on the shutter every now and then. Having total junk in my Photo Stream is annoying. I’ve heard on rumor sites that in the next iOS update there will be an option to delete images from the Photo Stream.

I’m really wondering what Apple plans to do with sharing of photos. Right now you can view photos on your iOS device and share them via twitter or email. None of your remote friends/family can view the photos without having your Apple ID. It seems that Apple should incorporate some sort of sharing feature so your friends/families could easily view your photos, or at least those you choose to be public. But perhaps they aren’t going to go down the same road that they did with MobileMe albums. Apple might just realize that other social sites have a firm grip on the market (at least right now — does anyone remember GeoCities?).

Some photos in the Photo Stream end up in a different sequence even on the same device where the photos were snapped. I’m not sure what information is being used to sort the images in the two different views but I’d like to see this glitch fixed. The first time I noticed this is when I was doing HDR shots and saving the originals (in Pro HDR). I noticed that the Photo Stream would not have the dark/light/final in the same order as on my camera roll.

To transfer photos between my iPhone and iPad I’ll continue to use Photo Transfer App. I find it to be the best of the transfer apps and I’ve never had any problems with it. I’d really like it if Apple would give photographers an option so the hi-res shots can make it from one device to another at some point in the future. Keeping my fingers crossed.

There is also a chance that a 3rd party developer will come up with a nice simple way to get the full resolution photo from the iCloud to a device. Perhaps it could be added to Photo Transfer App, or maybe something entirely new such as the Stream Show app.

Here is one tip for those using iPhoto on a Mac. I’d suggest disabling the Automatic Upload feature. If this is turned on and you import hundreds of shots from a camera card, all these photos would begin uploading to the iCloud. I’m also not sure exactly what would happen with RAW photos from my DSLR.

iPhoto Preferences

You might find these links useful if you need more information.

Apple iCloud Overview
Apple iCloud Photo Stream Overview
Apple Photo Stream FAQ (very useful)


1I found a nice description of the cloud in this article. The opening paragraphs are well written.

The easiest way to understand the cloud is to think of it as a utility, like electricity. When you plug a device into a wall outlet, electricity flows. You didn’t generate the electricity yourself. In fact, you probably have no idea where the electricity was generated. It’s just there when you want it. All you care about is that your device works.

Cloud computing works on the same principle. Through an internet connection (the equivalent of an electrical outlet), you can access whatever applications, files, or data you have opted to store in the cloud–anytime, anywhere, from any device. How it gets to you and where it’s stored are not your concern (well, for most people they’re not).

The potential benefits of this approach are enormous. To stick with the electricity analogy, if your IT department is still pre-cloud, it’s running the equivalent of its own generator. And with that comes a load of responsibility: Generators break, they run out of fuel, they need to be serviced, and–if demand for power increases–new ones need to be bought and brought online.

iOS 5 and iCloud Bring New Photo Features

Earlier today at the WWDC Apple presented the upcoming iOS, iCloud, and OSX 10.7. I’m really excited about the quick syncing of photos between multiple devices. I use Photo Transfer app (a great app) to do that right now and it works exactly as it should, but it still required me to choose certain photos before sending them to another location. Very simple, but not quite as simple as having photos just “appear” on the other device.

It will of course be interesting to see exactly how all the syncing works. Will certain apps become obsolete due to specific features in iOS 5, or will the developers get access to many new APIs so they can improve on their products beyond what Apple provides? Will new features cause any websites to close up shop? Always lots of questions with a new operating system.

New camera app in iOS5

Since Apple is adding some minor editing features to the new Camera app (red-eye reduction, auto-enhance, and cut/crop) I have a feeling there are a lot of APIs related just to imaging, so I’m excited to see what developers will be able to do with them!

I’m also so glad that Apple is allowing the volume button to snap a photo, and quick access to the camera on the lock screen. So many little things will make such a difference. I’m also so glad to hear the phrase “cutting the cord” (and the cute little cut cable icon).

PC Free Icon

Here are just a few links to sites covering things that were announced today.

Apple iOS 5 Overview
DP Review on iOS 5 photographic changes
Life in LoFi new WWDC Features