Apple has officially announced that it will shut down its My Photo Stream service on July 26, 2023, as part of its transition to iCloud Photos. The company has also confirmed that downloads using My Photo Stream will cease a month earlier, on June 26, 2023.
My Photo Stream, introduced in 2011 alongside iCloud, has long been regarded as outdated and cumbersome. Users were required to manually save selected photos from their stream to their library or camera roll, making the process inconvenient and time-consuming.
Furthermore, the service suffered from a significant drawback: the inability to save photos in full resolution. This quality limitation was one of the primary reasons Apple abandoned My Photo Stream and shifted to iCloud Photos in 2015.
iCloud Photos, in contrast, offers a seamless and user-friendly experience. It simplifies saving and organizing photos and ensures high-quality storage of pictures and videos in their original resolution. The only potential concern for users is sufficient iCloud storage space.
My Photo Stream automatically uploaded photos and videos taken to iCloud within the last 30 days, up to a maximum of 1,000. However, this feature required users to enable it manually.
In a support document released on May 26, Apple assured users that no photos would be lost during the transition. If users have a device with the original photos, the images stored in My Photo Stream will be preserved. If a particular photo is not already in a user’s library on a specific iPhone, iPad, or Mac, Apple advises saving it to that device before the transition.
Apple emphasized that any photos uploaded before June 26 will remain accessible in iCloud for 30 days from the upload date and can be accessed from any device with My Photo Stream enabled. However, once the service is discontinued, these photos will no longer be available through My Photo Stream.
To ensure a smooth transition and proper preservation of their photos and videos, Apple recommends that users switch to iCloud Photos immediately.
For users looking to save their current My Photo Stream photos, Apple provides the following instructions:
On iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:
- Open the “Photos” app and go to “Albums.”
- Tap on “My Photo Stream” and select the desired photos.
- Tap the Share button and choose “Save Image.”
- Open the Photos app and navigate to “My Photo Stream.”
- Select any photos that need to be saved or not in the photo library.
- Drag the selected photos from My Photo Stream to the library.
With iCloud Photos already offering seamless cloud storage for photos and videos, users can easily store and share their content with others, mainly through the iCloud Shared Photo Library, which was introduced with iOS 16.1. Apple’s transition from My Photo Stream to iCloud Photos aims to provide its customers with a more streamlined and user-friendly experience.