How does iOS 8 Photos app work?
September 20, 2014 10:07 PM   Subscribe

I haven't yet pulled the trigger on iOS 8, but I'm trying to understand the changes to Camera Roll and Photos app before I upgrade. I have read the Ars Technica review among others and still am not clear on the changes to Photos.

My understanding is that:

1. Camera Roll is gone. Photos are still stored locally but you must navigate them via Photos button where they are organized by date in bunched up groups. The last 30 days are available in the album Recent Photos.
2. Apps (Mail, Messages, Tweetbot, etc) can only access the Recent Photos album.

Is my understanding of these 2 points correct?

I have read that photos sync between devices, and the old Photostream model is gone. What causes this sync between devices? Photostream being enabled? Just having an iCloud account enabled? Is there a setup that prevents the sync between devices?

My goal is to have as close to the iOS 7 setup as possible: a camera roll with all photos from the current device stored locally on just that device without any sync / cloud storage.
posted by ridogi to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Apps can access all photos on your device. When I want to add a photo in Tweetbot, for example, I'm presented with "All Photos" along with "Recently Added" and the albums I created. When you do go to add a photo, you can choose to take a photo with the camera, pick one from your photo library as before, but also you see thumbnails of the latest photos in your "recent photos" album so you can save a step if you want to upload something recent.

The Photos app has an albums view that list the Recently Added, Recently Deleted, and user-created albums. The photos tab is the one has all of your photos organized by year/location.

Photostream is still there and you can turn it off in the Photos and Camera Settings just as in iOS 7. You can also choose to share albums publicly just as in iOS 7.

From what I can tell, the only difference is the Camera Roll is now just photos and there's "smart folder" called recents with the last 30 days of photos in them. And that Photostream does not show up as a separate album. The photos in your photo stream(s) from other devices are mixed in with your other photos.

Other than not having an album called "Camera Roll" things are pretty similar to iOS7. Camera Roll was a leftover from importing into iPhoto via USB or later wifi. With iPhoto being replaced in Yosemite by a new Photos app I think they ditched the reference. But the photos are there until you delete them just like when they were in Camera Roll.
posted by birdherder at 11:25 PM on September 20, 2014

At the moment, things are a bit in flux, which makes it confusing.

Yes, they got rid of the Camera Roll album. So there is no album that shows all your photos. Some apps just show your list of albums (like Facebook at the moment) and so do not have any way to pick from all your photos. So that's a pain. Other apps (like Tweet and Mail and Messages) show the list of albums plus an extra entry at the top labelled "All Photos" that is organized by date.

The cloud sync bit that is replacing Photostream was supposed to ship with iOS 8 but did not, and all references to it were removed from the Apple site. So no one really knows about that for now.

If you turn off Photos in iCloud, I don't think anything will work with the cloud.
posted by smackfu at 6:30 AM on September 21, 2014

Response by poster: Does import to iPhoto / Aperture / Image Capture via USB still work?
posted by ridogi at 7:05 AM on September 21, 2014

Yes, you can import pictures via iPhoto (I haven't yet tried the other two).
posted by halfsquaretriangle at 8:15 AM on September 21, 2014

Importing to iPhoto still works but remember iPhoto and aperture are going away with Yosemite. There is supposed to be a new app called Photos in Yosemite that supposed to do features of both. I'm sure the image capture method works and will continue to do so for a long time.

What smackfu alluded to about what slipped from the iCloud features in iOS 8 was the iCloud drive which is supposed be where you'd back up or access your photos in iCloud from your connected devices and they're supposed to even have a windows client for it. I have the latest Yosemite developer preview and it is there but doesn't seem to hook into iOS 8 at all.

If you do decide to go to iOS 8 now there will be a question it asks about converting to iCloud drive but don't until you've gone to Yosemite. For your desired use case of not wanting to share stuff between devices it will offer you more control now and down the road. The conversion is non changeable and you'll see that in the message that pops up when you upgrade.

If you do wait hopefully Apple will provide more details about iCloud drive, sharing and the Photos app for Yosemite in October.
posted by birdherder at 10:12 AM on September 21, 2014

I was just reading more about the Photos app. It won't be coming to Yosemite when it launches next month. It will come out next year. iPhone and Aperture will still work and be available for download on the Mac App Store.
posted by birdherder at 10:38 AM on September 21, 2014

Response by poster: For those with 2 iOS 8 devices are you now seeing photos taken from one device synced to the other? If so do you have Photostream enabled? Have you enabled iCloud Drive?

Alternatively are you not seeing that happen and do you have Photostream and or iCloud Drive enabled?
posted by ridogi at 12:39 PM on September 21, 2014

I'm also trying to figure this out.

I believe that once you turn on syncing across devices, you can no longer tell which photos were taken on which device. I believe syncing is currently controlled by the old photo stream setting. This may change when iCloud drive is released.

The situation looks like it's in flux and a bit of a mess. You can read lots of discussion among unhappy iOS photographers trying to figure this out in the Apple Support Communities.
posted by alms at 10:54 AM on September 30, 2014

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