Apple Wants to Gobble Up Your Memories in iCloud

| Particle Debris

Apple's movement away from iPhoto and Aperture suggests that the company wants to restructure your life. Keeping your own photos organized and backed up, with selected images posted to photo services, is declared obsolete. But is iCloud the right place for all your photos?


The theme article for this week is by Charlie Sorrel at Cult of Mac "Picture-perfect strategy: Why killing Aperture means Apple will rule the cloud." The author starts with the notion that what's coming is "a fundamental shift in the way we manage our photos." The next quote deserves greater emphasis:

With ... Apple’s Photos apps, your library is in the cloud. That is, you don’t just have an out-of-date copy of your pictures sitting on a server somewhere. Instead, you can access, edit and organize those pictures from pretty much any device. This is a fundamental shift. You no longer need to worry about which version of your photo you have on which device, because there is only one version, and it’s everywhere.

I can't say that this is a bad idea technically. First, thanks to our iPhones, we tend to accumulate orders of magnitude more photos than we did just a few years ago with DSLRs. Second, iPhoto's architecture was sagging under the weight of all those photos. Finally, we tend to be more social with our photos than in the past when only selected photos were deemed good enough to share. (Oh, those dreaded vacation slide shows!)

Still, I have an uneasy feeling about this idea that all our photos should be stored in a cloud, even if Apple has great security. Also, Internet access, while generally reliable and intrinsic to our Macs and iOS devices, can be disrupted. I think people should take personal responsibility for storing their photos and having them at their fingertips. And then there's the idea that you have to pay to access that storage if it gets too large.

Finally, while we don't know a lot about Apple's Photos app yet, my colleague Bryan Chaffin suggests that professional photographers won't stand for depending on iCloud to access and manage their copyrighted work, work on which their livelihood depends.

Apple is a huge company now. It likes to build solutions for the masses. For most of its customers, this idea that the cloud should be the primary archive for tens of thousands of photos looks attractive because it's oh-so easy. However, I suspect that there will be broad pockets of people who will have none of it. Plus, it creates a cottage industry for developers who can and will cater to people who have a different philosophy about how they want to manage their photos, indeed all their storage.

As always, even with Apple, we must always have our own vision of how we want to manage our computing life. Apple has the answer for many, but not everyone.

Next: the tech news debris for the Week of June 30

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Lee Dronick

Let the user decide where they want to keep specific photos, locally and on the cloud should be one of the options.


What Lee said.  Let the user decide.

The cloud is great until it isn’t.  I know people who’ve lost cloud-based contacts; not the end of the world but a pain.  Now imagine your first-year baby photos just disappearing.  Yes, yikes.

Personally I prefer local storage with cloud sync; I know where the data is kept and where it’s backed up.  But that’s a preference that’s not for everyone.  Better to have choices than be compelled…


If I am forced to use iCould for storing my photos, I’ll be #$%^&*!!


Well, I live in a part of Spain where ADSL is painfully slow and extremely unreliable: download speed less that 2.5 Mbps, upload just 0.24 Mbps and loss of connection at least three times per week. Can you imagine storing photos in the cloud in these conditions? Nope, the choice of where to store must be left up to the user.

Brian Sayer

I want my photos in my domain on my computer not floating about in the iCloud if I’m forced to have this with Yosemite i will stick with what i have.

Lee Dronick

Remember that Apple hasn’t announced anything about iCloud only storage. Also there are other work flows and applications for organizing, displaying, and sharing your photos. You don’t need iPhoto or Aperture to import your photos, you can use the ImageCapture application that comes with OSX.


1: No security is perfect. With the spate of major retail outlets being hacked, why should we trust the cloud with anything?

2: With the NSA insisting they have the authority to peek at whatever they want to see, why trust the cloud with anything?

3: With access to the internet spotty at times, in certain locations (ie: rural America), and under certain circumstances, how can we trust the cloud as the ONLY option for storage?

Conclusion. NO WAY will Apple ever force me to use their cloud services as my photo storage option. In fact, i do not use the cloud for ANYTHING personal, and as little as I can get away with at my job. Call me paranoid, but I just do not trust it.


Well, with a 1.5 TB of photos I see a bit of a problem.

If Apple thinks that being an amateaur photgrapher is clicking away with your iPhone or iPad then someone there does not really compute.

i know, I know.. I’m not in the average here, but still, as said in the article, with digital we tend to accumulate a lot of crap… ehm, photos, so the cloud solution seems a bit far fetched to me.


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