With iOS 6 Apple introduced a new feature that not only works well in OS X but also terrific in iOS for the iPad and iPhone. On the iPad side of things shared Photo Stream works great in the Photos app that comes preinstalled on the iPad. Shared Photo Stream is a great way to share your photos with a private album for your family and friends. If you don’t want a private album you can also create a web album for public sharing, just remember it is public and anybody with the link can view the photos if you set it up as public.
Setting up a shared Photo Stream on the iPad is very easy to do. Oddly though you can only use the Photos app to actually create a new Photo Stream album. For some odd reason Apple decided not to add the functionality to iPhoto on the iPad which leaves me totally baffled. I can use iPhoto on the iPad to view my albums, I can also edit the photos in the album but I cannot add anything to the album from the app nor can I create a new shared Photo Stream album. I am not sure why Apple would cripple their most powerful photo app on the iPad? To add insult to injury you can actually create albums to share to Facebook and Flickr which really leaves me more baffled. Not sure what Apple is aiming to accomplish here but it is a head scratcher.
To set up a new shared album to share you will need to do the following:
That is it, you have now created a shared Photo Stream that is either available publicly or if private to those you have invited to view the photos. If you invite someone who is on iOS or OS X they will get a notification on their iPad, iPhone or Mac if they are using the latest versions of the OS (iOS 6 and Mountain Lion). Also others can leave comments or ‘Like’ the photo by tapping the smiley face icon.
Another cool aspect for OS X users is the fact that if you are using Photo Stream with either Aperture or iPhoto the updates to the albums shared by others happen seamlessly. You will get a nice notification in Mountain Lion that will open up either Aperture or iPhoto depending what you are using for Photo Stream. You can easily add new photos in the application to your own Photo Stream album.
A few downsides to Photo Stream are the fact you cannot add your own photos to a Photo Stream created by someone else. I am sure that feature will be added in the near future. As well as the ability to use iPhoto on the iPad and iPhone to create Photo Streams. Shared Photo Streams that are set to private can only be viewed in apps that have access to iCloud such as Photos app or iPhoto, private Photo Streams do not work on iCloud.com, they will also show up in Aperture or iPhoto on OS X depending which app you are using for Photo Stream.
This is probably my favorite feature of iOS 6 and I am glad to have something to finally replace my MobileMe Gallery. Check out my public Total iPad Photo Stream. Have you tried shared Photo Stream? Do you plan on using shared Photo Stream? If so please let me know via Twitter.
For more information about Photo Stream please visit Apple.com.