iCloud Photo Library vs My Photo Stream: Difference and Comparison

Apple has different services for its products. One of the photo services is iCloud photos and my photo stream. Although they seem pretty similar, yet have distinct functions and utilities.

Key Takeaways

  1. iCloud Photo Library stores and syncs all your photos and videos across devices, while My Photo Stream only syncs the most recent 1,000 photos from the last 30 days.
  2. iCloud Photo Library consumes iCloud storage, whereas My Photo Stream does not count against your iCloud storage limit.
  3. My Photo Stream does not support Live Photos or videos, while iCloud Photo Library supports all media types.

iCloud Photo Library vs My Photo Stream

iCloud Photo Library is an app on iOS devices that allows users to store their complete photo library in the cloud. It also allows users to create albums that others can see. My Photo Stream is an app on iOS and iPadOS devices that allows users to share photos among these devices, and it is limited to photos.

iCloud Photo Library vs My Photo Stream

ICloud supports HEIF, JPEG, RAW, PNG, GIF, TIFF, HEVC, and MP4. Albums can be created for sharing with family and friends. Furthermore, the photos are saved in high resolutions. 

My photo stream enables users to share photos among iOS and iPadOS devices. It allows storage for up to 1000 photos and stores for up to 30 days after that backing up photos is needed.

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Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisoniCloud Photo LibraryMy Photo Stream
Duration of storageiCloud stores photos and videos indefinitely. My photo stream stores photos for 30 days, and then after that, a backup is needed. 
StorageStorage depends on the purchase of storage in iCloud. It stores up to 1000 photos. 
File format supportedIt supports HEIF, JPEG, RAW, PNG, GIF, TIFF, HEVC, and MP4My photo stream supports JPEG, TIFF, PNG, and RAW file formats
Photo/Videos/Live PhotosiCloud stores photos, live photos, and videos.My photo stream saves only photos.
ResolutionIn iCloud, photos are saved in high resolution. In iOS and iPadOS devices, photos are optimized to lower resolution to save space. 

What is iCloud Photo Library? 

iCloud Photo Library allows storing an entire photo library in cloud storage. The photos and videos can be saved indefinitely on the cloud storage, although the amount depends upon the procurement of storage on iCloud

Additionally, albums can be created for sharing with family and friends. And the photos are saved in high resolution. Furthermore, full-size photos and videos are also can be stored in iCloud.

It may replace my photo stream as after uploading on iCloud, the photos and videos can be accessed on every connected device in high resolution.

Uploading photos and videos on iCloud allows user to free up their devices. It also gives access to photos and video on the platform. 

One of the cons is that as the library expands, users have to purchase more storage on iCloud. Additionally, removing files from iCloud results in removal from every connected apple device. 

icloud photo library

What is My Photo Stream? 

My Photo Stream allows users to share photos among iOS and iPadOS devices. The photos and videos can save up to 30 days, then after that, backing up.

Unlike iCloud Photo Library, it stores only stores photos. And it supports  JPEG, TIFF, PNG, and RAW file formats. However, the photos are optimized, saving space in my photo stream. 

With the same Apple ID, photos are synced on all Apple devices. Moreover, if a photo is removed from my photostream, then it doesn’t remove from any connected Apple device. However, it does delete it from my photo stream.

As for the cons, my photo stream has a short period of storing photos, less file format support, and it also doesn’t save videos and live photos.

Main Differences Between iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream

Both work as storage and sharing spaces for photos and video. Although they have pretty similar basics. But they are very different from each other ranging from storage to resolution.  

  1.  iCloud stores photos for an indefinite period, while my photo stream only stores for 30 days, and after that, a backup is required.
  2.  iCloud saves photos in full resolution, while my photostream on iOS and iPadOS devices optimizes photo resolution to save space. 
References
  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4302-3763-1_14
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=FuDJCgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT19&dq=iCloud+photo+library+and+my+photo+stream&ots=g3_RUTtT-c&sig=ykXzC9qgtpYDECt0lBe67VCsDvc
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