Difference Between iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream (With Table)

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. However, both services are available on iPhone, iPad, and iPod. Also, both include sharing and saving photos and videos. 

iCloud Photo Library vs My Photo Stream

The main difference between the iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream is that the iCloud Photo Library stores the entire photo library in cloud storage. Meanwhile, my photo stream allows sharing photos among iOS and iPadOS devices. Secondly, the amount of photos and videos storage depends on purchase, while my photo stream allows storing up to 1000 photos. Thirdly,  iCloud supports photos, live photos, and video, while my photo stream only supports photos. Fourthly, iCloud stores photos for an indefinite period, while my photo stream only stores for 30 days, and after that, a backup is required. Lastly, iCloud saves photos in full resolution, while my photo stream on iOS and iPadOS devices optimize photo resolution to save space. 

iCloud Photo Library is the cloud storage that allows storing an entire photo library. Although, its storage depends on the purchase. Moreover, it saves photos, live photos, and videos. And it stores photos and videos indefinitely. As for formats supported by iCloud are 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 up to 30 days after that backing up photos is needed. Additionally, it doesn’t support video or live photos, but it supports JPEG, TIFF, PNG, and RAW file formats. However, photos stored in iOS and iPadOS devices optimize resolution to save storage. 

Comparison Table Between iCloud Photo Library and My Photo Stream

Parameters of comparisoniCloud Photo LibraryMy Photo Stream
Duration of storageiCloud stores photos and videos indefinitely. My photo stream stores photos for 30 days, then after that backup, is needed. 
StorageStorage depends on 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. 

Unlike my photo stream, it stores photos, live photos, and videos. And it supports  HEIF, JPEG, RAW, PNG, GIF, TIFF, HEVC, and MP4 file formats. 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.

iCloud is web-based storage that allows users to gain access through browsing in the web browser address bar. With the help of Apple ID, it can be accessed on any device. High resolution. 

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. It also keeps the full-size photos and videos, although storage depends on the procurement of storage on iCloud. 

Uploading the 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. 

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. And it allows storage for up to 1000 photos. 

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

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.

With the default setting, if a photo is clicked while my photo stream is enabled, then it is automatically uploaded to the cloud and can be accessed by other connected Apple devices with the same Apple ID. 

However, the default setting can be changed to manual upload of photos to my photo stream. This gives users to choose the required photo to be saved in the storage rather than the entire library. Additionally, users can choose which friends and family can view certain photos. 

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 works as storage and sharing space for photos and video. Although they have pretty similar basics. But they are very different from each other ranging from storage to resolution. These two are some of the services of  Apple for sharing and storing photos and videos. Additionally, it can be accessed by iPhone, iPad, and iPod. 

  1. iCloud Photo Library saves the entire photo library in cloud storage. Meanwhile, my photo stream allows sharing photos among iOS and iPadOS devices. 
  2. In iCloud, the amount of photos and videos storage depends on procurement. While my photo stream allows storing up to 1000 photos. 
  3.  iCloud supports photos, live photos, and video, while my photo stream only supports photos. 
  4. iCloud stores photos for an indefinite period, while my photo stream only stores for 30 days, and after that, a backup is required.
  5.  iCloud saves photos in full resolution, while my photo stream on iOS and iPadOS devices optimize photo resolution to save space. 

Conclusion

Apple offers a variety of services for its products. iCloud pictures and my photo stream are two of the photo services. Although they appear to be quite similar, their purposes and utility are different. Both services, however, are available on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Both allow you to share and save photographs and videos. Both serve as picture and video storage and sharing services, with a lot of similarities between them. However, they differ significantly in terms of storage and resolution.

iCloud Photo Library is a cloud storage service that allows users to save an entire photo library. Its storage, however, is dependent on procurement. And, it also saves pictures, live images, and videos. Furthermore, it also keeps photos and videos for an indefinite period. HEIF, JPEG, RAW, PNG, GIF, TIFF, HEVC, and MP4 are among the formats supported by iCloud. Albums may be made to share with friends and family. In addition, the photos are stored in high-resolution formats.

Users may exchange images between iOS and iPadOS devices via My Photo Stream. It can hold up to 1000 photos and keeps them for up to 30 days before they need to be backed up. It also doesn’t support live pictures or video, although it does handle JPEG, TIFF, PNG, and RAW file types. Photos saved on iOS and iPadOS devices, on the other hand, are optimized for storage.

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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