How to create and share iPhone photo albums with ease

How to create and share iPhone photo albums with ease

One of the easiest ways to share memories with loved ones is through a shared cloud drive. But until now, Apple’s ecosystem has lacked a native system to do this. Google Photos, on the other hand, has been offering a very polished media sharing experience for quite some time now.

With iOS 16, that sharing facility has finally come to your iPhone, thanks to a feature called iCloud Shared Photo Library. In addition to creating a collaborative album that others can contribute to, the system also allows partners to comment. And with cameras on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro better than ever, having an easy way to share those memories is a must.

How to get your iPhone ready for album sharing

The first step to creating a shared album is to activate it via the iCloud media sharing system. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open the Institutions app on your iPhone and tap your name at the top.

iPhone iCloud panel.

Step 2: While landing on the Apple ID page, tap on the iCloud option at the top of the list.

Apple ID panel in iOS 15.

Step 3: Tap on the iCloud section Photos.

Step 4: Scroll down on the Photos page and enable the Shared albums vary.

Shared album system in iCloud.

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How to create and share a photo album

Now that you’ve activated the fundamental system behind creating a shared iCloud photo album, it’s time to go ahead and make the collaborative album. Here are the steps you need to take:

Step 1: Open the Photos app on your iPhone.

Step 2: Launch the Album view by tapping on the Album option at the bottom.

Start by creating a new shared album.

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Step 3: Once you’ve entered Album mode, tap the + icon in the upper left corner and select New shared album in the context menu.

Currently creating a new shared album.

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Step 4: On the next page, you will be asked to choose a name for your shared album.

Name a shared photo library.

Nadeem Sarwar / DigitalTrends

Step 5: After choosing a name, press the Create button.

Step 6: Now you have two options. Choose from your contacts, or create a link that can be shared publicly. To do this, activate the Public website vary.

Set visibility status of a shared photo library.

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Step 7: Once you’ve done this, a toggle button will appear below. Just tap on it to copy the URL to your clipboard. You can now share it on any platform of your choice via the share page or by opening a communication app.

Send link to a shared photo library.

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Step 8: You can directly invite people to collaborate by adding/removing photos from the album with the contact button that appears at the top.

Shared album on an iPhone.

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A few tips to keep in mind

The notable aspect here is that you can extend a shared album invitation even to people who don’t use iCloud. For them, it’s the Public Website option that allows access to the shared album via the URL generated in the Photos app. You can also create shared albums from your iPad and Mac.

However, as the person who created the shared album in the first place, you can also add or remove members at your own will. Another difference is how contribution works. A contributor can only add new photos and delete the ones they have added.

However, the album creator may delete any media or comment posted by a contributor. Furthermore, if you delete a photo, it is automatically deleted on all participating devices. If you’ve shared the link to an album that opens on the web, deleting the album will also permanently delete the web version.

In case you’re wondering, Shared Albums supports still images in HEIF, JPEG, RAW, PNG, GIF, and TIFF formats. As for videos, you can upload clips saved in HEVC, MP4, QuickTime, MPEG-4 and H.264 file types.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that a shared iCloud album can only store a maximum of 5,000 items. Apple notes that the photos and videos in a shared album “do not count against your iCloud storage limit.”

Speaking of iCloud, Apple recently introduced its new Advanced Data Protection feature that puts a larger set of your data — including your photos and videos — behind a wall of end-to-end encryption. You can learn all about it and the steps to activate it in this guide.

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