The iPhone Photo Stream and Camera Roll!

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When using the iPhone camera for taking and storing images you will come across two albums, the Photo Stream and Camera Roll. These are likely to be somewhat confusing for new users, so I will try to explain some of the main differences between the two.

Differences between the iPhone Photo Stream and Camera Roll

When a photo is taken it stores the image into the two albums, ‘iPhoto Photo Stream’ and the ‘Camera Roll’.

The Camera Roll actually sits on your device, whereas the iPhone photo stream sits in “The Cloud” and syncs with all your other devices. Both the Camera Roll and Photo Stream albums allow a photo to be “shared” through Email, Tweet, Message, Facebook or Photo stream. You can also print, copy, “assign to a contact” or use as a “Wallpaper”.

This is accomplished by opening up Photo Stream or Camera Roll and selecting edit (top right). Pick the required images and tap the share button (bottom left of the iPhone screen). The preferences you get will vary depending on how many images are selected at any one time. Six or more images and you’ll be able to post to Facebook, print, copy or send to the “iPhone Photo Stream”. If five images are selected it allows you to email them as well. You can “message” only two images at a time and attach one photo per twitter. See below.

Showing the iPhone Photo Stream and Camera Roll running on IOS 6 software.

The New iPhoto application with iPhone Photo Stream/Camera Roll running on IOS 6 software.

Camera Roll and Photo Stream on iPhone 4

The old Camera Roll and iPhone Photo Stream on iPhone 4 running the old iOS 5 software.

Photo Stream, iCloud and iPhoto OSX

The iPhone Photo Stream album syncs with iCloud. It pushes the photos out to other apple devices/applications as long as you have the “The Photo Stream”activated on the iPhone and other devices. ‘The Photo Stream album’ can be found in the iPhoto application on OSX, residing in the left hand column under RECENT/PHOTO STREAM. If “Automatic import” in (Preferences) is set to on then duplicates or Photo copies of the Photo Stream Album are synced with the iPhoto application and will appear under LIBRARY/PHOTOS.. These albums are given generic names depending on the date they were taken…e.g. (Dec 2011 Photo Stream). These photos can be deleted, edited or merged into albums, events, places or faces on either the iPhoto or Aperture application or on an PC (Windows 8; You will find the “Photo Stream album” under “Computer“. Remember if you delete from the “My Photo Stream” album then you will be deleting that image from your other devices which are synced.”

If the Automatic import is turned off then the only way to edit Photo Stream images is to import manually, which is very straight forward. Click on a Photo Stream image in iPhoto to open, in the bottom right hand corner of iPhoto click the edit button, a notice will pop up advising to import to your library. The only way these can be edited is to import or use the version that’s already been imported.

Resetting iPhoto Photo Stream

  1. Login to iCloud
  2. Click on your name in the top right hand corner
  3. Click on advanced setting
  4. Click on Reset i Photo Stream

This will remove all the photos on the iCloud.  To clean the iPhone Photo Stream albums from devices connected to the iCloud account, go to each device/settings and turn off Photo Stream, then turn it back on… !  All Photo Stream Albums should now be empty.
The Imported albums will still be there.

Some Points to Remember About iPhone Photo Stream

  1. Copies of Photos are pushed over available WiFi to all iOS 6.0 devices and PC’s, which are connected to the same iCloud account.
  2. An  iOS 6.0 device keeps a rolling collection of the last 1000 photos in the Photo Stream album, This does NOT apply to the Camera Roll.
  3. Photos can be dragged from any iPhoto album into the Photo Stream album which syncs back to your other devices.
  4. Individual photos can now be deleted from your Photo Stream.
  5. Photo Stream can be viewed on a iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, PC and Mac. Either in iPhoto or the Aperture application.
  6. Your favourite images can be copied to the Camera Roll to keep them on your device for ever.
  7. Images can be selected from the iPhone Photo Stream album and added to a new album which you can keep on your device.

Updates With the release of a iPhoto 9.2.2 and iOS 6.0

  1. With the updated iOS 6.0 it is NOW possible to delete individual photos from the Photo Stream album by selecting images and clicking the delete button.
This entry was posted in Tips and Tricks and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The iPhone Photo Stream and Camera Roll!

  1. Ronolfo Nazario says:

    How do I “delete photos” from camera roll with out the same photo being deleted automatically that was put into a folder?

  2. Samantha says:

    When apps ask permission to access your photos (like Facebook, Instagram) are they getting them from the camera roll or from the photo stream? I don’t necessarily want apps to have access to all my photos, just the ones on my device.

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