iCloud Shared Photo Library
With iOS 16, Apple is finally providing an easy way for family members to share their photo collections with each other.
Although iCloud has provided a Shared “Family” photo album, images had to be added to this manually, and they weren’t shared in full resolution, nor were they fully integrated with recipients’ main photo collections.
Now, a separate and shared iCloud Photo Library will be available for everyone in the family to contribute to and collaborate on. The family organizer can choose to share it with the whole family — up to five other people — or only certain family members.
Photos and videos can be shared manually, or participants can set up rules based on a cutoff date, who is in the photos, or where they were taken. It will even be possible to share photos based on groups of family members, such as only sharing photos of yourself when your partner or kids are in the photo with you.
A new switch in the iOS 16 Camera app will also let you automatically direct all photos to the shared library as you take them, which can be useful for taking photos while on vacation or at an event where you know you’re going to want to share all of them in advance. You can also just as easily toggle back to your personal library from the Camera app when you’re snapping a private photo or something like a gift you’re thinking of buying.
You’ll also be able to choose to have sharing of new photos enabled automatically whenever other members of your family are nearby. So when you’re on a trip or outing together, all your photos can be automatically shared with the group as you take them.
The For You tab will include intelligent sharing suggestions for your family, and content in the shared library will appear in everyone’s memories, photo widgets, and other areas where your normal photo library content would be used. All members of the Shared iCloud Photo Library will have equal permissions for editing, sharing, deleting, captioning, or adding keywords, and of course everything syncs across everyone’s devices.