My wife and I have been happily shooting and collecting thousands of photos and videos on our iPhones over the years. But there’s a problem. We’re running out of storage on our devices.
(As we upgraded from one iPhone to the next, the digital files simply ported over, and our huge visual libraries kept on growing.)
On one level, it’s nice to have access to every photo and video you’ve ever taken on a smartphone. But it’s entirely impractical. It’s way too many files, and more importantly, any iPhone probably can’t handle that much content without being overwhelmed with the storage need.
Sooner or later, your iPhone will become hobbled. And when you find yourself deleting apps to try to free up precious memory, you really know you’ve got a problem.
Yes, I’ve been there. You need a better solution.
Fortunately, Apple’s got one.
To access more storage, you have to look to the cloud. You simply activate Apple’s iCloud Photos, and all of your photos and videos will sync to your iCloud account and across all of your other Apple devices.
How does this help your iPhone? Well, just be sure that “Optimize iPhone Storage” is checked in the settings for your iCloud Photos. That’s the magic step.
When you activate this setting, your iPhone will generate and hold onto smaller versions of your photos and videos while the full-resolution versions live in iCloud.
With just the compressed versions of your photos and videos on your iPhone, you’ll suddenly have a whole lot more available local storage.
Plus, you’ll have all of your media backed up in iCloud.
There is a Cost
Of course, there’s a price for this iCloud ‘upgrade.’ (The measly 5GB you get for free will barely cover a week’s worth of content.)
50GB costs 99 cents/month, and 200GB is $2.99/month.
(2TB goes for $9.99/month, but that’s much more data than your iPhone can generate.)
Before your turn on iCloud Photos, you’ve got to upgrade to an iCloud plan that will cover your needs.
I decided to go with the 200GB plan and share it with my wife’s iPhone through Apple’s Family Sharing feature.
No Finish Line
iCloud Photos is a simple solution to solve for the problem of your ever expanding library of photos. Paying a few bucks a month to activate this capability is definitely worth it.
But simply maintaining a disorganized library of imagery over the years isn’t going to do you any favors. You’ve got to eventually go through your photos… choose the best ones, organize them and then delete the rest.
You need to do the work and curate your best images. Otherwise, they’ll get lost in your sea of countless photos.
Sure, they’ll be safely stored in iCloud. And your iPhone will have more storage.
But that shouldn’t be the end of the story.
Good luck as you continue this life-long photo and video project!