photos May 16

AAPL: 93.88

3.36
Stock Chart

This weekend’s discussion of the Sony a6300 got me thinking about the iPhone’s camera, and how great it can be when wielded properly. Our own Ben Lovejoy shared his tips for taking good iPhone photos a few months ago, and now I’d like to share my 10 go-to tips for snapping better iPhone pictures. expand full story

photos April 27

AAPL: 97.82

-6.53
Stock Chart

photos April 4

AAPL: 111.12

1.13
Stock Chart

A new iPhone 6s/6s Plus passcode bypass flaw is making its rounds on the internet today, and it’s similar to flaws we’ve seen in the past on iOS. Don’t be overly alarmed, though, as the odds of this happening to you are slim. Besides, if you are concerned, there are some bonafide ways to go about protecting yourself. expand full story

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photos March 2

AAPL: 100.75

0.22
Stock Chart

Apple’s Cards app introduced in 2011 and discontinued two years later remains one of my favorite iPhone apps to date. The service was fantastic: snap photos on your iPhone, then turn them into personalized letterpress cards sent through the mail to friends and family. Stamp and envelope included, you’d pay $2.99 for anywhere in the US or $4.99 for anywhere around the world. You can still send personalized letterpress cards using Photos on the Mac, but the service was perfect for me as an iPhone app.

I’ve tried a handful of similar iPhone apps since Cards shut down with Postly being the latest and perhaps most modern. Available for iPhone and iPad, Postly lets you create personalized postcards from your iPhone that deliver worldwide for $1.99.

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photos January 15

AAPL: 97.13

-2.39
Stock Chart

I’ve been all in on iCloud Photo Library since Apple replaced iPhoto with the new Photos app on the Mac last year and I haven’t looked back since. I pay $2.99/month to sync my 13,206 photos and 1,087 videos (plus iOS device backups) with iCloud, and this allows me to take or save photos and videos from any device and have them appear across the others including the web, edits, albums, and all. I even have a system to help ensure to if something in the cloud gets hosed that everything will be fine at home (and if the house burns down hopefully the cloud is still there).

This also enables me to access my 155 GB photos library in the Photos apps on iPhones and iPads that otherwise couldn’t fit that much content. Thumbnail previews are available at all times, and full resolution versions download on the fly as needed. When you’re iPhone, iPad, or Mac needs more local storage, Photos can remove full-res images and downloaded videos to make more space using an optimize storage option. This works pretty well especially on higher capacity devices, but there’s one problem…

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photos December 15, 2015

AAPL: 110.49

-1.99
Stock Chart

Over the weekend a good friend of mine shared a screenshot of a really scary error message from Photos for Mac. Every photo and video taken over the last two weeks failed to open, saying instead that ‘An error occurred while downloading a larger version of this video for editing.’ The solution? ‘Please try again later.’ and press OK. What’s worse is he was relying on the app’s Optimize Mac Storage setting to fit the library on his local storage and trusting iCloud not to screw things up along the way. And he didn’t have local copies backed up, a mistake he for obvious reasons regretted.

Stories like these aren’t rare, which is why my colleague Jeremy wrote earlier this year that “iCloud Photo Library still isn’t worth the hassles,” despite Apple lowering iCloud storage costs. But I still recommend Photos and iCloud Photo Library, new features that topped my “favorite new Apple things from 2015 that will last for years” list, just not with the default setup. As with any cloud service, the one major caveat is ensure you have a reliable local backup (followed by plenty of patience at the start).

While there’s no turning back data loss, I shared my personal Photos plus iCloud Photo Library setup with my friend, which he’s moving to now for a hopefully better experience. Below I’ll detail each step, which required a little research before I figured it all out, so you can hopefully have a positive experience with Photos and iCloud Photo Library as well.

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