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iCloud question
Old 12-08-2015   #1
FrankS
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iCloud question

I'm really enjoying my new (used) macbook air and how it communicates seamlessly and effortlessly with my iPhone and iPad via iCloud. Now I can easily use an external hard drive to free up space on these devices.

Here's my question: If I back up my stuff on an external hard drive and then delete most of my pictures on my iPhone/ipad/macbook, will they remain in the cloud until I manually delete them from the cloud, or will they disappear from the cloud after 30 days automatically like they do from the recently deleted folder?

Another form of this question is: when my devices back up to iCloud, if there are fewer pictures to back up (because I've deleted some to make space) do I lose those pics from the cloud?

The macbook has not rendered my iPad redundant because i use the iPad to wirelessly obtain photos from my Fuji X cameras, then use a photo editing program called snapseed which is not available for OSX/macbook. The cloud transfers these photos to my macbook where I can then archive them to an external hard dive (and I'm hoping in iCloud.)

(The fuji app of automatically saving pics from the camera to a computer doesn't seem to work for me.)

Thank you to the computer/Mac experts here on RFF for your help! I don't know what I'd do without you.
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Old 12-08-2015   #2
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From what I understand, any folders you have synced with iCloud will be updated if you change any file in those folders in your synced folders.
IE: if you delete files on your Mac iCloud synced folders, then those files will be deleted on the iCloud also..

This is similar to Microsoft Onedrive, and Dropbox.
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Old 12-08-2015   #3
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iCloud is great to sync photos, notes, etc. among Apple devices. But, I consider iCloud as a temporary solution (1,000 photos, I believe), as I don't want to pay extra to Apple for additional iCloud space, I have different workflows to free up space in my Apple devices.

At home, I use Apple OS X native Photos to offload my photos from my iPhone and iPad. I then back up the Photo library file to external hard drives, weekly on-site, monthly off-site. (Alternatively, there are other more sophisticated cloud based solutions that you might want to consider.) ... For photos that I really like, I export them to photo editing tool, e.g., Lightroom and follow a back up process as with the Apple's Photos library. On top of all these, I have a separate Time Machine (OS X) hard drive for triple redundancy.

While on the road, in addition to iCloud back up with hotel WiFi, I use a $50 travel router with built-in SD card reader (and pairing it with a $30 128GB USB 3.0 thumb drive). This way, the standalone WiFi of the travel router takes care of business for me backing up raw files from cameras and jpegs from iPhone/iPad, as well as backup power. No extra weight of a laptop needed. This approach allows me to be less hotel WiFi dependent. Additional thumb drives can be duplicated to create multiple redundancy on the fly as well. When I get home, I transfer what's in the thumb drive to my master photo libraries in my home computer for post and routine backups.

Hope this helps.

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Old 12-08-2015   #4
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Thanks for these answers. Yes it helps!
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Old 12-08-2015   #5
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iCloud is many things
The 1000 pictures referenced is "Photostream" which essentially has been superseded, although is still supported.

Currently you can sync all your photos from various Apple devices, to a single set called
"icloud photos" - this shows up on each device as the "All Photos" album
if you delete a photo from the album from any device - it goes to "recently deleted" album for a few days then disappears (from icloud and all the linked devices).

The iCloud photos applied against amount of space you buy on iCloud

this is all assuming you use the mac/iOS photo apps and camera rolls etc..

if you just want to back up a random folder of files/jpegs on iCloud - I can't answer to that, because I haven't used that feature
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Old 12-08-2015   #6
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Sounds like iCloud is best for syncing devices.

Archiving is better accomplished with external hard drives, CD's, and usb flash memory.

It also sounds like iCloud has taken over the function of using iTunes to sync one's devices. (Am I right on this? Or is there still a good reason to use iTunes for my device family?)
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Old 12-08-2015   #7
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iTunes is still the only way to get files on/off your iOS device directly to a computer via a wired connection. Because I want to keep my iPad cleared of extraneous files, I don't sync it to the iCloud, rather just backup to my own hard drives via iTunes.

My beef is that iTunes, being a music player app, is poorly suited to function as a file transfer system, but alas that's all Apple will give us. It would be like Microsoft expecting us to manage files via Windows Media Player instead of Windows Explorer.

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Old 12-08-2015   #8
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IF you are using the new Photos app and have iCloud Photo Library turned on, canonical copies of your photos will be stored in the cloud, and you can opt to have only low-res thumbnails on your devices, which will fully download automatically when you select them to look at them. BUT BUT BUT I highly recommend:

1) Keeping full-res copies on one device, probably your Mac.
2) Keeping full-res backups of EVERYTHING on local storage, like an attached hard drive.
3) Keeping a redundant cloud backup of full-res photos with a service like Backblaze or Crashplan.

iCloud is not reliable. No cloud service is (well—Dropbox is pretty good, and I hear that Google Drive works well too), but iCloud, though much improved in recent years, remains the worst. Use it ONLY so that you can look at your photos on all devices, NOT AS A SOLE CANONICAL BACKUP.

All that said, I love Photos! All my photos are everywhere, all the time, and the syncing works well, even with 18,000 pictures in my library. But don't trust it!
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Old 12-08-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mabelsound View Post
IF you are using the new Photos app and have iCloud Photo Library turned on, canonical copies of your photos will be stored in the cloud, and you can opt to have only low-res thumbnails on your devices, which will fully download automatically when you select them to look at them. BUT BUT BUT I highly recommend:

1) Keeping full-res copies on one device, probably your Mac.
2) Keeping full-res backups of EVERYTHING on local storage, like an attached hard drive.
3) Keeping a redundant cloud backup of full-res photos with a service like Backblaze or Crashplan.

iCloud is not reliable. No cloud service is (well—Dropbox is pretty good, and I hear that Google Drive works well too), but iCloud, though much improved in recent years, remains the worst. Use it ONLY so that you can look at your photos on all devices, NOT AS A SOLE CANONICAL BACKUP.

All that said, I love Photos! All my photos are everywhere, all the time, and the syncing works well, even with 18,000 pictures in my library. But don't trust it!
On the whole, this above sounds like pretty good advice to me.

As a general remark, my expereince is that iOS devices (I own 3 of them excluding the 4 iPod classics I bought) anyway are only marginally useful given the fact that I have to use iTunes to transfer everything.
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Old 12-08-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSuisse View Post
On the whole, this above sounds like pretty good advice to me.

As a general remark, my expereince is that iOS devices (I own 3 of them excluding the 4 iPod classics I bought) anyway are only marginally useful given the fact that I have to use iTunes to transfer everything.
I'm curious, what are you using iTunes for? I don't think I've hooked an iOS device up to it for the past three years...Dropbox is much easier for transferring files, for me anyway.

iTunes is so, so bad. I love Apple's stuff generally, but that thing is a pig.
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Old 12-08-2015   #11
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As I indicated above, iTunes is one of the few ways to get photos and videos from an iOS device to a computer without using a cloud service. No one "wants" to use iTunes, it's just that there are few alternatives, while avoiding a cloud service.

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Old 12-08-2015   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeV View Post
As I indicated above, iTunes is one of the few ways to get photos and videos from an iOS device to a computer without using a cloud service. No one "wants" to use iTunes, it's just that there are few alternatives, while avoiding a cloud service.

~Joe
Got it. Just FYI, the Dropbox app doesn't automatically load its files onto your iOS device; it just allows you to choose them from a menu, download only the ones you want, and open them with the app of your choice. I highly recommend it! It doesn't lead to clutter.
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Old 12-09-2015   #13
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Besides syncing Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Notes and documents from OSX/iOS Apps, iCloud is my substitute for Sneaker Net transfers (walking a thumbnail drive between three different OSX devices). I also use iTunes Match for sharing music.

DropBox and many other Cloud products also substitute for Sneaker Net. In my case iCloud is just the most convenient tool. This will not be the case for others.

I keep iCould synced photographs for inter-device sharing separate from my photographs in my digital image libraries. I only use Photos for inter-device sharing. Photos is also useful for sharing Albums with friends and family as Shared Albums are device independent.

I use Adobe Lightroom for Mobile to display my work. When I was doing commercial work Adobe Lightroom for Mobile was ideal for quickly preparing a custom portfolio to pitch clients. Now I just use it for personal reasons. It's a good way to show curious friends and even strangers my current projects.
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