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If you have Photo Stream enabled on your iOS device, every single photo you take appears in a special Photo Stream album that holds only the last 1000 photos. Photos are only save on the photo stream for 30 days. You can delete any photos you don’t want from the Photo Stream. To touch up a photo or keep a favorite shot permanently, simply save it to your Camera Roll. iCloud stores new photos for 30 days, so you have plenty of time to connect your iOS device to Wi-Fi and make sure you always have your most recent shots handy.
The only way to backup the photo stream is by using iPhoto or Aperture.
You know, cause it's a feature. :/
Man this is so confusing for people who arent apple nuts. Iphoto, itunes, I dont know whats what anymore.
So I dont use itunes to back my photos up anymore, I used iphoto?
So say I back up photos to icloud, and delete photos from my phone, pretend Im a total idiot, how do I get those photos back on my phone?
You can still use iTunes (or /Applications/Image Capture) to back up photos that are on your device. Think of Photo Stream as a way to easily see/share photos across devices. This is handy for my wife and I when we take pics of the kids - where we can see images taken by our iPhones and iPads, and then upload them to Facebook, Instagram, etc.
The backup process remains the same that you might be used to with iTunes - the iCloud is simply for accessing across devices.
On your Mac, they appear in the Photo Stream view in iPhoto or Aperture. In iPhoto 9.4 or later or in Aperture 3.4 or later, open the My Photo Stream album in the Photo Stream view.
On a PC using Windows 8, from the Start screen, select Photo Stream. On a PC using Windows 7 or VIsta, click the Windows Start button, and then Pictures. Click Photo Stream under the Favorites menu in the panel on the left. Double-click My Photo Stream to view your photos.
Gotcha, so is icloud ideal for actually backing up photos? Do they ALL stay up there permanently?
Im asking this for my sister who has an iphone and is basically in disaster mode right now. She doesnt know shit about itunes, never hooked her iphone up to a computer, has icloud but doesnt know what its for, has no space left on her phone, hasnt updated the software in a year since it requires 2.5gb's. Lulz
my photo stream has photos with more than a year. I don't follow that 30 days thing that you're talking..
One last question. She just asked me, if she has her photos backed up to icloud, how does she view them on her PC?
I believe I have my pix backed up to icloud, and I dont even know how to see them on my mac. =/
Dropbox makes this easier — get an account (free option to start), install iOS Dropbox app, turn on automatic photo and movie sync feature (that only works on wifi or with a well-charged battery).
Done — let Dropbox fill up with your photos and sync to all your other devices.