How Optimized iPhone Storage works with iCloud Photo Library


If you use iCloud Photo Library, iOS has a feature called
Optimize iPhone Storage to help save storage space on your
iPhone. Your original photos and videos are kept in iCloud
Photo Library, and optimized versions are kept on your iPhone.

Macworld reader Alexandra asks about optimized photos, iCloud
Photo Library, and uploads:

I have Optimize iPhone Storage turned on on my iPhone. If I
decide to order some photos from my iPhone through an online
photo processor, will the photos be uploaded to the web site
in their full or reduced resolution?

This is a terrific question, because the answer is completely
non-obvious in the interface. Whenever you use a photo selector
in any app, or browse in Photos, the originals of any images or
videos that you select get retrieved from iCloud before they’re
available for upload or manipulation.

This can be confusing in the interface, because it’s not always
clear that iOS is in the process of downloading the image. I’ve
noticed in Instagram, for instance, that I see a slightly
blurry photo, tap on it, nothing happens, but after a moment
it’s crisp and available. In the Photos app, you’ll see a tiny
circle outline that fills and then disappears as the image or
video loads and completes.

iOS effectively prevents you from uploading an image thumbnail
through its selector: the operation should be available or
start before the download occurs.

Ask Mac 911

We’ve compiled a list of the questions we get asked most
frequently along with answers and links to columns:
read our super FAQ
to see if your question is covered. If
not, we’re always looking for new problems to solve! Email
yours to including screen captures as
appropriate. Mac 911 can’t reply to—nor publish an answer
to—every question, and we don’t provide direct troubleshooting

To comment on this article and other Macworld content, visit
our Facebook page or our Twitter