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I didn’t understand Photo Stream at first, but I think I get it now. And I like it.

Photo Stream is Apple’s photo-sharing software. It allows you to wirelessly share your pictures among your Apple devices (or with your PC installed with the iCloud software) that share an Apple ID.

Here is how it works:

  • Turn on Photo Stream (Settings or Control Panel > iCloud) in each device.
  • Take a picture with your iPhone or iPad, or upload an image from your digital camera into iPhoto on your Mac or the Picture Library on your PC.
  • Open the Photo Stream folder on your other devices to see the picture (each device must be on a Wi-Fi network or connected by ethernet cable).

The picture is stored indefinitely in the Camera Roll or Photo Library on the device on which it was taken. Up to 1000 pictures can be stored in the Photo Stream folder on the other devices for 30 days. If you want pictures to remain indefinitely on the other devices, move them into the Photo app of that device. (Pictures taken with a mobile Apple device and shared with iPhoto on a Mac are automatically added to the computer’s permanent photo library).

You can also email pictures by Photo Stream to others by creating a Photo Stream album. If the recipients have Photo Stream, they can view your shared images in their Photo app or in iPhoto. If your recipients do not have Photo Stream, they will be invited to view your images on the web.

In the absence of Photo Stream, you can email yourself a picture and pick it up on your other devices, or upload pictures to Dropbox (for example) and get them from Dropbox on another computer.

Of course, there is always the “wired” option of sharing pictures by connecting two devices by a cable, but that seems less fun now, doesn’t it?

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