If you are a bit confused by the name, that’s okay. For many, the name Photo Stream and Photo Library do not seem too far apart. Apple is such a fantastic marketing company it is a wonder they would keep two product names that are so similar, yet have different functionality and purpose. My hope, is that this article will provide some insight into both iCloud Photo Stream versus iCloud Photo Library.
iCloud Photo Stream is a free service included with iCloud which allows users to sync 1000 of your latest photos wirelessly between your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. So what’s with iCloud Photo Stream if there’s already iCloud Photo Library ? If we take a quick look back iCloud Photo Stream preceded iCloud Photo Library. So here’s the simple rule, if you already using iCloud Photo Library, you do not need to worry about iCloud Photo Stream. If you are looking for a cheaper option which won’t take up your existing iCloud space, turn on iCloud Photo Stream.
A Few Things to Note
iCloud Photo Stream does NOT include video. iCloud Photo Stream should not be considered a backup as it only stores the last 1000 photos. It is a great way to access your photos across devices, but it is simply that, a convenience feature.
I hope this has served to clear up any confusion. If not, let me know and I would be happy to address your questions.