Shared Photo Library is Great

This works so great. Also, being able to automatically send photos to shared library may be the best family feature ever to come to iPhone. It works great.

My wife and I are already not having to text photos back and forth or create shared photo albums.


I find it odd that you can join a shared photo library from anyone, not just in your iCloud family, but you can only have one shared library?

I think I will be waiting until they fill out the features in this. I want to be able to set up albums to share with my siblings and also share stuff with my wife separately, and also maybe with my (adult) kids. These are all currently handled with Shared Albums, but they have their own limitations.

1 Like

I do agree that it would be nice to have more than one shared library. I could easily see having a separate library for just my wife and I, and one with all our kids. (Not that this is only useful to families, that’s just the use case that hits closet to home for me at the moment.)

1 Like

Now I’ve tried it, I have exactly the same annoyance. From the outside, it seems to be managed through the use of Metadata for each photo, so it seems like it could be extensible to allow further shared libraries

My wife and I
My Wife, the kids and I
My side of our family
My Wife’s family
Close friends

But I suppose if they were to open it up, it could get real messy, so I understand why they’ve gone with a single. I just hope it’s a toe in the water.


Maybe I’m not thinking creatively enough, but what is the appeal of a shared photo library over just using a shared photo album?

There are advantages to each method. Here are some advantages of the shared library over shared albums.

  1. It’s easier to manage and organize (you can have albums in the library, for example; photos from the camera can be automatically added to the shared library; it’s easy to move images between the two libraries).
  2. Everyone sharing in the library has ownership of the photos and can edit, delete, etc.
  3. The photos are only in the host’s library in terms of counting iCloud storage.
  4. You have full resolution images, not reduced-size images.
  5. Does not use up your 200 shared-album limit.
  6. Avoids the effort of texting images back and forth or setting up a shared library for each event/occasion, etc.

Also if someone leaves the library they can take all of the shared images with them.

One of my concerns with holding the family library prior to this was that something happened to me and my wife and kids lost all of the family photos. Yes there are backups and copies, but it’s all a bit technical and messy. So if something now happens to me, they can all leave the shared album and retain copies of photos.