iOS 16 Makes It Easier to Share Photos With Family Using New Shared iCloud Library

Apple in iOS 16 has introduced a new iCloud Shared Photo Library, which is designed to make it much easier for you to share your photos with close family members.

share icloud photo library
An ‌iCloud‌ Shared Photo Library can be shared with up to five other people, and each contributor has equal access to add, edit, favorite, caption, and delete shared photos.

To prevent accidentally shared photos, there are smart setup rules that can be implemented. You can opt to share all past photos or just photos from a specific start date. You can also choose to share photos that have only specific people, such as your family members.

Photos can be added to the Shared Library automatically, but there are also options to share based on Bluetooth proximity. Sharing suggestions will continue to pop up in For You as well.

There's a new toggle in the Camera app that lets all the photos you take upload to the Shared Library automatically, so if you're out on vacation with your family, everyone can see vacation photos as soon as they're snapped.

Shared photos will show up in Memories, Featured ‌Photos‌, and the ‌Photos‌ widget, similar to standard ‌iCloud‌ Library images.

The ‌iCloud‌ Shared Photo Library does not appear to be implemented in the first beta, so support will likely be added in a future beta.

Related Roundups: iOS 16, iPadOS 16
Related Forum: iOS 16

Top Rated Comments

I am Sampson Avatar
26 weeks ago
Best news of WWDC in my opinion.
Was literarily looking for a way to force all photos to be shared just a few days ago. My partner and I have no need for privacy and want to share everything just like devices under the same appleID do. Very happy about this!
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WannaGoMac Avatar
26 weeks ago
how is this any different than existing shared albums?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
eilavid Avatar
26 weeks ago
will this take up icloud storage? or is it free like the shared album feature
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Schtibbie Avatar
26 weeks ago

Lets also hope its not based on Apples “lets downscale to a crap resolution “ approach they have today with sharing…
Yeah.. It needs to (for me) have the following end result: We go on a vacation as a family. I take pics on my iphone. My wife takes pics on HER iphone. If either of us goes on our home macbook that contains ALL our family photos since the beginning of time, we'll find BOTH sets of pics all in the Photos application, ALL FULL RESOLUTION. We can let them live in icloud but we can ALSO fully back them up on time machine when the Macbook backs up to our external disk. And at no point do I have to plug my phone old-school-like into the macbook to upload (and then erase from my phone) my photos into the "family" Photos. I hate having to do that. It's clunky. And if i leave them on my phone after the upload we end up taking up 2x family shared cloud storage! HATE IT.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple Knowledge Navigator Avatar
26 weeks ago
God I hope my family don't share their pictures with me, they're honestly just terrible (BTW, this is coming from a guy that takes pictures of different coloured Henry vacuum cleaners)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MrSimmo Avatar
26 weeks ago
Lets also hope its not based on Apples “lets downscale to a crap resolution “ approach they have today with sharing…
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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