What Photo Stream Isn't »

Joshua Schnell, at Macgasm:

If there’s anything I’ve learned during this exercise of trying to figure out exactly what the heck Photo Stream is, or does, it’s that Apple needs to get its head on straight an figure this thing out. Many people are assuming that Apple is backing these things up for them. They’re not. That fine. But what’s not fine is the mirage that’s been set up that makes it look like things are backed up somewhere in the cloud because photos are magically appearing on one device or the next without much user intervention.

Virtually every pain point I’ve had when helping family and friends navigate iOS is directly related to Photo Stream. In fact, every single time it was someone thinking that everything on their phone—photos included—is “in the cloud”. They use that exact phrase, because that’s what they hear from Apple. Semantics aren’t really important here. Even though Apple doesn’t use that wording exactly, it’s what normal people hear. I agree with Joshua; Apple needs to straighten this out. There is no denying that Photo Stream is wildly confusing, especially for the normal user.