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Importing Photos with iCloud's Photo Stream

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Forget about cables and memory cards to connect your devices to iPhoto: with iCloud’s Photo Stream feature, importing photos couldn't be easier.

With Apple’s new iCloud service, introduced in the fall of 2011, getting photos from a camera into iPhoto has become an almost trivial matter—that is, if the camera is an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Forget about cables and memory cards to connect your devices to iPhoto: with iCloud’s Photo Stream feature, it’s all up in the air. And that’s a good thing.

Your Photo Stream stores up to 1000 of your most recent photos. Snap a photo at the park, and it goes to your Photo Stream, and then flows back down from the cloud and into your iPhoto library.

There’s a bit more to it than that, but as the following pages describe, your Photo Stream is the easiest, most automatic way to combine iPhoto and your iOS mobile devices.

Getting to Know the iCloud

iCloud is Apple’s replacement for its MobileMe service (see “Whither MobileMe Galleries?” on the next page), and it provides both backup storage for iOS devices and data exchange between iOS devices and personal computers. iCloud is free, and you get 5 GB of backup storage, plus storage for as many as 1000 photos at any given time on Apple’s servers. (You can upgrade to more storage for a price.) The photos stored by iCloud exist in the part of the iCloud service called the Photo Stream.

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