When you connect your iPhone, iPad, iTouch and Mac to iCloud, your device’s content is backed up and, if you’ve turned the option on, your photos are saved across your devices with Photo Stream.  I want to tell you how your Photo Stream works in relation to your devices’ Photos app and, most importantly, how to manage the pictures in your Photo Stream.

 

There’s also a cool, simple tip about keyboard shortcuts so be sure to read to the end.

 

Photo StreamYou connect your device to iCloud using your iTunes ID and Password; that’s how your photos and content are shared across your devices.  I have an iPhone 4S, an iPad 1 and a MacBook Pro and they all share a common connection via my iTunes account.

You can select the content you want to share on iCloud on each of device in its Settings app.  The iCloud settings screen from my iPad is to the right.  I’m sharing everything and my Photo Stream is turned on.You can back up your device to iCloud too; manage those settings by tapping Storage and Backup.

If you do not have Photo Stream turned on, the images are saved in the Photos app and not shared with your other devices.  Turn on Photo Stream and your images are automatically shared.

You don’t need to have a camera on your device to take advantage of PhotoStream, by the way.  You can have access to photos taken on your other devices when you turn on Photo Stream and screen shots taken on your camera-less device are included in your Photo Stream too.

When I take a picture with my iPhone, it’s saved in the phone’s Photos app and is included in my Photo Stream too so I can see it on my other devices.  With the latest iOS update, you can now delete individual photos in the Photo Stream…that’s a huge feature that, alone, makes it worthwhile to update your device’s operating system (note: older versions of the iOS didn’t allow you to delete individual photos from your Photo Stream).

In addition to being able to delete individual photos, you can delete your entire Photo Stream from iCloud.  Be sure the pictures you want to save from your Photo Stream are in your Photos app; otherwise, they’ll be gone when you delete your Stream.

Here’s how to delete your PhotoStream from iCloud.

Log into your iCloud account with a browser (Safari or Firefox) using your iTunes ID and password.  The address is http://www.icloud.com.

On the upper right side, click your name. That will bring up the main account dialog box.

At the bottom, click the ‘Advanced’ button and then, when prompted, click ‘Reset Photo Stream’.

 

Photo Stream ResetYou’ll see a warning that you’re resetting your Photo Stream. Do it!  The Photo Stream in the iCloud is now gone from the iCloud but the pictures are still on your synced devices.

To delete the Photo Stream on your iPhone or iPad, do this:  Go to Settings, then select iCloud.  Turn the Photo Stream off and you’ll be prompted to delete all the photos on your device.

 

Photo Stream DeleteWhen you click ‘Delete Photos’, they’ll be removed from your device. When you’re done deleting, turn the Photo Stream back on and you’ll be ready to build a fresh new Stream.

And now for the bonus tip: here’s how to set up keyboard shortcuts for the words you type most. On your iPhone and your iPad, you can create a shortcut that will automatically expand into the word or phrase as you type.  Each shortcut must be at least 2 letters and can be a real timesaver if you often create messages and mail by typing on your device.

Here’s how to do it:  Go to Settings/General and scroll to the bottom, then tap Keyboard.  At the bottom of the keyboard dialogue, you’ll find one that says Shortcuts.  Click it.  To add a new keyboard shortcut, click the ‘+’ at the upper right.  You put your phrase in the top line and the shortcut in the field below it.

Some examples of useful shortcuts: I have my initials expand to my name, ‘th’ expand to that, ‘sys’ expand to system, ‘gm’ expand to good morning and ‘smth’ expand to something.  Add a bunch of shortcuts for words and phrases you use a lot and your speed and accuracy will go up when you create mail and messages.

Let me know what you think!

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