Apple has announced that it will discontinue the 'My Photo Stream' feature of its free iCloud service on July 26, 2023. Users who still rely on this feature are advised to migrate their photos to iCloud before the specified date.
The 'My Photo Stream' was introduced back in 2011 alongside iCloud as a means of synchronizing photos across various Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac.
However, the company acknowledged that the 'My Photo Stream' feature had its limitations. Users had to proactively save media to their Camera Roll or Library, and the photos stored in this feature had a restricted availability period. Once that period elapsed, accessing the photos through iCloud was no longer possible.
Furthermore, 'My Photo Stream' did not sync photos in their original full resolution, which ultimately led to its replacement by the more comprehensive iCloud Photo Library. Although the latter required paid storage, it offered the advantage of syncing photos and videos in their highest quality across devices without the need for manual intervention.
As part of the transition away from 'My Photo Stream', Apple stated that new photo uploads to the service from users' devices would cease on June 26, 2023, exactly one month before the scheduled shutdown.
The company emphasized that photos uploaded to 'My Photo Stream' before the discontinuation would remain accessible in iCloud for 30 days, allowing users to retrieve them on any device with 'My Photo Stream' enabled.
Apple reassured users that since the photos stored in 'My Photo Stream' are already present on at least one of their devices, no photos would be lost as long as the device with the original photos is retained. However, to ensure the preservation of specific photos, users were advised to save them to the Photo Library on the respective device before the July 26 deadline.