I do have to wonder at Apple, sometimes.
When the company introduced the reverse scroll in OS X Lion, so that all of a sudden I had to drag downwards instead of up (or whatever), I did have to think twice about the validity of it. I eventually trained myself, but I know quite a few people who just switched off the function.
Full screen apps and all this swiping got confusing. Genuinely confusing. I more or less get it, but I’m willing to bet that my parents won’t have a damn clue.
I think it’s a screw-up from Apple. I think they’ve made things more difficult that they need to be.
Which brings me to the Photostream.
I’m delighted that it works.
I did some experimentation with my iPhone, my MacBook Air and my Desktop back in the UK. I took a rubbish photo on the iPhone and seconds later it appeared in the photostreams of both machines. Woop!
I took a few more shit photos just to see it working. I beamed with delight.
Then I tried to delete them.
I couldn’t seem to delete them on the ‘photostream’ bit of the iPhone. So I deleted the photo from the gallery on the iPhone. I figured that must be the master copy. I waited a few moments. Nope.
Piece of flipping bollocks.
I tried to go into the photostream on iPhoto on my Mac to delete. No. No option to delete.
I’m in a strange place at the moment. That is, Apple stuff DOES NOT WORK.
I am supremely, supremely pissed off. The whole flipping reason I pay stupid, STUPID prices for this shit is so that it works.
“It just works” — that’s the mantra the whole thing is meant to live by, right?
So how do I delete a photo?
I can’t believe I am even having to THINK. I pay the Apple tax so that I don’t have to think.
There’s probably a very simple explanation.
I’m willing to bet there’s probably an option or a tick box or some command that I’ve totally missed.
But hold on a moment, I am pretty good at this stuff. I am a bit of a geek. I have programmed quite a few successful, scalable systems architectures in my time. If I don’t get it — immediately — then what about the rest of the population?
Surely it’s not unreasonable to assume that if you DELETE a photo from the device you took it, it should therefore remove itself from the photostream?
This is actually a rather important feature, n’est pas?
I logged into iCloud.
Fat lot of fucking use that is at the moment. I logged in looking for the photo gallery.
Well, again, it’s a reasonable expectation, right? Remember I am paying through the flipping nose for this whole experience. And that’s all fine as long as it works. So imagine my annoyance when there’s no online gallery.
I presumed that since these photos are being placed on the iCloud that when I log into it, I’ll see some sort of online-picasa-style gallery. I thought perhaps that’s where I would do the deleting.
That, er, doesn’t seem to be there.
So now… now I have to do the flipping unthinkable. I now have to do a sodding Google search to find out the answer to something that should have been FIXED, Apple.
Oh guess what?
Read this paragraph from the iCloud page:
1000 of your latest photos. With you all the time.
iCloud manages your Photo Stream efficiently so you don’t run out of storage space on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. If you have Photo Stream enabled on your iOS device, every single photo you take appears in a special Photo Stream album that holds your last 1000 photos. You can’t edit or delete photos from your Photo Stream. If you want to touch up a photo or keep a favorite shot permanently, simply save it to your Camera Roll. iCloud stores new photos for 30 days, so you have plenty of time to connect your iOS device to Wi-Fi and make sure you always have your most recent shots handy.
Massive, massive FAIL Apple.
That’s fucking useless.
So every photo I take — EVERY PHOTO — whether it’s a blurred shot of my foot or a throw-away screenshot, it’s going to be WITH ME for 30 days? And I can’t delete it?
So you’re telling me, Mr Apple, that I could grab my friend’s iPhone, visit some dodgy adult sites and take some screenshots (which will go straight into his photostream) and he’ll have to live with that for 30 days? And so will his parents whose iPads are sharing the same account?
Now then. That’s a problem.
Update: I negated to point out that the reason this is a problem is that my expectations have been entirely mismanaged. I presumed. I assumed. I thought it worked differently than it actually goes. I was given the impression — or, more likely, I applied my assumptions to the raw information I was given, most likely during the Steve Jobs iOS 5 keynote earlier this year. Am I expecting way too much of Apple or is this genuinely a stupid, stupid fail point?
Update 2: A few Apple apologists are really worried that you, dear reader, will arrive at this post and having read my above tantrum, conclude that there is indeed no way to ‘delete photos’ from Photo Stream. There is. You can clear out all the photos if you want using a command on iCloud. Unfortunately that dumps the whole stream, lock stock. So if you do find your friend has uploaded some naughty photos to your Photo Stream as a joke, and you need to delete them, you can.
It’s not actually THAT simple though. You’ll find the full details on the Apple knowledge base. Once you’ve dumped them from the iCloud command, you’ll then need to go sequentially through each flipping iOS device you own and reset the Photo Stream. Here are the specific instructions from that Apple support post:
How do I delete photos from my Photo Stream in iCloud?
Individual photos cannot be deleted from your Photo Stream. You can, however, delete all the photos in your Photo Stream by clicking the Reset Photo Stream button in your account at icloud.com. The Reset Photo Stream button will instantly delete all Photo Stream photos stored in iCloud, but it will not remove any Photo Stream photos that have already been pushed to your devices.
How do I delete photos from my Photo Stream on my devices?
After deleting the photos from your Photo Stream in iCloud, you can remove the Photo Stream photos from your devices as follows:
On your iOS devices, go to Settings > iCloud > Photo Stream and turn Photo Stream off. This will delete all the photos from your Photo Stream album. If there are any photos you want to keep on your device, make sure to add them to an album or save them to your Camera Roll first.
FAIL, FAIL and thrice FAIL Apple.