iCloud Shared Photo Library: No launch with iOS 16

Apple is delaying the release of iOS 16’s iCloud Shared Photo Library feature, saying it’s “coming later this year” instead of when the mobile operating system refresh launches on September 12th.

An archived version of the iOS 16 webpage shows the notice about the delay was added sometime this week.

When it does launch, the feature will let you and up to five other people automatically share a collection of photos, with the option of including all the photos in your library, photos from after a specific date or with particular people.

It’s not particularly unusual for Apple to withhold features from the initial release — last year, iOS 15 launched without SharePlay, Universal Control, and better Find My support for AirPods. The components then trickled out over the next few months in point releases. iOS 16 doesn’t seem to have as many features that are getting pushed back, though the iPadOS 16 updates for Apple’s tablets are delayed and will launch as iPadOS 16.1.

Apple putting iPadOS 16 on its release schedule may have something to do with the feature’s delay — it’s easy to imagine people setting it up on their phones, then being confused about why it’s not showing up on their iPad or Mac. On the other hand, the company could be exercising extra caution, given that the feature deals with photos that people wouldn’t want to lose.

iOS 16 permits you to set up and share a separate iCloud photo library for buddies and family members to edit, view, and even add their photos.

Enable iCloud Photos: To establish an iCloud Shared Photo Library, you—and anyone you expect to invite—must be running iOS 16, which is presently available as a beta. You’ll need to enable that option if you’re not already using iCloud Photos. On the iPhone, go to Settings > [name] > iCloud > Photos and allow Sync this iPhone, then deliver your device a moment to sync your pictures.

Add participants: If you like to add people to your library, click Add Participants, then type the name, phone number, or email address of someone you wish to add. You can tap the plus (+) icon to get your contacts and choose people from that list. Next, review the invited participants, then click Continue when you’re ready to proceed.

Choose photos: You are then requested to select which photos you wish to move to your Shared Library. You can opt to hold all your photos and videos, ones determined by date or people or ones that are chosen manually. Choose one of the three alternatives and then click Continue.

Move photos back to a personal library: You’re automatically carried to the next screen if you select All My Photos and Videos. If you pick Choose by Date, you’re asked to choose a start date for your photo sharing. Click Start Date and then click a specific date from the calendar. If you selected Choose Manually, click the photos you wish to share and tap Add.

Move photos to share in the library: Once your photos are picked, you can preview the library before sharing it. Tap the Preview Shared Library button to see what will emerge in the library. If you wish to drag any photos back to your library so they’re not shared, click the Select key at the top, choose the images, then tap Move to Personal Library at the bottom of the screen. You can view your Personal Library and Shared Library from the preview screen. Tap the People icon at the higher right of the screen and select Personal Library. You can then select any additional photos you want to move from one library to another.

Change the display and layout: You can also modify the display and layout of your personal or shared library. Click the People icon and choose Zoom In for a closer look or Zoom Out for a wider angle. Choose the Aspect Ratio Grid to change the photos from a square grid to their actual aspect ratio. Choose Filter to show only specific images and videos based on filters. If you select Show Map, you can see the locations of any geotagged photos. When done, tap Continue.

Invite Participants: You can choose Invite via Messages from the invitation screen to send an invite through text. You can also click Share Link to generate a shareable link you can dispatch out. You can tap Share Automatically to automatically share photos when participants are nearby or select Share Manually Only if you wish to tell iCloud when to share pictures.