Apple needs to announce iCloud galleries; or lose them to Flickr and Picasa

Apple needs to announce iCloud galleries; or lose them to Flickr and Picasa

Summary: The water's rising on MobileMe island and me (and my photos) are moving to higher ground. I take a look at the photo hosting options for MM Gallery refugees.

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TOPICS: Mobile OS
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Aperture 3 toolbar - missing anything? (Jason O'Grady)

I recently purchased a Lumix GF3 (more on it later) and I've been taking more pictures than normal the last couple of days. While importing my photos into Aperture 3 I glanced across its top bar (above) and got to thinking about my options for sharing my photos on the Web.

My photo workflow is pretty typical:

  1. shoot photos
  2. import photos to Aperture 3
  3. upload photos to MobileMe Gallery
  4. share a link with friends

The problem is that Apple is dropping MobileMe Gallery on June 30, 2012 and it isn't offering an alternative service to replace it. MM Gallery is on death row and I wouldn't bank on pardon from Tim Cook at the 11th hour. Users that are holding out hope for late reprieve from Cupertino should take some additional data into consideration.

Witness the notice that greets you when signing up for iCloud. It makes no mention of Gallery, iWeb or iDisk (emphasis mine):

When you sign up for iCloud, you'll be able to keep your MobileMe email address and move your mail, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks to the new service.

Your MobileMe subscription will be automatically extended through June 30, 2012, at no additional charge. After that date, MobileMe will no longer be available.

Consider also that Apple has released iPhoto 9.2 beta 3 to developers minus Gallery support, it only includes Photo Stream. (Curiously, Apple hasn't released a beta of Aperture 3 with Photo Stream.) The final nail in the MM Gallery coffin for me was WWDC. It would have been the perfect time to announce an enhanced (premium?) feature like iCloud Gallery but the silence was deafening and no announcement came.

Apple's abandoning MM Gallery forces users to make a rash decision. What should I do with all the photos I just imported into Aperture? It just doesn't make sense to upload them to a defunct service like MM Gallery because I'll just have to move them later on. What's the point?

The water's rising on MobileMe island and me (and my photos) are moving to higher ground.

An angry mob is forming in this 20+ page Apple Discussion forum thread -- and it isn't pretty. One commenter feels "utterly betrayed," another "slapped in the face" while another feels that Apple succumbed to greed. Many of them seem especially miffed that they loyally paid $100 every year for the service, when numerous free/cheap options were available.

Disappointed users are saying that Apple's new Photo Stream doesn't cut it either. Photo Stream is a syncing service, with photos only being stored in the cloud for 30 days. You need to sync all photos back down to a PC or a Mac before they get deleted on the 30th day.

The worst part is that Apple isn't offering a new photo hosting service that users can easily transition to. So you've got to download all your photos and videos from MobileMe before next June or they'll be deleted. This leaves loyal customers that bought into Apple's one-click photo galleries high and dry.

Apple Discussion user alansky1 notes that MobileMe Gallery was the most visually appealing of the photo-hosting services:

Some of us are actual photographers rather than snapshooters, which means that we value the aesthetics of the presentation as well as the contents of our photos.

With MobileMe Gallery on life support, here are some of the top photo-hosting options that you should be researching:

  1. Facebook has prime placement in Aperture 3 tool has too many privacy concerns for most. What happens to your private photos when Facebook decides to change its privacy settings overnight? Also, FB makes its money by sharing your information with advertisers and that now includes using using facial recognition software on your photos. Ick.
  2. Flickr Pro is a contender but it'll set you back $25 per year.
  3. Picasa Web is looking like one of the the best options right now with beautiful announcement emails and galleries, but the Aperture > Picasa plug-in costs $25, so you'll need to take that into consideration too.
  4. Smugmug prides itself on storing original, full resolution photos and has a pretty UI and galleries (I like the black background) but its basic plan costs $40 per year. $60 per year if you want to host videos.
  5. 500px.com allows photographers to upload their work, create a beautiful portfolio and interact with other community members. (Thanks edfindley)
  6. ZenFolio - pro oriented service with prices from $25 per year (limited) to $50 per year (unlimited). Offers free plug-ins for iPhoto and Aperture.

Apple needs to announce its plans for a Gallery-like photo hosting service for iCloud (even if it costs more) -- either yes or no -- ASAP before its loyal customers who poured their blood, sweat and tears into creating beautiful galleries schlep their photos and videos (and wheelbarrows of goodwill with it) to competing services.

If you use MobileMe Gallery gallery and want to is it ported it to iCloud, send feedback directly to Apple to that effect.

Where are you going to park your digital photos in 2012?

Topic: Mobile OS

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13 comments
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  • RE: Apple needs to announce iCloud galleries; or lose them to Flickr and Picasa

    Even though MobileMe had/has its share of problems, it really was a very elegant way to post and/or share photos with only the people you wanted. That and the integration with iPhoto/Aperture was a winning combination for me. I'll probably wait 'till the last moment before seeing what Apple will come up with.
    I just don't feel like signing up for another service right now.
    MG537-23482538203179240121698430309828
    • RE: Apple needs to announce iCloud galleries; or lose them to Flickr and Picasa

      and MobileMe really had become rock solid the last 2 years... I never had a problem in that time loading, looking or anything... why trash that?<br><br>it took a good 3 years to get it rock solid... now we have to start over??? (not to mention they will get bored with iCloud in 2 years, and yet again remove services or change) and worse, we might not ever get what we already have back... along with iMovie uploads, gallery photo slide shows.. iDisk, and Website creating was a dream, <br><br>they only needed a service of selling us webnames for our websites... that would have been awesome... but we are losing it all.....
      honkj
  • I will lose a lot of function june 2011

    I use Mobile me to mount videos that I only want a select group of people to see. I can't find an alternative for this function. I also have my web site on mobile me. any one have a alternative for that?
    vidyman
    • Or have you already lost it?

      @vidyman - June 2011? Are you living backwards in time?
      bmeacham98@...
  • RE: Apple needs to announce iCloud galleries; or lose them to Flickr and Picasa

    I have a developers lic. so I'm using iCloud now and think it will be easy for Apple to add something like MM galleries, The one thing I always got about Apple (though it was never talked about in the press) was that Apple products were for the most part what Steve Jobs wanted PERIOD. He on occasion (like the ipad switch) gave in to user's but more cases than not it has simply been his way or the highway. I think Tim Cook is not that way which will be both good and bad. So I think before June we may see something.
    matt@...
  • Picasa Web has a slide show feature

    Open one of your photo albums on Picasa Web. Look right above the top-left photo. When I look there I see a link to "Slideshow" and when I click it, sure enough, I get a slide show.
    bmeacham98@...
    • RE: Apple needs to announce iCloud galleries; or lose them to Flickr and Picasa

      @bmeacham98@...
      Doh! Totally missed the slideshow button on Picasa. Thanks for pointing it out.
      - Jason
      Jason D. O'Grady
  • RE: Apple needs to announce iCloud galleries; or lose them to Flickr and Picasa

    I have used flickr pro for a couple of years and I like it fine however I am putting some of my photos on 500px and I like it also. On 500px you can sell prints of your photos if you wish and friends and relatives can easily order high quality prints. There is no substitute for checking them out your self.
    edfindley
  • What were the problems with MobileMe?

    I've been a subscriber since it came out, use it everyday and never had an issue. It has been seamless.

    So much so that when I got married I put URLs and e-mail addresses to a public album that people could upload/send photos to. Then whenever I turned on iPhoto, they auto-downloaded onto my Mac. As a result I collected in the pictures over the course of less than a month, and now have a truly treasured set of pictures alongside the official photographer ones. And the vast majority of those who sent us the pics did so via the web interface and they all said how easy it was to use.

    I never understood Apple's hatred for this unloved child, and it doesn't fill me with confidence that they won't get bored or annoyed with iCloud within 18 months or so and change it all again.
    Ben_E
    • Me too..

      @Ben_E "I am with MobileMe since it came out; but I thing Apple does not cares about our comments and needs, it's more like 'politycs', it used to be great until now"
      Apple?
  • RE: Apple needs to announce iCloud galleries; or lose them to Flickr and Picasa

    Agreed. Tell Apple:

    http://www.apple.com/feedback/mobileme.html
    Devon65
  • Dear Apple...

    I feel betrayed and stabbed in my back!! After being a loyal costumer (since day 1) since the "iphone" came to the world!! Now there is not way to storage my photos?? Paying a premium price every year for the service; now what?? After supporting "Apple" trademark on thousands of "Blogs"... Is this how you (Apple) pays us back??!!
    I got nothing else to say.. I know my words are one in thousands others!!
    Should I say "thanks apple"..???
    I don't think so!! >:(
    TRAICION!! TOTALMENTE TRAICION!!!!
    Apple?
  • Dear Apple...

    I feel betrayed and stabbed in my back!! After being a loyal costumer (since day 1) since the "iphone" came to the world!! Now there is not way to storage my photos?? Paying a premium price every year for the service; now what?? After supporting "Apple" trademark on thousands of "Blogs"... Is this how you (Apple) pays us back??!!
    I got nothing else to say.. I know my words are one in thousands others!!
    Should I say "thanks apple"..???
    I don't think so!! >:(
    TRAICION!! TOTALMENTE TRAICION!!!!
    Apple?