iCloud Photo Library Tip: Don’t AirDrop Imported Camera Shots to Other Devices

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This is a bit more of a niche tip, but it could save a bit of pain for those who import camera photos onto the iPad. As I’ve written before, iCloud Photo Library is a great way to mirror your personal photos and videos across all of your iOS and OS X devices, but it requires Wi-Fi in order to update.

This means that the camera pictures I import to my iPad using the Sony PlayMemories app won’t propagate to other devices until I access Wi-FI network.

In these circumstances it can be tempting to forego the wait and just use AirDrop to transfer pictures to my Mac or iPhone, but I’ve found a pretty annoying issue with this process. iCloud Photo Library doesn’t seem smart enough to realize that the imported photos from the camera are the same photos that I’ve AirDropped to one of my other devices, so I’ve ended up with duplicates in my library: one set that was initially imported from the camera to the iPad, and the other set that I Airdropped from iPad to iPhone. Both sets end up in the library once all uploading is completed.

It takes a while to notice this because iCloud Photo Library needs some time to upload multiple 24 Megapixel JPEGs, but after a few instances of this, I realized that AirDrop was the culprit.

So my current camera workflow is as follows:

  1. Import pics to iPad using PlayMemories
  2. Wait for iCloud Photo Library to transfer the pictures to my other devices

This means I can’t easily preview the photos on other devices while I’m out and about, but it’s a cleaner process in the end.


Thomas

My name is probably Thomas (yes, it is). I'll be able to help you figure out why Evernote isn't syncing, or recommend your favourite new RSS reader to you. That's partly because I am enamoured with the iOS ecosystem and hardware, but mostly because I'm Canadian.

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3 thoughts on “iCloud Photo Library Tip: Don’t AirDrop Imported Camera Shots to Other Devices”

    1. It really bugs me to see duplicates, so I’d at least recommend trying this to see how it works for you.

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