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This is huge. The biggest reason for me to not store more content on dropbox, is that it always comes with the trade-off of taking up space on my local drive (128gb) as well.

Sure there's selective sync, but that's an all-or nothing approach.

I like the way Google approaches this with their Google Photos service. X most recent photos are stored locally, and everything else is pulled down on the fly as you search/browse for them.

>> X most recent photos are stored locally, and everything else is pulled down on the fly as you search/browse for them.

Which app are you talking about? The desktop app is merely an uploader. It doesn't really sync photos.

The Android app

urm, its been in the desktop client for over a year now...

it randomly indexed all my wallpapers and threw them all into my timeline... i'm still not finished with the resulting cleanup.

though it might have been Google Picasa desktop app, i used both back then

Apple does something similar in Photos on iOS.

Not disagreeing, but I'm not seeing that on my wife's iphone. She got a 16 gig phone (big mistake), but we were thinking that getting everything on iCloud would make up for this. We pay every month for iCloud storage.

That's not what we're seeing. Her phone gets to be 100% full, and deleting a photo frees up space. When we delete a photo, we get dire warnings that "this will delete the photo on all of your devices, and in the cloud too." I download them to my computer before doing this, so nothing is really lost. But it's annoying.

By the way, it works that way by design. iOS will attempt to fill all the storage, and will throw stuff away (essentially on an LRU basis) as needed. Free storage is wasted storage, just like having a lot of physical RAM free is wasted in a virtual memory system.

This is why I was amused by the breathless articles last week about how to "free space on your iPhone" -- essentially by clearing the cache by golly!

(If the 16GB is filled up 100% and things fail, that's an actual bug though. You might really have filled it up with stuff that doesn't use iCloud, leaving too little for the iCloud apps to work with)

BTW all of the above is orthogonal to "optimize for space / use lower resolution on portable devices" that others have helpfully mentioned.

In settings you can set it to "optimise iPhone space" (also possible on a Mac in the photos app) which will automatically remove local copies of old photos from the device if space runs low, and then download them again when you open them. For me it works very well, though I have had some trouble where it seems to need a few hundred free megabytes to start the process. If you delete photos with iCloud photo library enabled, they will be deleted from all your devices.


Make sure the setting is turned on:

    Settings > Photos & Camera > Optimize iPhone Storage √

Thanks, I just turned that on!

On OS X too.

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