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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Wish List: Sharing Videos from iCloud Photo Shared Albums

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

Of all Apple’s attempts at social sharing, iCloud Photo Sharing is probably my favorite. The ability to quickly share photos with (or among) a set of people is great for collecting disparate pictures of a single event, and a perfect way to stay in touch with far-flung friends and family members.

But one place iCloud Photo Sharing falls down is in that last word: sharing. While sharing pictures from those albums is a simple matter of selecting the images in question and tapping the Share button, the same isn’t true for videos.

Sharing vs. No Sharing
A video (left) and photo (right) shared with me via iCloud Photo Sharing. Note the missing Share icon in the bottom left corner of the video.

See, getting videos into iCloud Photo Sharing is easy: it’s the same as sharing photos. Tap a video in your Camera Roll, select Share, and then tap iCloud Photo Sharing and select the album you want to post to. Voilà. If you then go into the Shared Album in question and select the video you just posted, you’ll even see the full complement of sharing options under the Share button.

The problem arises when someone else deposits a video in an album that’s shared with you. Select that video and you’ll find you don’t have any sharing options at all.

This is a bizarre distinction, because when it comes to photos that others have put into your Shared Albums, you can share those just as you would any picture that you’ve taken.

It’s one of those things that seems like an oversight1, but it can be particularly annoying in a few circumstances. Recently, my girlfriend was trying to make a video for work by assembling clips shot by her colleagues; she and I use a Shared Photo Album, so she naturally assumed that’d be a good solution for her co-workers.

However, it proved to be a pain, because of the fact that there was no way to easily get the videos they shared with her into any other app: you can’t AirDrop them, iMessage them, email them, or even save them to your own Camera Roll. Even Apple’s own iMovie app can’t see videos from Shared Albums, though it can see photos from those same albums.2

Again, I’m not entirely sure why this strange exception exists, but my hope is that it’s a misstep that Apple will at some point correct.

  1. Okay, I guess it’s iCloud Photo Sharing, not iCloud Video Sharing, or iCloud Photo and Video Sharing. But still. 
  2. When I went into Messages, tapped the Camera button, and chose Photo Library, it told me that the list item in a Shared Album was a video, but wouldn’t display that item when I tapped on it. The same when I tried to Insert Photo or Video in a Mail message or even import a photo using GoodReader. 

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]

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