I’m slowly getting comfortable with the cloud. Since I’m heavily invested in Apple’s ecosystem, the cloud in question is Apple’s iCloud. My iTunes library is there as are many of my documents. Many of my apps use iCloud for storage. Now, with iCloud Photo, I can have all of my photos on my iPad, iPhone, and two Macs.

The migration to iCloud Photo began easily enough. Launch the Photos app on the Mac that has my current iPhoto library and agree to migrate from iPhoto to Photos. That took a few minutes. The Photos user interface is similar to that on the iPad and iPhone, plus it preserves many of the features of iPhoto.

So far, so good.devices

Next step is to tell Photos that you want to move to iCloud Photo. I did that, saw a status bar, but no activity. Given that I’m transferring 60 gigabytes of data, I was not surprised to see little movement.

But, 24 hours later, still no movement.

I consulted Apple’s discussion boards and saw others were having a similar experience. Their suggestions – terminate Unix root level process or delete plists (whatever they are) – did not seem appropriate to me.

I called Apple. They said the process will take days and to just be patient.

The wifi network in my apartment has two sub-networks: a primary and an extension. The extension is needed because the primary does not reach the back of my apartment. Performance on the extension is about a quarter of that on the primary. I moved my Mac to a room where the primary network is strong and restarted the iCloud Photo transfer.


The status bar started to fill in and the number of files to transfer started to count down. But very slowly – about 2,000 files in 24 hours. Plus, my network performance was clearly degraded, even the primary sub-net.

Meanwhile, the photos are slowing showing up on my iPad and iPhone. When I don’t need those devices – at night, for example – I put them in the room where the primary network is strong and open the Photos app on each device.

After six days, all of the photos from my Mac are in iCloud. My network performance is back to where it was. And all of the photos are on my iPhone and iPad, consuming only 2.5 gigabytes on each – kind of amazing when you think about it.

Three observations:

  1. Make sure the network is robust.
  2. Be patient, very patient.
  3. I’m almost convinced that the iPad could replace my Mac. For the entire time the Mac was transferring files to iCloud Photo, I’ve stayed off of the Mac and have relied exclusively on my iPad and, to a lesser extent, my iPhone. I even composed this blog entry on my iPad.  Something to think about.

Have you had a similar experience? have you migrated to iCloud Photo yet? Let us know your observations here!