Two weeks ago, Apple launched iOS 5 and along with it came Photo Stream, the photo-syncing feature of iCloud. With it, Mac and iOS users can syncronize their photos across the desktop, iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch.
For those who aren’t thrilled with Photo Stream, Adobe launched an alternative today called Carousel. The new applications for Mac and iOS allow users to centralize their photo library in the cloud, making them accessible across devices. The software also syncs edits that are made regardless of which device they were made on, and also keeps a back-up copy of the original.
Carousel also supports sharing and collaboration with other users, something that makes maintaining digital family photo albums easier. The applications themselves are free, but the service requires a paid storage subscription plan. That normally costs $10 but Adobe is offering it at a discount to coincide with the launch of the new service.
Photo Stream’s Limitations
When iCloud launched, I eagerly turned it on for just about everything but photos. My iPad (first generation, so it doesn’t have a camera) mostly contains screen shots of apps I’ve taken for work. My iPhone almost entirely contains Instagram shots. On the desktop, I don’t use iPhoto, but rather edit photos from my SLR using Photoshop and back them up on an external hard drive. I personally have no reason to merge all of these images together.
Some users who did activate Photo Stream have complained about some of its limitations. It only keeps photos online for 30 days and so far Apple hasn’t provided users a way to delete individual photos from iCloud or single out images to be excluded from it. It’s all or nothing with Photo Stream.
For now, Carousel is only available on Mac OS X (Lion only) and iOS, but apps for Android and Windows are reportedly on the way.