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since updating to iOS 8.3 and probably enabling some new sort of iCloud system, all my photos in the photos app showed a white circular progress indicator in the bottom right the first time I looked at the picture, which seemed related to network activity.

No idea why this was happening but ended up noticing that a gif viewing app I was developing was suddenly showing many fewer gifs than before. Upon further inspection i found that those gifs I hadn't looked at in the photos app, and hence hadn't done their white progress indicator thing, were missing. Once I'd let them do their white progress indicator thing they showed up again.

So I went through almost all my photos and gifs in the photos app to let them all get 'synced' (or whatever they're doing) so all my gifs would show up and then I noticed some that I'd previously 'synced' were missing again and required another 'sync' to show up again... What??

Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone know what's going on?

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    What settings do you have under Settings app > iCloud > Photos? I'm assuming you have iCloud Photo Library turned on and Optimize iPhone Storage checked. See this. Regarding the thumbnails not showing up in your GIF app, it's likely due to the way the app reads your photo library and probably hasn't been updated to account for Optimized Storage with iCloud Photo Library.
    – tubedogg
    May 14, 2015 at 2:17
  • In an app that reads the library correctly, the thumbnails of all photos should show up, and for a photo whose full size isn't cached on your device, it will download at the time you tap on it.
    – tubedogg
    May 14, 2015 at 2:18
  • Looks like you might be right... I do have the settings you describe. Got 6.4gb free though so surprised it's optimising my images away with that much free! I will investigate further based on this!
    – CMash
    May 14, 2015 at 5:09
  • Credit goes to you @tubedogg, feel free to upgrade your comment to an answer and I'll accept it!
    – CMash
    May 14, 2015 at 7:28
  • I don't know what the upper limit on local storage is, but I have 30GB free on my iPhone with about 23GB (~10,250) in photos in iCloud Photo Library, and Optimize is turned on. It says it's using about 3.2GB under Usage, but it doesn't seem like that much is cached.
    – tubedogg
    May 14, 2015 at 18:08

2 Answers 2

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What settings do you have under Settings app > iCloud > Photos? I'm assuming you have iCloud Photo Library turned on and Optimize iPhone Storage checked. See this.

Regarding the thumbnails not showing up in your GIF app, it's likely due to the way the app reads your photo library and probably hasn't been updated to account for Optimized Storage with iCloud Photo Library.

In an app that reads the library correctly, the thumbnails of all photos should show up, and for a photo whose full size isn't cached on your device, it will download at the time you tap on it.

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  • Thanks @tubedogg, this helped to explain what was going on. Just to cover the programming side of things here; in iOS 8 you need to use the Photos framework instead of ALAssetsLibrary as that doesn't cater for images that aren't fully downloaded to the device.
    – CMash
    May 14, 2015 at 14:15
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@Tubedog this is my problem too. I upgraded and now can't catch my thumbnails They flowery icon is grayed out. Everything checks out as stated above. If I try to attach mail, it takes the entire icon and says it will compress. If I double-click which would open all the photos in the past, there are no thumbnails and it just tries to compress the entire file again. Any suggestions. This convo was all very helpful!

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