I want to create a comprehensive cloud photo archive together with my girlfriend, for all our mobile devices and laptops.

This is what we want:

  1. Photos should be archived in full resolution

  2. Photos should be automatically uploaded from iPhones

I’m a bit desperate because everything I tried so far failed:

  1. Dropbox: uploads everything into one folder and would mix up the sources of the photos; plus it would require sharing my Dropbox ID

  2. iCloud: it’s only possible to share albums, so sharing the entire collection is cumbersome. Plus, backing up shared albums seems difficult (I’d need to manually save them and would create redundant copies for all photos I uploaded before to the shared album)

I’m now eyeing at Google Photos. It seems to be best at sharing libraries and - of you pay - allows you to upload full scale pictures. While I’m worried about Google’s tendency to grab data, I’m willing to accept that.

Now my questions:

  1. What so you use for sharing entire photo libraries from different devices with your family?

  2. Would you recommend using one account for our collection, or two separate ones? With two separate accounts, can you share full resolution photos using the Shared Library function? With ohne, is there a way to separate between sources (i.e. what she uploads from her iPhone / why I upload from my iPhone / why she uploads from laptop / ...)

  • Are you looking to have merged libraries on both devices or just archive a copy and mix the archives?
    – bmike
    Commented Oct 10, 2020 at 23:55

2 Answers 2


I guess google developed a feature that is exactly what you have been looking for:

Share your Google Photos library with a partner https://support.google.com/photos/answer/7378858?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DiOS

I've just enabled it with my wife and so far seems to work greata


But you should be aware of that Google Photos will separate meta info from photos. So later if you want to download them all you will get JSON files and photos.

Only way to get with meta data, is to download they by hand, you can select 500 at a time.

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