MyPhotostream: Photo Stream for Mac without iPhoto’s baggage

MyPhotostream app

MyPhotostream is a simple, standalone Mac app for viewing your pictures from Photo Stream without having to open the mammoth of an app that iPhoto has become.

This app removes a major point of friction for me, and I’m guessing I’m not alone. Open iPhoto and it’s loading your image library, checking location data, updating Photo Stream and Shared Photo Streams, and who knows what else. If you’re viewing iPhoto in full-screen (as it best appears in my opinion) and you have a camera or iOS device connected, it will pull you back to a desktop view and take over the screen with a modal import prompt (even if auto-import is disabled); it’s a mess.

MyPhotostream digs your Photo Stream photos out of the mess and presents them in a simple, customizable grid view.

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You can open a photo within the app to view it larger or drag it to your desktop or other apps to pull it out of Photo Stream. Thumbnail size varies between three preset options and the window view can go full-screen.

Feature-wise, the app includes a number of built-in sharing options to services supported by OS X including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and more. You can also open photos in compatible apps like Pixelmator, Day One, Ember, and more.

MyPhotostream share sheet

Probably the most useful thing about MyPhotostream for me is being able to take a quick screenshot on my iPhone or iPad and see it appear almost instantly in the app.

MyPhotostream solves enough problems at once for me that it’s found a permanent place on the dock of both my Macs.

While the app requires either iPhoto or Aperture libraries to work (and for Photo Stream to have been active before), it worked just the same with Photo Stream unchecked in iPhoto and doesn’t require iPhoto to be open. This allows me actively use Photo Stream throughout the day without iPhoto taking up resources.

I have Photo Stream unchecked, and MyPhotostream works perfectly.

I have Photo Stream unchecked, and MyPhotostream works perfectly.

Until OS X updates Messages and Finder with proper Photo Stream integration and iPhoto loses the bloat, MyPhotostream will be especially valuable to me and my workflow.

MyPhotostream grid

You can try MyPhotostream for Mac for 7 days, and it’s only $3.99 if you want to keep it around.

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  1. Zac Hall - 9 years ago

    Download MyPhotostream (from above; not Mac App Store) and take a free license for our 9to5 readers!


    Update: That’s all folks!

  2. Barry Sayer - 9 years ago

    It says its read only (i.e. you cannot upload) but can photos be deleted using this app from the photostream?

    • Zac Hall - 9 years ago

      Cannot upload but I believe deleting is due in the next update.

      • Barry Sayer - 9 years ago

        Thanks, and thanks for the license :)

  3. Why don’t you just create a smart folder for the photo stream. This seems useless.

  4. This is perfect! Just what I have needed for ages!

  5. PMZanetti - 9 years ago

    Can I use this with a separate iCloud account than the one that’s logged in for the user? Or does it require iCloud login > Photostream on in system prefs, and then will only connect to that user’s photo stream?

    I have extreme need of two photo streams being downloaded on one Mac with one User.

    • Zac Hall - 9 years ago

      I think a lot of people have that need, but I do not think it would work.

  6. miApples (@miApples) - 9 years ago

    This is one GREAT tip .. thank you!

  7. Kyle Guske - 9 years ago

    Looks like a great app. Any chance of getting another license?

  8. Peter Wang - 9 years ago

    great app. wish it had “copy image” option built in, so that you could simply cmd+c and paste it into messages, pages or any other program.
    it’d be awesome if there were more free licenses now

    • Zac Hall - 9 years ago

      I mentioned copy to the developer and hope to see it soon :)


Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.