Photos+ now available for macOS

We are excited to announce the release of Photos+ app for the macOS platform. Easily manage your photos on iOS, Android and now desktop Apple computers (M1/M2 chips). Configure it with Storj for unlimited storage and free yourself from the limitations of iCloud.

To download Photos+ for your Apple computer, please


Thank you for the update.
I have tried moving some of my photos to your app. On the iPhone it doesn’t seem to be possible for S3 uploads to be done in the background, which means that the uploads stop if the phone goes to sleep.
That means I need to keep tapping the screen and not use anything else while the photos upload. On a library of many thousands of photos this is not practicable.

Have I done something wrong or is this a current limitation of the iPhone client?

You need to make it so your phone doesnt lock. This is general practice for pretty much any app on iphone.

Thank you for your reply.
It’s not an issue I’ve ever encountered and it seems that a condition of accessing my work emails on my phone is that I can’t disable Auto-lock…

Oh, well… :man_shrugging:t2::slightly_smiling_face:

@photosplusapp, what @deathlessdd describes is a horrible user experience, and there are ways around it.

For example, “Shelly SSH Client” ‎Shelly - SSH Client on the App Store asks you to authorize location access and fetches location periodically; this allows it to run in the background indefinitely, maintaining the session. (Of course, its configurable).

Just inform the user before asking for location, and only do it say while connected to power .

To prevent your phone for auto locking, please tap the options icon (3 dots) in the upper right corner of the Sync section and disable display autolock. Then as long as the Photos+ app is open, the display will not automatically lock allowing the Sync process to complete without it being paused.

Unfortunately due to iOS restrictions, it’s not possible for this app to perform the uploading while the app is placed in background either by the user switching to another app or if the display autolocks.

What your telling him has nothing to do with backing up photos…

It’s a way to keep app running in the background and do stuff indefinitely. But I don’t insist. Not my app, not my problem.

But if the author maintains that the only way to get the job done is to prevent screen lock — I’m not using this app. It’s a massive security hole, besides being a horrible user experience. In no way it’s ”general practice” as you seem to claim.

Background processing on iOS is very limited. It’s designed for very small updates such as checking for new news articles and the processing time the system allows is typically limited to just a few seconds of CPU time every 15 or so minutes.

Uploading many GB of photos and videos would take many days to accomplish with the app in the background instead of in just a few minutes when the app is running.

Typically only the initial upload when first using Photos+ when the user has perhaps imported many photos can be a time consuming process which may take several hours to complete. After that, users typically add a small number of photos on a daily basis and the sync process typically will only take a few minutes per day.

Any app that says uploads can take place in the background usually fail to mention it will take several days to do when the app isn in the background what it can do in several minutes when its left open.

With the macOS version of Photos+ that was released today, another option you may consider is using the macOS version to do the initial import of your photos. Unlike the iOS devices, the desktop version will not pause when the app is the background.

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This is apples restrictions not the devs…iOS Background Execution Limits | Apple Developer Forums

Thank you everyone for your input and thank you for the instructions on keeping the app “awake”.

From a personal perspective, I would prefer background updates to carry on no matter how slow they might be.

I agree, the Mac client is probably a better option for large volumes of photos but at the moment it still feels very much like a “Version 1” software and a significant proportion of settings are absent.

I look forward to future developments of the Mac client and may then use that to migrate my 65.000+ photos and videos :slight_smile:

Thank you again

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The macOS version is a full featured product, it does everything the mobile apps can do with the exception of the configuration of your cloud accounts. We have intentionally limited this to the mobile apps as people’s mobile phones tend to be far more secure devices which can be additionally locked behind a separate device and/or app PIN code, whereas on the desktop, the computers are often left unlocked.

Which cloud provider are you currently using if you don’t me asking? Storing 65K photos on the device can be difficult to manage and fill your device storage space, so Photos+ would actually be a very good option for you. We have some photographers storing over 1 million photos without any usability issues due to the cloud based nature of this app.

Thank you for explaining your rationale.

Currently just using iCloud, but the 2TB just aren’t enough any more, so I’m looking for alternatives. It would be good if Photos+ would store some of the photos on device so that it doesn’t have to download them every time (especially as I’d be paying egress fees with my photos stored on Storj).
Is that any option to do so?

Thank you again for your engagement :slight_smile:

Yes, of course it caches everything it downloads, so you won’t keep racking up bandwidth costs. It also stores smaller optimized versions (in addition to your unmodified originals), so your download bandwidth for usual usage is typically going to be just a tiny fraction of the actual size of your originals.

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If iCloud Photo Library works for you — why not simply add more storage and continue? I’m using iCloud myself, at 6TB right now (family sharing + shared 2TB from two other accounts). 3.5TB is size of my photo library. First party solution is always preferable to any third party one, no offense to photosplus, if nothing else but due to better integration with OS and ecosystem, lack of limitations like background uploading and fewer dependencies on third party cloud solutions — third party storage is managed natively though iCloud.

For privacy conscious — iCloud today is end-to-end encrypted. I don’t see the reason to reinvent the wheel.

I guess part of this comment was driven by the desire to understand the purpose of photos+ and advantages. I’ve played with it — but it’s not clear to me why should I move to this solution (and lose all those on-device smarts iCloud Photo Library provides). There must be something I missing. Genuine question. Can you elaborate?

There are a few limitations with iCloud that usually surface for people storing lots of photos.

  • The max iCloud storage one can buy is 2TB.
  • It will still fill up your phone over time even with optimized settings turned on.
  • Photos+ is also cheaper to use than iCloud if you storing over 200GB but a lot less than 2TB.
  • The main issue though is that iCloud is a designed to be a Sync service and not really a backup service. If a photo is accidentally deleted (and trash emptied) from your iCloud, it is deleted everywhere else with no option to recover it.
  • Lastly if your iCloud account is hacked or locked, you risk losing all your photos unless you have a secondary backup.

So Photos+ is a great option to use in addition to iCloud, and not to necessarily replace iCloud. It can be used as a secondary backup to iCloud and to optionally offload the photos you don’t need to keep on your device to the cloud only.

Thank you for response!

So if this is a photo backup program — then I can see the appeal. But it is not positioned as such — at least app description focuses on collaboration and replication.

I agree that any data needs to be backed up.

Lastly if your iCloud account is hacked or locked, you risk losing all your photos unless you have a secondary backup.

The same arguments are applicable to photo plus, or any other storage solution — you can lose access to the account.

Max on iCloud is 14TB, not 2. Apple One service gets you 2TB, you can have 6 people in family and each can contribute 2TB.

But yes, it’s on a 1TB granularity, you are likely overpaying tiny bit because you always use less. You can penny pinch with 200GB tiers but it’s too much work for $5/month saving

Never had this problem. Maybe it was a bug that got fixed?

So Photos+ is a great option to use in addition to iCloud, and not to necessarily replace iCloud.


It can be used as a secondary backup to iCloud and to optionally offload the photos you don’t need to keep on your device to the cloud only.

iCloud does that. Or do you mean remove from iCloud and move to other cloud? Interesting option.

I have a few other comments. Onboarding experience was horrible:

  • why was I forced to sign up for an account right away without trying the app first?
  • why there is no Login With Apple or Google or Microsoft or GitHub or … option? I don’t want to have to generate and paste email and generate and paste password… make it simple to sign up!
  • the confirmation code got to my junk mail folder. I can forward you the headers in the evening if you’d like so you guys can ensure the email deliverability.
  • why am I being asked for my iCloud Photo Library access? And if I deny access app fails to login. Maybe I don’t want to use iCloud app. Isn’t it the whole purpose, to use other storage: import photos from the sessions to other cloud providers?

So far the only benefit I see is simple sharing of ”sessions” with various groups of people, for collaboration. I do that today by storing CaptureOne sessions in iCloud Drive and sharing with various folks. Then final processed photos then get imported to iCloud library.

Thank you, and good luck with the app!

Interesting workaround for iCloud to 14TB! So you setup 7 different iCloud accounts each paying $120/year and setup up one big shared library!?

How many photos do you currently store on your iPhone if I may ask? In our testing, once we got to 100K+ photos on our iPhone 14, the usability gets quite difficult, such as scrolling or the time it takes for syncs etc. and it keeps filling up our device when originals are downloaded for various reasons. A 1TB iPhone will be ok, but the smaller ones get filled up quickly even with optimized settings on.

My response to your specific questions:

  • You have to sign up even for a trial, Photos+ doesn’t store your photos in our own hosted cloud, but in your own 3rd party cloud provider. So there is no way to try the app without an account.

  • We don’t want to force you to Apple/Google logins! Losing access to these would mean losing access to your account, so same issue as iCloud locking you out.

  • Sadly the confirmation code sometimes ends up in junk mail. Nothing we can do about it.

  • Photos+ needs access to your photo library so you can select photos and upload them.

The typical users of our app are usually people who don’t want to use iCloud at all (too expensive for some, or don’t want to risk being locked in to iCloud and being locked out, and don’t want Apple scanning their photos with their AI etc.), or those that prefer a secondary backup, but the main users are photographers storing hundreds of thousands of their photos in a separate cloud account that they don’t want to store on their device (specially work related stuff they don’t want to mix with personal stuff).

Yes, except so far I do fit into 6TB; so two accounts.

No idea — I have “optimized photo library” enabled so the photos live in iCloud and cached locally. No performance issues that I noticed — I can scrub through the whole decades long photo history.

This is how storage on my phone looks like right now (I’ve had this specific iPhone for about 2 years now)

I’ll check if spf/dmark/dkim did not fail and will let you know.

Of course you can do a lot about it!

All photo processing is done on-device.

This is a god point!

Let the user make that choice. I always login with Apple whenever possible. I don’t worry about losing access. Data is backed up and access can be recovered.


App Store supports trials and subscriptions… Third party account is not necessary.
Edit2. Nevermind. I understand it’s for cross platform support

In our experience, only when you start with a new iPhone and migrate over, then your photo library is essentially empty of the “originals” and you get a very efficient storage of just the “optimized” versions, but then over time it starts to get filled up as you do things that need the originals.

Then as you take new photos and videos on your device, the new originals all remain on the device, and supposedly only when/if your iPhone starts “getting full”, does iOS try to offload the originals to iCloud to open up space, but in our testing, it can take a long time and we can never get our phone to recover much space, so we run into issues as we takes lots of new photos and specially videos.

We have videographers that take 100GB of new proRAW photos and videos in just one shoot. Their iPhones 1TB would then fill up in just a few days and so they had to resort to uploading them to Dropbox etc to open up space again and also to keep their phone’s photo library separate for their work stuff.

So now they can do a similar thing but instead with Photos+ and the fact that they can have unlimited pay-for-only-what-you-use S3 storage. It’s almost best to think of Photos+ as a Dropbox, OneDrive or GoogleDrive alternative but one that’s optimized for photos and videos.

We have many users that do use these other clouds configured with Photos+ instead of S3 and the main reason they tell us why they prefer to use Photos+ configured with GoogleDrive instead of just GoogleDrive directly is the “optimized photos experience” they get through Photos+ instead of a “generic file storage” experience they get with GoogleDrive. Photos+ is more like a fancy S3 client for them it seems.

Apple does scan photos server side not for image recognition, but for other purposes such as illegal content. Not that it’s a bad thing, but some people don’t want to accidentally get flagged for photos that aren’t illegal but that their AI accidentally flags as such.

One last issue with using 3rd party logins is that your account gets permanently linked to that specific email account. So you can’t change for example to a different google email later, that would require creating a new account, and if you lose access to that gmail account, you lose your login access. When signing up with just an email, you’re free to change emails when you like.