Adding iCloud Photos to a Google Shared Album

I love Google Photos and I think everyone should use it! But, I know that’s not realistic. There are lots of Apple iPhone users out there who are perfectly happy with the Apple iCloud Photos way of managing their pictures. Although it is possible to install Google Photos on an iPhone and use both Apple iCloud AND Google Photos, it’s really not advisable unless you know what you’re doing. So, if all your photos are in the Apple ecosystem, what do you do when you go to your class reunion and the person collecting all the photos is using Google Photos? How do you contribute your photos to the shared group album if you don’t want to use Google Photos?

I’ve set up many group photo albums where many people contributed photos, it’s so easy! But they were all users of Google Photos. Recently I’ve been called upon to figure out how a non-Google Photos user can contribute photos. With the help of my fellow Google Photos product Experts, I have found that it’s easy also!

There are 2 prerequisites for the following instructions to work:

  1. The Google Photos app must not be installed on your iPhone. To check this, use search (at the bottom of your main home screen, or swipe down on the home screen) for Google Photos. If it pops up, you need to longpress on it and “Delete App.”
    Now, if you are actually using the Google Photos app – that’s fine! But, if you don’t want to use it, you’ll get messed up if the app is on the phone, it will open and ask you to give permission to all your photos so it can back them all up to Google. If you don’t want that, the easiest thing to do is to remove the app from your phone.
  2. You do need an active Google Account username and password. This is usually a email address, but it could be any other email address registered as a Google account. Whatever email you use to sign in to gmail, Google Drive, YouTube, Blogger, or any other Google service. This is your Google account

Get the link to the shared album

First off, the owner of the Google Shared album should send you a link via email or text message or other social networks. When you click that link using your phone, you should see something like one of the images below:

Click on Add photos and you should see the photos on your phone and you can select a couple and tap “Add” in the upper right.

That’s it! You have just added your photos to a Google Photos shared album.

There may be additional steps:

  1. you may be asked to sign in with your Google account. That is most likely an email address, but not necessarily. Whatever address you use to sign in to any of Google services like YouTube, Blogger, Calendar etc.
  2. You may also see a message “It’s better in the App” Do not Use the app, instead tap on “Continue on Web.”
  3. If you don’t see your photos yet, tap on the “Upload” button – the cloud with the up arrow at the top right.

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