It’s been a rough time trying to figure out if iCloud and the Photos app was going to be the solution for me. TL;DR – No, it is not for me.
I started out on the beta of the photos app. The idea of using iCloud for storage and Photos on my phone was a great concept. The ability to look up any photo at any time was exciting. In practicality, it just didn’t work. I will say the Photos application on my Mac did a remarkable job when processing that many photos. The challenge came when trying to use it on my phone. My phone just became incredibly slow and trying to scroll through that many photos. The worst part was that I would take a photo, it would take 15 to 30 seconds for a photo to show up in my library. This was just not usable.
What I realized is that I use my camera less than ever before. I finally deleted the photos out of the application in an effort to see if it was a corrupted file or something causing the slowness. Then when I reuploaded photos I ended up with multiple duplications.I am now on my third iteration trying to get the photos application to work. This weekend I just decided to declare Photos bankruptcy and give up. I’m going to delete all of the photos that were in iCloud.
I have turned off photo storage on my devices until I can get the 30 days RECENTLY DELETED gone. I am not sure why there is no easy way to purge the trash. At this point, there are 90k photos in there. Once I can get all of the photos removed, and all of the photos out of the backed up deleted files, I will re-enable this feature and just keep the photos syncing across devices. I will then just continue to use my old process of filing photos by year and by event; editing and sifting through them by hand as normal.
I really had high hopes for iCloud photo storage to work. It turns out the main issue was really the ability for the phone to write quickly to the database when I had over 50,000 photos. It made my phone crippling slow. I hope they can get this figured out in the future but in the meantime I’m going to be using my old process to manage photos.
UPDATE: Monday, September 28, 2015. I have read a bunch recently about the improvements since launch. I have gone back and re-uploaded my photos to see how things worked. Seems like things are much improved and I am going to stick with it for a while. Hopefully this keeps on working.