You may remember my post on iCloud Photo Sharing. Well, I’m bringing back the discussion because I just discovered something pretty amazing that you can do with this feature and your Apple TV. Well, I kind of knew for awhile that this feature existed, but I never had time to try it out. I am a HUGE fan of Apple TV and almost as excited about the newest model as I was about the Apple Watch – almost.
Anyway, I have an Apple TV at home and there is one in every classroom in my school. We have a pretty sweet setup for AirPlaying our creations and I don’t know how we ever lived without it.
Every Apple TV’s screensaver defaults to beautiful National Geographic photos set to the “random” setting. While this is a great choice and can meet the needs of the majority of Apple TV users, I kept thinking how cool it would be to display my family photos on my home Apple TV and student photos from around the school on our classroom Apple TVs. Since this past year was spent rolling out one-to-one devices, I kept putting this project on the back burner until I had a real reason to make it work. Well, a couple of weeks ago I was challenged to make it work! The only option to get a whole bunch of photos onto the Apple TV was to use iTunes, but that didn’t seem like the best option for a wireless device that sits high above the classroom on our mounted projectors. It would be easy to set up a personal device like this, but I wanted to use iCloud and knew there had to be a way.
I was excited when I came across this article last week.: How to Use Your iCloud Photos as Your Apple TV’s Screen Saver
Since my husband and I share an iCloud photo library with each other, we can add photos we take with our iPhones to one central album. We call this album, “Family.” Now we can have these photos displayed on a digital photo wall formerly known as our Samsung TV. See my original post on iCloud Photo Sharing to learn how to set this up.
Once the shared album is set up, simply share it with people you’d like to contribute photos to this album.
Then you need to log in to the Apple TV with an Apple ID that has had the album shared with it. If you are in a school, you can simply create a generic, school Apple ID and then follow the directions in this article.
Note that I do not turn on Photostream because I don’t want ALL photos to be used as a screensaver for classroom Apple TVs. I just want a specific iCloud Photo album. Here’s how I did it:
1. First, I made sure iCloud Photo sharing was on and Photo Stream was off.
2. Then I went to Apple TV settings – Screensaver
3. I scrolled past National Geographic and chose iCloud Photos.
4.Then I selected Family from my list of shared iCloud photo albums. Here I am able to see albums that I have shared with others and albums that others have shared with me.
5. The kids voted on the “Snapshots” setting and that was it!
Now we just add photos to that shared album and they automatically show up on our Apple TV screensaver. Just imagine the cool classroom photos you could display on your class Apple TV!
I can also Airplay Apple Music playlists directly from my Apple Watch while the screensaver is on, while having the ability to advance the song, increase or decrease the volume or change playlists. I’ll save that for my next post!