So over the last few days I've been experimenting with and using shared photo streams for my iPhone 5 and my wife's iPhone iPhone 4 and it's really simple to share pictures between my iPhone and my wife's.
Firstly I open the photos app and go to camera roll, tap "edit" in the top right hand corner and select the picture(s) that I'd like to share.
These are highlighted with a red tick, really I guess it should be a green tick as these have been selected not deselected. Happy with you choices tap "share" in the bottom left.
How would you like to share? A new share menu appears. From here you can choose to print, share with Facebook, copy, mail or share with photo stream. If you haven't previously share photographs this way before your greeted with another slick looking menu, click in the cloud icon with the plus on it, to add a shared photo stream.
Tap on the blue plus icon to add people from you contact list. You may notice not everybody in your contact list is available to share with, those in black ink are available, because you have previously added email details for them. Contacts without email details are inked in grey.
When you have selected all the contacts you would like to share wit, give the stream a name, like family event or Bert's Birthday. Thankfully the public website option is set to off my default. Ready? Tap next, top right
A postcard along with your selected pics papercliped to them us display. There's room for a few lines if personal message too, tap post to well you get the hang of it.
After a notification the snaps magically they appear on your recipients photo stream, under their shared streams.
Both party's can comment on the pictures and like the pictures and both parties can save them to their camera rolls.
But what's really interesting is that Apple hasn't yet built in the ability for the recipient to add pictures of their own to this photo stream, they can of course create a stream to share with you though.
This recipient sharing, Apple would name it more cooly no doubt, would make it truly social, to rival Facebook, Instagram and the like.
Think of it like this mum, dad and their grown up children visit the Olympics this summer, obviously lots of pictures are taken. Mum takes some shots of the crowd, her daughter is lucky enough to be snapped with an Olympic boxer and the son takes a picture of them all there. In the past before you parted back to your own abodes you might say, "you'll have to post or email those pics"
If photo stream was a completely shared experience everyone in the family could instantly share all (select the ones they wanted) the photos. Surly this would be brilliant, all the members of that stream could individually comment, like and print their favourites, what great shared memories.