The release of any major update to an operating system can be jarring and iOS 8 is no different. While it’s certainly doesn’t possess the polarizing aspects associated with the move from iOS 6 to iOS 7, there are instances where changes aren’t always welcome. One such change appears to be the new Photos app. It has folks asking, “where did camera roll and Photo Stream go in iOS 8?” We’ll cover the changes and provide a few less than ideal workarounds.
camera roll photostream

Upgraded to iOS 8 and cannot find my photos in Camera Roll?

You’re not alone, which is a good thing. You’re photos aren’t missing. Apple has chosen to make changes to how the Photos app in iOS 8 organizes your photos. In previous releases, whenever you took a picture, it would be added to the Camera Roll in chronological order. This was easy for users to understand. In many ways, this was the memory card in your point and shoot camera. These were shots taken with your iPhone and in the storage of your iPhone. It also provided for a single location to view all of your photos. With iOS 8, Apple chose to remove ‘Camera Roll’.

Camera roll and Photostream in iOS 8

To view photos, Apple now forces users to use ‘Collections’. This is accessible by selecting Photos > Years > Collections. Apple uses location data in an attempt to group images in a logical grouping. For example, let’s say you took a summer vacation to the great state of Maine. Photos taken during your vacation would be grouped in Collections under Maine and sorted by date. With school in session, newer photos taken would be grouped to your home state. All of your photos remain sorted by date, so if you need to find a particular photo, you can still search by date.

Workaround: Bring back the camera roll

Unless Apple relents, there is no elegant way of bringing back your camera roll. One workaround would be to create an album called Old Camera Roll. Navigate to Albums > +. Title your new album and you’ll be prompted to select images which are grouped by Moments. If you have a large library, admittedly, this can be a timely and frustrating task. Once completed, you’ll be able to navigate your photos just as you would when using Camera Roll.

Q & A: Upgraded to iOS 8 and cannot find Camera Roll and Photo Stream photos?

In iOS 7, Photo Stream was found in Albums. It provided for a quick way to see your last 1,000 photos, all of which were accessible on all of your iOS devices using iCloud. Similar to Camera Roll, Apple decided to remove Photo Stream in Albums. Up to 1,000 photos will still be accessible in iCloud, but they no longer have an album. The trouble here is that you cannot see where your photos stored in iCloud start and end.

Workaround: Bring back my old Photo Stream in iOS 8

Like our kludgy method of bringing back the camera roll, bringing back the old Photo Stream is temporary and to say it’s a bit clunky would be an understatement. It will however allow you to get your footing in the new OS and help you see which photos are currently being saved to your Photo Stream under the 1,000 photo limit. It requires a second iOS device that has not yet been upgraded to iOS 8.

Removing the Camera Roll and Photo Stream from the iOS 8 Photos app is an odd move by Apple and one that can certainly cause frustration for users migrating to the new operating system. You can use Apple’s feedback page to express your displeasure and you’re always welcome leave a comment, though I wouldn’t bank on things changing in iOS 9. My guess is that Apple felt that Camera Roll and Photo Stream were duplicative and by keeping everything in Collections, it would simplify things. It could also be they are making changes to pave the way for the new Photos app and also hoping more folks make the decision to purchase additional iCloud storage.

Camera Roll and Photo Stream Gone forum discussion