Since its debut in 2015, Google Photos has brought a whole new dimension to safeguarding precious memories. Since then, the photo sharing and cloud storage service has been popular due to its unlimited free storage.
Google Photos users have benefited from this feature for years, allowing them to save the most crucial moments with complete peace of mind, without having to worry about their device’s storage space running out.
Google’s reliable service offers unrestricted cloud storage for images and videos with a resolution of up to 16 megapixels and 1080p. Anything submitted outside of these parameters is simply scaled down to suit the parameters – this is referred to as High Quality storage.
Basically, users don’t need to do anything other than press the “back up now” button or allow automatic backup to ensure that all images and videos are securely backed up.
Prepare For a Change
Beginning June 1, 2021, all uploaded photos and videos will be counted against your Google account’s free 15GB storage. If you go over the limit, you’ll have to purchase a Google One subscription to continue using the service.
The groundwork for this strategic change was laid in November 2020, when Google Photos’ David Leib tweeted the reason for the move. Providing fully free backups, he claims, is costing the organization a lot of money. As a result, Google had no choice but to abandon the service’s primary cost of operation and embrace the primary benefit of online storage.
Every week, more than a billion people upload a staggering 28 million pictures to the platform. To meet costs and provide the seamless service that consumers have come to expect over the years, a subscription model is unavoidable.
What About Previous Uploads?
Users who use Google Photos to upload their device’s content don’t have to worry about losing their old data. Existing high-quality content would be excluded from the impending storage limitations. Any new uploads will only start ticking the Google account storage meter after the specified date.
If you manually backup your photos and videos to the service, you can go through your library again before June 1 and upload any important material. Anything you do on or after June 1 will start taking up space in your 15 GB storage limit.
Starting June 1, users will be able to use a new feature that will act as a photo and video management tool. The AI tool will examine your stored files and recommend whether you should delete any fuzzy images or video clips that exceed the 15GB free limit.
Existing Pixel User? Need Not Worry
Pixel devices that are part of the Google community have access to additional benefits. Pixel owners, on the other hand, need not worry because they will receive free unrestricted storage for high-quality uploads. However, if users want to upload images and videos in their original quality, it will count against their Google account storage. But there’s nothing for the high-resolution 16MP and 1080p requirements.
Owners of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL will upload unlimited images and videos at Original Quality settings until the end of 2021. Any content stored in the cloud after that period would be scaled down to the High Quality resolution. This advantage will be available to Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL users until January 31, 2022.
Following that, any new photos or videos will be scaled down to High Quality settings using the same technique.
What Options Are There?
Once you’ve reached the 15GB storage limit, you’ll have to decide between the options on the table. You can use Google One, which is a unified cloud storage platform for Google products. Since its inception in 2018, the service has expanded to 140 countries.
The plan’s 100GB tier costs $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year. A 200GB storage slot will cost $2.99 per month or $29.99 per year. Then there’s the 2TB plan, which costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year.
These plans should be sufficient for most users. If you need more storage for professional reasons, there are 10TB plans for $99.99, 20TB plans for $199.99, and 30TB plans for $299.99 per month.
For those who want to try a service outside of the Google ecosystem, the next best option is Microsoft OneDrive. The single-user plan includes 5GB of free storage, after which paid plans begin. 100GB storage costs $1.99, the same as Google, and a 1TB plan costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year.
The 1TB plan includes Skype as well as office apps such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Dropbox is also available for single-user plans, offering 2GB of free storage and up to 2TB of storage for $9.99 per month.
It is obvious that, of these options, Google One offers the most options. For peace of mind, Android users should stick to the Google ecosystem. Professionals who want the added value of Microsoft Office suites, on the other hand, should suggest Microsoft OneDrive.