Google Photos has been one of the best apps coming out of Google's universe of apps, but time is up. Not that Google Photos is going Google+ way, but the company has decided to kill the most popular feature, free unlimited storage. Now, what that means is, starting June 1, 2021, any new photos and videos uploaded on the Photos cloud service will count towards the free 15GB storage quota that is a standard for all Google accounts.
The 15GB free storage would have been more than enough to last a few years if the Google account storage wasn't shared across Gmail, Google Drive, and Photos. We have already discussed what are a few things Google Photos users should keep in mind.
To refresh, all photos and videos backed up in high quality before the deadline date, which is June 1, 2021, won't count towards the standard 15GB of Google account storage. So, in case you are still wondering, then, this might be your last chance to back up your entire photo gallery in high quality on Google Photos.
If you are wondering whether the high-quality tier that's free until May 31 will spoil your image quality, then understand that photos are compressed to save space. Let's say if a photo is larger than 16-megapixels, then it will be resized to 16-megapixel. Google says that users can print good high-quality 16-megapixel photos in sizes up to 24 inches x 16 inches. Coming to videos, the files that are higher than 1080p will be resized to high-definition 1080p. A video with 1080p or less will look close to the original. Some information, like closed captions, however, might be lost.
To make it simple, users could save original quality photos and videos to Google Photos that were counted against the storage quota. But photos and videos uploaded in high quality to the photo cloud service till now were free, and this means that you could upload a bigger chunk which would not count against your storage quota.
However, after June 1, all high-quality photos and videos backed up to Google Photos will count against users' storage quota.
For the Pixel 5 or older Pixel users, current backup quality photos and benefits remain unchanged. Google has confirmed that uploads in high quality from the Pixel 2 to Pixel 5 smartphones will continue to receive unlimited free storage. However, photos and videos backed up from other devices in high quality after June 1, 2021, will start to count towards the user's Google account storage.
For Pixel 3a to Pixel 5 users, photos and videos uploaded in high quality are free and unlimited. However, photos and videos uploaded in their original quality will count towards the user's Google account storage.
Considering Google Photos is one of the best photo tools you can get on the Internet, there are not many alternatives. There are a few photo services, but they also come with a storage quota.
Dropbox is one cloud service that users can try out for uploading, but it offers only 2GB to a single user as part of its free basic personal plan. Users will have to buy storage if they wish to store more content on this cloud service.
Microsoft OneDrive is another decent option for users who are looking for a Google Photos alternative. The OneDrive service offers a free tier of 5GB, and if users want more space, they can buy the 100GB plan for Rs 140 per month.
Amazon Photos is one good option for Prime members, which offers unlimited, full-resolution photo storage and 5GB video storage. But this is not available in India.
If you decide you want more space for your photos and videos, you can sign up for Google One plans which are available in India. All Google accounts include 15GB of storage, which is free of charge, but Google One bumps this storage quota to 100GB. The Google One plans start at as low as Rs 130 per month for 100GB cloud storage. Users can also choose to opt for an annual plan that offers some discount, like in the 100GB plan case, users can get an annual subscription for Rs 1,300. There are also 200GB, 2TB, and 10TB plans available for interested customers.
The good thing about Google One subscription is it offers some additional benefits, like when you get a 100GB plan, and you automatically get access to Google experts, the option to add your family, and extra member benefits.
The Google Photos free tier ends on May 31, which means there's still about two weeks left, and users who are yet to make a move should do it right away. If you're on the high-quality tier, upload all your photos and videos right away before the deadline of June 1 comes into effect and unlimited free storage ends for almost everyone.
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