Chaos has been brought in! Google Photos will close the much loved unlimited upload of images and videos in 2021. Google points out that the image cloud was launched more than five years ago, has evolved and is no longer a simple application for storing and managing photos. The truth is that the app is already part of our life and living without it is difficult.
Still according to the search giant, Google Photos stores more than four trillion photos and videos and 28 billion new items are uploaded every week (probably lots of selfies, bad photos, screenshots of anything and lots of junk).
Because of these absurd numbers, Google decided to announce changes soon.
What changes in Google Photos?
First, we need to understand what it’s like today.
Google Photos in 2020
Google Photos currently offers the following options:
- Unlimited and free storage with the high quality option;
- Free storage with the quick quality option;
- Free storage with the original quality option up to 15 GB, shared between Google Photos, Gmail, and Google Drive;
- High quality: Photos are compressed to save space; if it is greater than 16 MP, it will be resized to 16 MP. Videos over 1080p will be resized to 1080p high definition; additional data from closed captions, may be lost.
- Original quality: Photos and videos uploaded with original quality are stored at the same resolution as the capture. It is recommended for photos over 16 MP and videos over 1080p and used for printing giant banners.
- Fast backup: It’s a faster way to upload using Wi-Fi and mobile data. Photos can be compressed to use less data, and if a photo is larger than 3 MP, it will be resized to 3 MP (good quality in sizes up to 15 x 20 centimeters).
Videos over 480p are resized to 480p as the default setting.
Google Photos in 2021
Starting June 1, 2021, high-quality, fast-quality content will consume your Google Account storage (just as original quality uploads consume 15 GB). When you reach the limit, you can subscribe to Google One (where you need it) to have more storage or delete your extra content and continue with the free storage option.
I will copy here the words of Google itself, so there is no distortion.
- Starting June 1, 2021,all new videos and photos backed up with high quality will consume the free 15GB storage available in your Google Account or any extra storage you’ve purchased, just as other Google services already do, such as Google Drive and Gmail. [That is, you will only have 15 GB, more than that not].
- This will not affect high-quality backup videos and photos before June 1, 2021. They won’t consume your account storage. This includes all existing uploaded content with high quality.
Google recognizes the impact of the change and says the decision was made after many considerations. Therefore, users will be warned in advance about the proximity of the limits and will have the resources to understand what will happen.
Before that, though, there are things you can already have in mind.
Do I need to do something now?
The ad is now made, but you can continue using Google Photos to back up your photos and videos normally. After the deadline (June 1, 2021), Google will send reminders when you’re extrapolating the free 15 GB storage limit. For most users, it will still take years before you need to take some action related to it, Google says.
Is there any way to know when I’m going to reach the storage limit?
Google has created a custom estimate for each account that shows you when you’ll reach your contracted limit or free. The calculation is approximate and considers how often you back up photos, videos, and other files.
- Access here: photos.google.com/storage
What can I do when the date comes?
On June 1, 2021, Google promised to release a management tool that will help you easily find and delete dark, blurry, or more photos you don’t want. You can also buy more storage with Google One, which charges for monthly cloud packages.
What happens if I cross the line?
After June 1, 2021 —and only after—you won’t be able to back up additional photos and videos if you’re out of storage space or have exceeded your 15GB free (or additional quota purchased on Google One).
When you exceed this limit, it means you’re using more storage space than is available for your Google Account. If this is exceeded by 24 months, its content may be affected (i.e. deleted).
Are there other photo cloud options besides Google Photos?
But not all are a mom like Google Photos in their limited period.
Google One itself is no dear nonsense. For the average user, the rent of 100 GB does not reach R$ 10 per month. However, it is to start paying for something that has always been free. If you need it, there are plans of up to 2 TB with benefits.
All services end up somehow charging for “pro” access, with more space and other features added like Flickr, where you can store 1,000 photos and/or HD videos for free, displayed with ads. Flickr Pro includes tutorials and online photo courses, two months of Creative Cloud Photography, and so on.
In contrast, Apple’s iCloud offers only 5 GB free. Microsoft’s OneDrive limits it to the same 5 GB. Certainly, there are a number of alternatives to Google Photos equally limited. The way out is to compare prices and extra benefits of the package.
What about Amazon Photos!?
Amazon Photos is an alternative to Google Photos, even for Amazon Prime users —from the United States, who pay for Prime in dollars. It came after changes to Amazon Drive that had also ceased to be unlimited in the country.
Another point to consider is that, as promised by Google, there will be a tool to delete low quality photos and videos (possibly also duplicates), a service that is usually paid for in a number of applications available today for iOS and Android. This will certainly give your Google Photos more life.
In a few years…
Google Photos Limited is still the best alternative to Google Unlimited Photos.