The entire Google Photos saga will end in a few hours from now when the new policy kicks in, signaling the end of the free and unlimited storage for High Quality photos to the cloud. Along with that, there will also be a reworking, rather a rewording, of the storage options that’ll be available for Android phone users in general and specifically for the Google Pixel phones. The biggest change is that compressed photos, as they have been called all this while, will no longer be packaged as “high quality”. This storage option, if you continue to use Google Photos, will be called “Storage Saver”. But hang on. This is only for Android phones made by phone makers such as Samsung or OnePlus or Xiaomi, for instance. Google Pixel phone users will still get unlimited High Quality or Original Quality photos, depending on which Pixel phone you use.
Google assures everyone that it is just a naming change from High Quality to Storage Saver, while the quality and compression remains the same as before. The other storage mode remains Original Quality, both of which now will count against the Google storage quota which is also shared with Gmail and Drive. Yet, in another example of fragmentation which Google’s ecosystems are very accustomed to, Photos is also tweaked for certain devices, giving them a higher billing than the rest of the Android phones. “While we’re updating the name, your photos and videos will continue to be stored at the same great quality. As always, you have the control to choose the storage option that works best for you,” says Andy Abramson, Director, Product Management, Google Photos. Here is how it works. All Android phone owners (except Google Pixel phones) will have all Photos and Videos uploads to Google Photos starting June 1 2021, will be counted against the free 15GB quota or if you have paid for a Google One storage plan. And now on to Google Pixel phones.
Google Pixel users, Photos May Still Be Relevant For You
The new Photos policy eliminating unlimited photos and videos uploads in the High Quality mode does not exactly apply to you if you use a Google Pixel phone. Here is how the hierarchy stands. The Google Pixel 2, 3A, Pixel 4, Pixel 4A and Pixel 5 users can still get unlimited Storage Saver uploads for the time being, and these will not count against your free 15GB Google storage or a Google One storage subscription plan—but Original Quality photos will get counted against the storage. If you own a Pixel 3, you can still get unlimited free Original Quality photos and videos uploads till January 1 next year, after which you’ll also be switched to unlimited High Quality/Storage Saver mode. Somehow, the original Google Pixel users, if there are still any still rocking the phone from 2016, still get unlimited and free Original Quality storage options for Google Photos.