The big change in Google Photos is just around the corner. If you have been enjoying free unlimited uploads since the cloud storage service started, you will be in for an unpleasant surprise. Switch to a paid model will help keep photos close byGoogle argues, but the good news is that there’s a good chance you could already be paying for an alternative.
Wait, how is Google Photos changing?
So far, one of Google Photos’ big baits has been the promise of unlimited storage of photos and videos. To take advantage of this, you need to agree to use Google’s compression settings. These are known as “high quality” uploads. Otherwise, you can save as much as you want in the cloud. However, everything will change from June 1, 2021.
From then on, all new uploads will count towards your Google storage: the amount of cloud storage you have as part of your free or paid Google account. Everyone gets 15 GB initially when they sign up. Previously, this was shared by services like Drive and Gmail. This policy change will add Google Photos to this sharing list.
If you’re about to run out of your free space, there is a new tool This could identify some easy candidates for deletion. Or Google has several different One plans to subscribe to: They start at $ 1.99 per month for 100GB. That capacity, in turn, is shared across your various Google services, and you can add it for family purposes too. To be honest, Google’s storage prices are pretty competitive, but if you’re used to it free Google Photos, then you might want to do some shopping. Finally, some services that you are already paying for might have alternative cloud storage that you can take advantage of.
Amazon Prime subscribers get unlimited free photo storage
Most people know Amazon Prime for the shipping benefits and access to free movies and TV shows as part of Prime Video. However, there are actually various other extras that are part of your subscription. If you’re already paying the annual fee, it might make sense to take advantage of it.
Prime users get unlimited photo uploads on Amazon photos at full resolution and 5 GB video memory. As with Google Photos, you can use the Amazon app on your iOS and Android devices to automatically upload new pictures and videos from your phone or tablet. You can also upload them using a desktop browser.
In fact, anyone can access Amazon Photos without paying for Prime, though you are then limited to 5GB total. If you cancel your Prime membership or it expires, you will also be transferred to this 5GB plan. Amazon offers paid storage plans starting at $ 1.99 per month.
Apple iCloud also stores photos
Like Amazon and Google, Apple’s iCloud Photos service offers some of the free storage for all logins. You get 5GB initially, but it is shared between iCloud Drive, Notes, Backups, and other iCloud services. You can choose to add more iCloud storage with plans starting at $ 0.99 per month.
However, many Apple users have already signed up Apple One. This combines Apple Music, Apple TV +, and Apple Arcade into a single monthly payment – starting at $ 14.95 / month for the single plan – but also at least 50GB of iCloud storage.
It lets you store more photos and videos, and automatic uploads from your phone or tablet are also straightforward – provided you’re in the Apple ecosystem. Unless you’re using an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, the experience is less streamlined. Apple has web interfaces that can be used on Android phones and Windows PCs, but overall, this is definitely not that clean an experience. However, if you are deep into the Apple world, tightly integrating iCloud Photos with your iPhone is a little tricky.
Microsoft 365 automatically uploads to OneDrive
Many families have become with one Microsoft 365 Subscription at this time, especially for home work and home schooling. What you may not notice is that in addition to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other popular apps, it also supports using the included OneDrive storage for your mobile photos.
The OneDrive app for iOS and Android can be set to automatically upload the new photos and videos added to your smartphone’s camera roll, just like Google Photos. A Microsoft 365 Personal plan costs $ 69.99 per year and comes with 1 TB of storage. This is shared across all Microsoft cloud products, including regular files.
At $ 99.99 per year, you get the Microsoft 365 family. This includes the support of up to six people with 1 TB of storage space each. Both plans can use the OneDrive mobile app.
Adobe Creative Cloud adds storage space to Photoshop
Most photographers are no stranger to Photoshop and Adobe Creative Cloud offers different plans with access to the editing software and other apps like Lightroom. However, if you’re already signed in, keep in mind that you get at least 20GB of cloud storage bundled with the regular Photoshop + Lightroom package. It is priced at $ 9.99 / month.
If you’re only subscribed to Lightroom, that’s also $ 9.99 per month, but it comes with 1TB of storage in the Adobe cloud.
Adobe assumes that the memory is being used by image editors. The downside, therefore, is that the mobile experience isn’t quite as seamless as it is with Google Photos or the other services. For example, there is no automatic upload: instead, you manually choose which images you want to backup to the cloud using the Adobe Creative Cloud apps for iOS and Android. This can be a little more work, but it helps free up the space that you may already be paying for.
What if I want to stay on Google Photos?
While there are alternatives, the idea of downloading them and relocating them to a competing service could be a deal breaker if you’ve backed up pictures and videos to Google Photos for over 5 years. Or maybe you really enjoy Google’s powerful image search and organization features. Fortunately, there are still ways to get a deal similar to the one that Google is retiring from.
Google’s Pixel smartphone buyers have long had Google Photos perks, and while the latest line of products – including the Pixel 3a, 4 / XL, 4a / 5G, and Pixel 5 – no longer get free, unlimited, original-quality uploads, they are getting them something free unlimited access. The “High Quality” tier will be renamed “Storage Saver”, and owners of one of these Pixel models will still have full access to it after the June 1st deadline, which affects all others.
The downside is that beyond this current generation of Pixel phones, Google is likely to end this particular benefit. At this point, those with large photo and video libraries may want to look elsewhere.