Google Photos will end unlimited free storage, but I will continue to use it


This article may contain the personal views and opinions of the author.

Today, June 1, Google Photos will end up with unlimited free storage and recently uploaded photos will be counted towards the 15GB data limit that came with your Google Account, and once you reach that limit … Well, you’ll need to pay and purchase one of your monthly Google One subscriptions.
And while these changes won’t affect all of your photos uploaded before June 1 (they don’t count towards the 15GB maximum), some people were disappointed that the fun and free service will change its terms and require potentially heavier users to pay in the future. And after all, who still wants a new order, right? Especially if you already pay for iCloud or another cloud service.
And while for people who are already paying for another cloud storage, it makes sense to start uploading photos there instead of paying a double fee, I’m here to tell you that if you don’t pay for cloud storage yet, any bad press Google Photos gets can be misleading, and think twice , before moving the image out of Google Photos to other services.

Here are the reasons why:

# 1: Google Photos is faster and more convenient than your competitors

Google may not have the best results in maintaining some products, but Google Images is different. It has been around for years: first as Picasa Web in the 21st century, and then it was transformed into its current format, Google Photos, in 2011, and since then it has served users well. So unlike previous Google products (We still complain about the death of Google Reader), this one won’t soon be dropped.

Another advantage of Google Images is that it works effortlessly on all platforms: you can use Google Images with a web browser and get a stellar experience, but you also have Android and iOS apps that also do a good job. By comparison, we’ve tried alternative solutions that work well in the app, but didn’t offer such a fast and versatile experience when used in a browser, and if you use a lot of different devices to view your photos, this is an important consideration.

# 2: Google Photos makes photo sharing a lot easier than other services

One area where I think Google has really set the bar above the competition is just ease of sharing. Sharing photos, photo groups, and albums is so effortless and intuitive with Google Photos, and it’s just no other service. For example, you can easily manually select a few photos and create a web link, you can have custom privacy settings and everything in an instant!

You don’t have to worry about creating a separate album just to share a certain series of pictures, and you also know that the link is universally visible on all devices, whether the person is using it from their phone or a computer browser.

# 3: Google Photos “High Quality” packaging is excellent

When you set up Google Images, you can choose to download “High Quality” or “Original Size” files. While compression is a bad word these days, and many services like Facebook Messenger compress images to look awful, this is not the case with Google Images.

For example, the 16MP files on the Panasonic Lumix GH4 SLR camera are compressed to file sizes of less than 1 MB, but you hardly notice any loss of quality. We have seen a lot of comparisons Google Photos “High Quality” and “Original Quality”, and we found that you need to blow up the photos at a close-up of 600% to see any difference. No one would ever do that, so it’s safe to say that Google’s image compression algorithm does a great job of making your photos smaller, but not of lower quality.

# 4: 15GB of free storage is still much more than the others

Now I realize you may be a little angry when they take your unlimited free stuff, but if we look objectively, you still get 15GB of free storage and that’s a lot more than other services offer.

Compared to space’s biggest competitor, Apple’s iCloud gives users only 5GB of storage for free, which is nothing. And other companies often offer even less: Dropbox only gives you 2GB of storage!

So yes, if you don’t have too many photos, free Google Photos storage is still best if you’re looking for “free”.

# 5: Search

Google often has a bad mouth at its often loose standards in terms of privacy, and recent reports suggest the company may have hidden important privacy controls deep in menus, making them harder to find and accessible to ordinary users. All this is true and important.

At the same time, however, we must acknowledge that Google is the leading search engine. When you have a collection of thousands of photos years and sometimes decades ago, you want them to be well organized and searchable. And yes, by chance, Google Photos is the best tool for that.

Last words

So these are my reasons why, despite the change in Google Photos terms, I’m not going to move away. I enjoy Google Photos too, and it has been a reliable home for my photos for years.

However, if you are planning to switch, you may find it interesting to read how your own Peter K broke the monthly subscription chains and built a home NAS cloud server as an option for Google Photos over 200GB of storage. It’s not that hard to set up, and with his guidance, you’ll feel the experience of using it.

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