Google Photos, which was introduced this spring, is a blessing for mobile device photographers around the world.
The service allows its users to back up an infinite amount of high-quality photos using cloud-based storage. For free. Free unlimited cloud-based storage was, and is popular for obvious reasons. The service quickly grew to 100 million monthly active users, storing some 50 billion photos on its servers. Although the service is already quite convenient, Google is rolling out several new features that will allow users to free up quite a bit of space on their mobile devices.
A new feature rolling out to the Google Photos web client tomorrow morning will allow users to downgrade previously upgraded photos from “original quality” to “high quality”. “Original quality” photos are uncompressed – often taken by professional quality cameras, these photos, 16 megapixels or more, are quite bulky in file size.
Although Google Photos will store “original quality” photos, these photos count against your Google Drive storage limit, and the resolution is often unnecessary for the everyday user. “High quality” photos have been compressed a bit to fewer than 16 megapixels. These photos, although a bit lower quality, work fine for online viewing, and even for photo-sized prints. Users can store an unlimited number of these photos for free using the service.
Perhaps more exciting for the casual user, however, is the new “Free up space” setting coming soon on the iOS app. Tapping this setting will allow the user to delete any copies of photos on their phone or tablet’s local storage that has already been backed up into the Google Photos cloud service. The app’s “assistant” will even prompt users who have almost maxed out their device’s storage to “Free up space” whenever necessary.
Most users who run out of space on their phones and tablets end up doing so due to picture storage – Google Photos users will never have to worry about such a nuisance again with this new feature.
With these new features, one of iOS’s most convenient and useful apps just got even better. To all the cell phone photographers out there – if you haven’t jumped on the Google Photos wagon yet, it’s time to do so.