When Google confirmed that Pixel 4 owners wouldn’t have access to unlimited Google Photos storage for original quality photos, many potential buyers were obviously bummed. To add insult to the injury, it now turns out that Apple’s iPhone owners can upload original quality images for free.
Owners of older Pixels have unlimited photo storage for life, but that’s not the case with the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL. And to rub their noses in it, one Reddit user with an iPhone noted that anyone taking shots in HEIC format will get unlimited full quality uploads, even though they’re using an iPhone.
With all modern iPhones shooting photos in HEIC format, which is smaller than even Googles compressed JPG files, iPhones therefore get free unlimited ORIGINAL quality backups simply because it would cost Google both storage space (because if Google tried to compress iPhones HEIC photos they would actually become larger) and computing power (because Google doesn’t need to compress and process all of the billions of photos iPhones backup.)
So Apple is literally saving Google millions of dollars by shooting their photos in HEIC and it benefits iPhone users as well because we get free original quality backups.
That’s pretty amazing and certainly seems to ring true. If you’re using an iPhone we’d suggest making sure you’re using the HEIC/HEIF format in Settings > Camera > Formats and if you aren’t, turn it on. That’s the standard configuration so the chances are good that you’re all set, though.
iPhone owners can download the Google Photos app for free from the App Store.
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