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Google Photos this month ditched its free unlimited storage option for all users …except those who own a Google Pixel. For the rest of us, Google is imposing a 15GB storage allowance to upload images and videos. After you’ve filled that, you’ll need to cough up for additional storage – setting you back as much as £7.99 a month for the 2TB storage allocation.
Google Photos users can still use the “High Quality” Storage” format, which uses compression algorithms to crunch down anything larger than a 16-megapixel snap, to eke the most out of their allowance. It’s possible to upload uncompressed photos, but that’ll eat through your storage faster.
If you’re a keen photographer, or have a huge backlog of family photos or videos that you haven’t backed up for a while… Google Photos’ new policy could be pretty costly. So, what has this got to do with Prime Day?
Every year, Amazon holds a blockbuster sales event, dubbed Prime Day, which is only accessible for Amazon Prime members. Prime, which costs £79 a year, unlocks next-day delivery on millions of Amazon items, movie and boxset streaming on Prime Video, Kindle books to borrow for free via Kindle Unlimited and unlimited photo back-up. Yes, that’s right.
If you’re currently considering ditching Google Photos and looking to treat yourself to some bargains when Amazon kickstarts its Prime Day sales on June 21, 2021, then you can achieve both by buying an annual membership to Amazon Prime.
Unlike Google Photos, which only offered unlimited photo storage to those who used its “High Quality” Storage” format to compress larger images, Amazon Photos uploads everything in the original full-resolution format. Of course, you’ll need to keep paying for a Prime membership each year to keep adding to your photo backup, but that’s the same with all of these solutions, including Google Photos.
Amazon Photos doesn’t quite have the same bells and whistles as you’ll find on Google Photos or Apple Photos, which offer some pretty sophisticated editing tools within the app and leverage AI to generate albums and short movies based on particular events, locations or people. Amazon offers some of this, but it’s not quite as complete.
However, if you have a Fire TV or Amazon Echo Show in your home, you’ll be able to use albums from your Amazon Photos vault for slideshows or screensavers on these gadgets – turning your Alexa or telly into a digital photo frame when it’s not in-use.
If you’re thinking about turning your back on Google Photos, you’ll need to use the Google Takeout service to download high-quality versions of your images. Unfortunately, that’s not available inside the Android or iOS app right now, so you’ll need to fire-up a desktop PC or laptop. From there, head directly to Google Takeout at takeout.google.com.
Google Photos introduce new feature to search text in pictures
From there, you’ll need to select Google Photos library from the list of Google services that support Takeout, then choose the file format, maximum size, and a range of other options – and wait. When it’s finished exporting your images, videos and albums in the format requested, Google will send over an email invite to download the entire backup.
Next up, head to the Amazon Photos site – or app – and import everything in one fell swoop. Depending on the size of your library, that could take some time, so maybe avoid uploading every image you’ve ever taken just before a crucial Zoom call with work or a boxset binge on Netflix as your internet speed is likely to suffer a little.
Of course, if you’re not all that interested in Amazon Prime and want to continue using the excellent Google Photos app, prices for its monthly storage options are pretty reasonable. You’ll need to pay £1.59 per month for a 100GB allowance. Better yet, Google offers a 16 percent saving if you pay for a year upfront (£15.99 a year).
For those who take a lot of photos and videos, there’s also a 200GB (£2.49 a month) and 2TB option (£7.99 a month). It’s also worth mentioning that Google throws in a few extra goodies for subscribers, including access to Google experts, exclusive features like advanced photo editing tools, and shared family plans.
For comparison, Apple offers its users 5GB of free cloud storage for Apple Photos, before charging £0.79 a month for 50GB, £2.49 a month for 200GB, and £6.99 for 2TB. Those who want to use Dropbox to store their images can also get 2TB of cloud storage for £7.99 a month – if you pay annually, or £9.99 a month if you want to pay on a month-by-month basis.
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