Around this time last year, Google ended its free unlimited cloud storage. To the joy of some users, the option is now back! But for the rest of us, there’s a major catch that could make it impossible to get the unlimited Google storage again.
When last we met, I pointed out the perils of using Apple’s iCloud Photos for photo backup for one simple reason: if you delete an image off your iPhone, Apple will in turn also delete it from iCloud*.
This time I’d like to go over the best alternative photo backup options for you in more detail, because like it or not, in today’s world, just like paying for food, shelter and taxes, if you snap photos on your smartphone or camera, you will be paying for online storage. And paying more in the coming years as well, as you snap more images.
There’s no such thing as free backup anymore.
Launched in 2017, Google’s Backup and Sync app was its way of tying your desktop computer or laptop into Google Drive and Google Photos so that you could, as the name suggests, back stuff up and sync the data on your devices. That application is now being retired in favour of a new “Drive for Desktop” app. Backup and Sync will stop working completely this year, and the rollout of the new Drive for Desktop app has already begun.
It’s probably not much of a surprise. Google’s cloud stuff is always “evolving” despite what a pain it can often be for its users and it’s already changed Photos around quite a bit lately. The new Drive for Desktop application offers a couple of perks over the existing app, although some are only available if you’re part of a team.
Popular photo hosting service, SmugMug, has just launched a new feature that photographers have wanted for a long time. SmugMug Source is a new add-on service for your regular SmugMug subscription that lets you upload and manage your raw files with integration into its desktop and mobile apps, as well as Lightroom.
The new feature lets you backup and manage your raw files online with AI-driven search tools while providing you to access your raw files from anywhere at any time. Unlike many other cloud backup services for photos – even ones that support raw files. There’s no cap on your account and you only pay for the data you use, so those with smaller needs pay less!
I hate Google Photos. But I fear I won’t be able to live without it.
I called the Google Photos photo sharing and management app the Turkey of the Year in my 2020 USA TODAY round-up of the apps and gadgets that screwed over consumers last year. Reason: Google Photos was free for all, but starting June 1st, Tuesday, it switches to a paid model after 5 years of bait and switch.
Get people to put as many of their photos up there, and once they’re locked into a system, start charging a monthly fee to access them.
Last November, Google announced that its free unlimited photo backup was going to end and it would all fall under the free shared 15GB get you with Google’s other services, like Gmail and Google Drive. Now, it’s almost upon us, with the service set to shut down on June 1st. You can, of course, upgrade to Google One (although there’s no “Unlimited” package), but what are your alternatives?
Well, none of the alternatives are really free, either. Not for unlimited storage, anyway. But with Google shifting over to a paid-only option with minimal free storage, the advantage they once had is now gone. Here we take a look at a few of the competing services for you to check out and see which best fits your needs.
Google has reportedly sent out an email to Google Photos cloud storage users promoting they eat up their 15GB of free storage and buy into the paid accounts by uploading Original Quality images instead of letting Google create its High Quality versions of images, showing a rather drastic comparison image to argue their case.
The argument is at odds with statements made when the service launched in 2015, that its High Quality images offered “near-identical visual quality” to the originals. With Google having recently taken the decision to end its free unlimited photo hosting, one can’t help but think that this is simply gaslighting to get more money out of people for Google One subscriptions that don’t really need it.
With all the goings-on at Google and people looking for alternate cloud storage options, sometimes it’s easier to just be your own cloud. I use Resilio Sync for this, but that does usually mean building up a dedicated PC. The Amber X wants to simplify that process with an inexpensive cloud-storage-in-a-box solution that lets you store your data and retrieve it anywhere.
Amber X is currently running on Indiegogo, where it’s long since passed its goal. It has a couple of days left to go, with pledges starting at $129. But we’ve got you a special link that’ll let you get your hands on one for just $119 – about the same cost you’d pay for a year of Google Photos or iCloud for the same storage, except there’s no subscription with this!
Google recently announced they were killing off free storage for Google Photos from June 1st, 2021. A lot of people haven’t been happy with Google’s track record on moves like this, and have been seeking alternatives.
Many users assumed that any images already there would remain safe, but it seems not. Google has started emailing some of its Gmail, Drive and Photos users to let them know that their content may soon be deleted without warning or permission. Like the new Google Photos restrictions, these new policies also come into effect on June 1st, 2021.
Ever since it was launched in 2015, Google Photos has offered unlimited free storage for your photos. Well, not for long. From June 2021, you will no longer be able to store countless high-quality images on your account. There will be a 15 GB limit, and you’ll have to pay for Google One if you want to store more than that.