The free unlimited storage plan of Google Photos has the days numbered, although with some exceptions to meet the contractual requirements of the current Google Pixel. According to clues within the Google Photos APK, the app is preparing a new plan for future Google Pixels with unlimited storage, and free with a reduced quality.
There’s less than a month left until the end of unlimited free Google Photos storage. From June 1 you will have to choose between paying, using alternatives, or giving as much as you can Google’s shared storage. While Google confirmed in the past that future Pixels would not keep unlimited storage, apparently they will, albeit at lower quality.
Free storage but at reduced quality
In some strings of text within the Google Photos 5.41 APK, unmistakably portrays a new, non-existent storage plan: Space Saver(slightly reduced quality). It’s a similar concept to the space-saving option that Google has included in its camera since version 8.1.
The description adds that “backing up with Space Saver is free and unlimited”, as well as that the “storage applies only to photos and videos from this Pixel device”. That is, Google Photos prepares a new plan to keep the unlimited and free backup on the Google Pixel but at reduced quality.
It will therefore come to the fourth plan to Google Photos, and it is that for a couple of years ago the application included in some regions the copy with Express quality, which seems somewhat similar to the new plan that Google plans to introduce for the new Google Pixel of the future.
If this feature ends up being activated to users, those who buy a new Google Pixel will have to choose from up to four different plans. Express and the new unlimited plan at low quality seem similar, so we’ll have to wait to see how they differ. As of June 1, these will be all Google Photos plans:
- Original quality: maintains the original quality of photos and videos and whatever they take up is deducted from Google’s shared storage.
- High quality: reduces the quality of photos to a maximum of 16MP and videos to “high resolution”. In both cases, their size will be deducted from Google storage as of June 1.
- Express: available only in some regions, this type of copy compresses photos to a maximum of 3MP and videos to “standard definition”. From June 1, the amount they take up will be deducted from Google storage.
- Space Saver: the final name is yet to be determined, but this plan should be present on the new Google Pixel as a free and unlimited plan in exchange for “slightly” reduced quality. Details on compression are not yet known.
Different conditions for each Pixel
It’s hard to keep track of how Google’s storage plans will look like, as the conditions will be different from June 1 for different Pixel models and other Android mobiles. This is how the landscape of Google Photos backup plans should look like if this unlimited plan is confirmed:
|MOBILE||UNLIMITED COPY TYPE IN GOOGLE PHOTOS|
|ORIGINAL GOOGLE PIXEL||Unlimited copy at original quality|
|GOOGLE PIXEL 2, 3, 4 AND 5||Unlimited copy at high quality|
|GOOGLE PIXEL FUTURES||Unlimited copy at reduced quality|
|REST OF ANDROID MOBILES||No unlimited copy of any kind|