When Google launched Google Photos, the main selling point was the offer of free and unlimited storage. In November, however, the company announced the end of this offer. From June 1, 2021, the new photos that you save in the app will occupy the 15 GB that Google is offering these users for free. Once this quota is exceeded, you will need to purchase additional storage space through Google One.
While this is true for the majority of Google Photos users, there is an exception for users of Mountain View’s Pixel smartphones. In fact, Google Photos’ free storage had made it one of the selling points of its Pixel smartphones. Also, Google cannot abruptly end the unlimited storage space for users of these smartphones.
If you’re still using a Pixel smartphone (the one from 2016), you can continue to save in original quality for free and unlimited after June 1st. If you’re using Pixel 2, you can still get unlimited free storage, but with the Storage Saver quality that compresses the image to save space.
Pixel 3 users can enjoy free and unlimited original quality storage until January 1st, 2022. You can then continue to enjoy free and unlimited storage, but with compression to limit the storage space. If you’re using Pixel 3a and above, you’ll get unlimited free space, but even after June 1st with compression.
The benefits that Pixel smartphone users can enjoy after June 1st therefore depend on the model. And the older it is, the more these benefits are. Plus, it wouldn’t be surprising if people were to buy these older models to take advantage of these benefits on Google Photos.
Additionally, it should be noted that Google has no plans to bring any new benefits to Google Photos for its next Pixel smartphones. This was confirmed by the company Mountain View to The Verge in November 2020. It seems that Google is just keeping the benefits of the previous models so as not to be accused of false advertising.
How do I export the images and what are the alternatives?
Of course, if the unlimited and free storage was a very compelling argument, there are other good reasons to use Google Photos as the company has a lot of interesting features to use. However, if you are not one of the Pixel phone users, you might be tempted to switch to a different service to keep your photos and videos in the cloud.
Of course, there is also a way to export your data from Google Photos if you want to switch to another service. In addition to this, in a previous article we also mentioned the different alternatives that exist on the web.