Google Photos will solve your phone storage issues for free

By | December 27, 2016
Valuable


Cloud storage is more important today than ever before, especially for those of us that regularly backup our photos and videos. With this in mind, Google has announced a brand new service, Google Photos, at its Google I/O 2015 event in California. The new service will automatically and instantly (if there’s an active internet connection) back up all photos and videos that you take on your smartphone to Google Photos.

Cloud storage is more important today than ever before, especially for those of us that regularly backup our photos and videos. With this in mind, Google has announced a brand new service, Google Photos, at its Google I/O 2015 event in California. The new service will automatically and instantly (if there’s an active internet connection) back up all photos and videos that you take on your smartphone to Google Photos. You’re standing at the top of a mountain. There is snow all around and the sun is just starting to set on the horizon. Everything is still and all of a sudden a stag, with his full set of antlers silhouetted by the setting sun, stumbles onto the scene. You pull out my iPhone, swipe to the left to open up my camera app and snap the magical scene. “Not Enough Storage”. The deer snorts, and walks back into the pines. Okay, that never happened. But my God is it annoying when you can’t take a picture because your pitiful iPhone storage is full, and there is no chance I am paying Apple’s iCloud prices to sync my photo library there (£6.99 a month for 1TB). There are certain ways to resolve the problem, flirting with iCloud but finding the same old “not enough storage” issue beyond the tiny 5GB free storage tier. We backed my photos up to a physical hard drive, but this was no good when we wanted to show off my ‘Banff 2016’ album to a stranger. Then someone told us about the Google Photos app, which was released in the summer of 2015, and we thought it was too good to be true. Unlimited photo backup, on our phones, and with quick view capabilities for the entire library right there on our phones and across any device where we’re logged into my Google account. Okay, it did take us three days of on and off uploading to get my entire library backed up to Google Photos, but once they are all there it is set for life. We were able to stop backing up to iCloud straight away, opening up some storage there, and then clear a solid GB of storage from our iPhone hard drive instantly. UX The real kicker with Google Photos is the typically elegant and simple user experience. Similar to Gmail or Google Docs, the design is kept clean, simple and intuitive, with photos organised in chronological order and a single search bar located at the top. Click here to download Google Images

You’re standing at the top of a mountain. There is snow all around and the sun is just starting to set on the horizon. Everything is still and all of a sudden a stag, with his full set of antlers silhouetted by the setting sun, stumbles onto the scene. You pull out my iPhone, swipe to the left to open up my camera app and snap the magical scene. “Not Enough Storage”. The deer snorts, and walks back into the pines.

Okay, that never happened. But my God is it annoying when you can’t take a picture because your pitiful iPhone storage is full, and there is no chance I am paying Apple’s iCloud prices to sync my photo library there (£6.99 a month for 1TB).



There are certain ways to resolve the problem, flirting with iCloud but finding the same old “not enough storage” issue beyond the tiny 5GB free storage tier. We backed my photos up to a physical hard drive, but this was no good when we wanted to show off my ‘Banff 2016’ album to a stranger.

Then someone told us about the Google Photos app, which was released in the summer of 2015, and we thought it was too good to be true. Unlimited photo backup, on our phones, and with quick view capabilities for the entire library right there on our phones and across any device where we’re logged into my Google account.

Okay, it did take us three days of on and off uploading to get my entire library backed up to Google Photos, but once they are all there it is set for life. We were able to stop backing up to iCloud straight away, opening up some storage there, and then clear a solid GB of storage from our iPhone hard drive instantly.



UX

The real kicker with Google Photos is the typically elegant and simple user experience. Similar to Gmail or Google Docs, the design is kept clean, simple and intuitive, with photos organised in chronological order and a single search bar located at the top.



Click here to download Google Images



Author: Scott

Hi, I am Scott. A tech journalist by profession who loves to learn and share about various technologies and new gadgets popping up every other day in the market. I am a soccer fan and love travelling.

  • Michael

    That’s not true. It’s unlimited back up for everyone in high definition resolution (print quality up to an 8x 10″ photo) roughly, which is what most phones are, and for pixel owners it’s unlimited of original file size photos (which is great for backing up digital camera large files). It also backs up movies, raw image etc for everyone.

    • Nick

      Pixel owners get original files size photo backups free if the photo was taken with the Pixel phone. You don’t just get free original file size photos of your entire library or DSLR photos.

      • stevesill

        Uhh! That’s what Michael just said.

        If you take almost all of your photos with you phone, then free option is truly unlimited, if you are willing to limit your photos to 16 mega pixels or less (no RAW), and 1080p videos. Both of which are perfect for most phones, including iPhones. If you want to store your RAW DSLR photos, you still have 15GB of free storage.

  • Joshua Putnam

    Just beware of the app’s own storage needs if you actually use a lot of that free cloud storage for photos. The app preloads info on all the photos you have on the cloud, which makes searches faster, but can also make it a storage hog.

    I frequently get reminders that I could save 50 MB by deleting images that are already backed up, but the app itself is using *500 MB* (app data, not cache) to keep track of all the pictures that are already backed up, and unlike photos I can’t move that to my SD card rather than onboard phone memory.

    Well worth it to me for the convenience and functionality of Google Photos, but not a great way to save memory on my phone.

  • Eric

    Unlike the android version, the iPhone version is a storage hog, which basically defeats the whole purpose of using it. On a new iPhone I started the app, took about 70 pictures that first day and whoooa! The photos app had eaten up a whopping 700 megs of my phones storage. Even though the photos where not even on the phone anymore and the small cache option had been checked. Only option is to daily uninstall and reinstall google photos to clear the cache. Super lame. On Android this app works fine. Eats up about 150 megs of storage and doesn’t grow in size.

    • Eric

      Actually what I do on my iPhone now is just leave it uninstalled until I have a batch of photos I want to offload. Install it. Let it upload. Then delete it again. Have no interest in an app that sucks down nearly a gig in order to temporarily save 1/2 a gig of photo storage.

      Love this app on Android and Web, but iphone needs some serious rethinking.

    • John Munn (JM)

      Maybe Google don’t want there services to play nice with Apple devices in an effort to get you to go move across to android, just a thought.

      • Eric

        Doubt it because in many cases the ios version of Google Apps are more polished. Photos Def needs some work though. Just yesterday took about 1 gig of videos. When photos was installed it also took up another 1 gig. So 2 gigs in use between apple photo gallery and Google photos to hold 1 gig of video. Deleting from Apple photos didn’t free up the 1 gig used by Google. Only way was to uninstall google photos.

  • Chuck Courtney

    SKIPPED THE MAIN POINT OF THE ARTICLE OF HOW TO SOLVE STORAGE ISSUES! If someone starts using Google Photos on their phone, they then have the amazing power to just open Google Photos and then click “Free Up Space” and it will automatically delete all photos that were already – and automatically – backed up to Google Photos. This means they will never worry about forgetting to periodically offload photos to some external USB drive that will eventually fail. At any moment, just click “Free Up Space” and life goes on. Proceed to capture those moments in life. Yes the quality is down a notch from professional, but if you are professional you would have already known all of this in the summer of 2015 as nothing has changed since then.