With the launch of Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, its users have encountered an annoying paradox. And it is that the new Google devices have lost the offer of unlimited, free and original quality charges to Google Photos. The irony of the case is that iPhone users can benefit from this free charge.
Google had so far offered on its Pixel phones the option to upload high quality photos without having to pay more for storage space. However, with the Pixel 4 this has changed and the company now demands that to do so we have a premium Google One subscription. Otherwise, Google compresses the photos and videos to reduce their size and resolution.
Paradoxically, a Reddit user, identified as stephenvsawyer, has discovered that iPhone users currently have unlimited Photo storage.
Since its iOS 11, Apple has used the HEIC (High Efficiency Image File Format) file format to take photos and store them on the device. With this format, the iPhone makes copies of the photos in original quality.
One of the main benefits of this format is that it compresses the image more than the JPEG format and, therefore, occupies less storage space. And according to the Reddit user, Google does not compress the photos in HEIC format.
So, we find that Google Photos users can as many high quality images as they want, but if you do not pay a premium account, any image stored in original quality adds to the account that limits the maximum total storage of 15 GB of the account, which also includes other services such as Drive, Docs and more.
On the other hand, Apple users, when using the HEIC format, are technically below this storage limit while storing and retaining the original resolution of the photo.
So iPhone users get free full quality google photos backup since HEIC is smaller than JPEG and Pixel users don’t. Wut. https://t.co/aIqJzQ2g7s
— Jonathan Morrison 🙋🏻♂️ (@tldtoday) October 16, 2019
However, not everything is good news for IPhone users, because according to Android Police, this is about to change. The digital contacted Google to comment on this irregularity and the company responded that they were aware of the error and that they will solve it soon.
So far no details have been revealed on how Google intends to solve this problem. Some possibilities include reducing the file size threshold for HEIC images to be considered original quality, compressing them into even smaller HEIC files, or forcing them into JPEG images once loaded.