Google after five years of providing free and unlimited on-cloud storage services to its users announced on Wednesday that all new photos or videos uploaded over Google Photos after June 1st, 2021 will count towards the 15GB cap. Google further stated that its users will have to shift to Google One for extra storage plans after the 15 gigabytes free storage cap.
Apart from this, Google is also introducing a new policy that aims to declutter it’s platform from any inactive users. The policy conditions that the data from all accounts that have not been logged in to for at least 2 years will be deleted. After not responding to multiple warning emails and notifications, this is a fairly reasonable solution.
In the next summer, after June 1st 2021 any picture uploaded in high quality will also count towards those 15GB free storage allocation. This is undoubtedly a deal to ponder upon as Google today lets you store unlimited images for free keeping in mind that they are under 16 Megapixel in resolution or you could go for a compressed image for efficient storage – this decreases quality.
Taking into consideration the unlimited backup for “high quality” photos and videos that Google users will no longer be able to enjoy, Pixel owners have an advantage here. Google through lets google device owners enjoy a small bonus. Even after 1st June 2021, Pixel owners will be allowed to upload high quality pictures for free, not original though – these wouldn’t be counted towards the 15GB cap.
However, the upcoming Pixel phones will not support the offer mentioned above. Google is only allowing this as a bonus to people buying already released Pixel phones. The unlimited high-quality storage on google photos will not be available on any Pixel device releasing after Google Pixel 5. Everything will follow the limitations of the 15GB cap.
“We want to bring our policies more in line with industry standards” Google states as a reasoning towards this step they have initiated for. Announcing this beforehand they want to give their users enough time to think about their decision of whether they want to continue using Google Photos or switch to other cloud storage options.
The pricing of Google One will continue to remain the same and users can enjoy more storage for any few dollars a month – $1.99/month for 100GB, $2.99/month for 200GB all the way to $149.99/month for 30TB. The step to introduce a cap for free storage is aimed to limit the number of “extra” and “blurry” images being uploaded without any sorting out. A sustainable service is what Google wants to revamp towards.
Google’s new policy will also make its service more personalized and every user will get an estimate of how long the storage tier will last for. The “personalized estimate” will be based upon the pattern of their average uploads and will give the user a fair idea how long the free service will last for in terms of time rather than gigabytes.
Every user will receive warnings as to when they’ll be approaching the end of free space. Google also claims that 80% of its users will not hit the 15GB cap soon and it will be enough for at least three years.
It’s not only Google Photos but Google Docs, Google Sheets, Drawings, Slides, Forms and Jamboard Files, all will function in accordance with the 15GB storage cap.