With the Google Drive High Quality compressed mode, users can upload an infinite number of photos to Google Drive. The company has been encouraging users to make use of this storage platform for quite some time. Google even promises that the High Quality storage offers “near-identical visual quality” as the original image. With this storage, users do not have to keep images on their phones. They can always download these images at any time they desire.
However, as time went on, the pressure on Google became enormous. After Google Drive hit 4 trillion images of multiple sizes each, it made some changes to the rules. The number of images to be uploaded was no longer infinite. Google had to charge users who exceed the 15GB limit from June 1st, 2021.
With the new financially beneficial rules in place for Google, its preference for image storage seems to be changing. The company no longer prefers the High Quality storage facility and there is now a warning for users. According to Google, users could risk damaging their photos if they don’t switch from High Quality to Original Quality uploads. This information is contained in one of its advertisement emails sent to Google Photo users. The company is currently advertising its new premium photo editing features.
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The email contains a sample image of an Original Image as well as a “High Quality compression” image. Google says that “Original quality photos preserve the most detail and let you zoom in, crop and print photos with less pixelation”. It’s an unfortunate situation for Google Photos users. To say the least, millions of Android users will be affected.
What does Google stand to gain with this
With High Quality compression, users can only use 16MP images or 1080 videos for free until June 21. However, for Original Quality images, users can use whatever pixel size they want. This means that the Original Images will produce much larger images and videos. It is not rocket science to see that the Original images will consume much more space. Thus, once the 15GB free storage runs out, users begin to pay
Thus, it appears that Google is encouraging users to use the Original Images which will consume space faster. Of course, most Android phones today use above 16MP as main cameras thus they wouldn’t qualify for High Quality anyway. Android phones with 108MP sensors will easily consume the 15GB storage. When this happens, Google begins to make a fortune off users.