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Google Photos might still remain free for a lucky few

By Prakhar Khanna May 6, 2021, 5:12 am
Google Pixel

Google is all set to stop providing unlimited free backup in its Photos app. However, Pixel owners will still have the benefit of free backups. Further, it is said that Google will not offer it with the upcoming Pixel devices. However, as per an update to Google Photos, there will be a “Storage saver” tier that will be “free and unlimited” for Pixel.

The latest development comes from 9To5Google.In its APK insight, the publication decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. While doing this, they were able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. At the end of the day, Google might or might not ship these features.


For the unaware, there are two main Google Photos “Upload size” tiers. There is “original quality”, which is self-explanatory and counts towards your 15GB of free storage alongside Google One subscription. The original Google Pixel offered this for unlimited time, whereas the Pixel 2 and 3 lowered forever to just over three years.

As of now, the Pixel 3a and newer devices get unlimited “High quality” backup with Photos compressed to 16MP. They will retain this option even as all other devices lose this option on June 1. There is a third option of ‘Express backup’ that compresses pictures to 3MP. It is available in a few countries.

Now, with Version 5.41 of Google Photos, the company could give us a fourth tier for Pixel phones. The ‘Storage saver’ option will offer “slightly reduced quality.” A string describes it as offering “reduced resolution.” The most notable aspect of this new tier is that it’s “free and unlimited,” with Pixel phones clearly referenced. Google could be introducing the new tier to make sure Pixel devices always have an unlimited backup as a key selling point.


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