Google Photos gives iPhone users unexpected advantage over Pixel 4 owners

Google Photos gives iPhone users unexpected advantage over Pixel 4 owners
In the midst of all the brouhaha surrounding the Pixel 4's incredible camera prowess, its unique live transcribing abilities, and the contextually-aware Assistant, a few flies managed to drop in the honey.

These are the usual suspects for Pixel phones - too small of a battery and too little of a basic storage - but there are some more obscure disadvantages for future Pixel 4 owners, too. With the previous Pixel generations, for instance, Google offered free original quality cloud storage for all of the footage you might take with your phone, up there in Photos.

The Pixel 4 duo, however, comes with a changed promise - to backup all your imaging content in high-quality format, which is an euphemism for saving server rack space in Google's data centers.

With this release being the widest of any Google phone ever, as the Pixel 4 will be present on all major US carriers for a change, we can see how the number-crunchers in accounting have warned that those terabytes that users will upload over the life cycle of the device don't come from thin air.

And yet, if you are an iPhone user, Google Photos will save your images in their original quality. How come? Well, remember the high-efficiency format that most every phone maker is now offering as an alternative to save in, after phones started recording 4K video in 60fps started gobbling up their storage amount like crazy?

If you go to Settings > Camera > Formats on your iPhone, and check the "High Efficiency" option, the resulting compression makes Google Photos upload your images as they are, since further compression by the service will actually make the files larger. No such uploading exists on the Pixel 4, although Android 10 technically supports the HEIC/HEIF algorithms. Not a dealbreaker, but bummer nonetheless.

Related phones

Pixel 4
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 2280 pixels
  • Camera 12.2 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 2800 mAh

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11 Comments

1. iloveapps

Posts: 909; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

Wow! Pixel owners must be very upset that they don’t get unli photo storage. Anyway, I don’t try google photos in my iphone due to the fact that it is own by google, can’t trust them.

3. cmdacos

Posts: 4313; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Tim Cook lies to his employees just last week about the Hong Kong app but you dont trust Google? Lmao, you're a special kind

11. sgodsell

Posts: 7531; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Apple always lies. Look at Siri and Apple preaching about privacy. That turned out to be a lie. It's even in Apple's new policies that whatever you say to Siri will be transcribed to text, and Apple employees or their contractors can see anything you say to Siri. Privacy? What Privacy? What about safe browsing, and Apple sending data to the Chinese conglomerate Tencent from Apple's iPhones. Yet iloveapps you have the nerve to say you don't trust Google, but you will trust Apple.

4. Shkselectah

Posts: 48; Member since: Jun 26, 2018

Google search on your iPhone, and safari merges your data with Google. trust apple lol

6. iloveapps

Posts: 909; Member since: Mar 21, 2019

DuckDuckGo here.

7. Fred3

Posts: 575; Member since: Jan 16, 2018

The iCloud uses Google servers and YouTube is owned by Google which I know you use

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5746; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Na, just install Gcam ports which support HEIC

12. xfire99

Posts: 1207; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

Everyone gets unlimited storage as long choose highest quality to upload. Just normal photo quality dont get unlimited storage. Been like this for ages.

2. mackan84

Posts: 616; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Did Apple give google a free year on default search engine in safari or what’s going on?

8. TBomb

Posts: 1650; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I think Google pays them a few billion dollars every year to be default search

9. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1273; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

If Google brought the Pixel 4 at the price of Pixel 3A, then the lack of unlimited storage can be forgiven...

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