Google Photos 'Free' Unlimited Photo Storage

29 May 2015

Google:

Google Photos gives you a single, private place to keep a lifetime of memories, and access them from any device. They’re automatically backed up and synced, so you can have peace of mind that your photos are safe, available across all your devices.

And when we say a lifetime of memories, we really mean it. With Google Photos, you can now backup and store unlimited, high-quality photos and videos, for free. We maintain the original resolution up to 16MP for photos, and 1080p high-definition for videos, and store compressed versions of the photos and videos in beautiful, print-quality resolution. For all the storage details, visit our help center.

When Google announced this and I tweeted how embarrassing this is for Apple’s iCloud pricing, I was barraged with feedback that it isn’t really free. If you are not paying for the product, you are the product. Yes, I know how Google works. I’m sure that somewhere in the terms and service Google will use data extracted from my photo library to serve ads.

It doesn’t matter. What matters is that for almost-free, Google is offering unlimited photo storage. Apple’s almost-free plan gives you a paltry 20 GB. When I say it’s embarrassing, I’m not saying Apple should store all your photos for free. I’m saying Apple should store all your photos for a lot cheaper than they do. With such high margins on hardware, maybe they could do it for truly free.

If not, they can certainly slash their iCloud prices to better compete. Google gives you 20 GB for free and offers a terabyte for $10/month. Apple offers 5 GB for free and a terabyte for $20 per month. The real kicker is when you realise Google offers that to people that have never bought anything else from Google. With Apple, they’ve already extracted hundreds of dollars of profit out of users in hardware sales and also charge comparatively exorbitant prices for cloud storage.