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Apr 12, 2001
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Google has said it will patch a "bug" in Google Photos that enables iPhone users to store pictures in the cloud in their original quality without counting toward their Google Drive storage limit.

Currently, the Google Photos iOS app happily uploads photos in Apple's efficient HEIC format without requiring them to be converted from "Original Quality" to "High Quality JPEG."

The reason is that the HEIC photos are already smaller than Google's compressed JPEG format, so the Photos app doesn't convert them during upload, meaning the pictures are essentially stored on Google's servers for free in their original size. The quirk was uncovered by a Reddit user last week.

However, the unintentional perk for Apple device owners looks to be on borrowed time. Over the weekend, a Google spokesperson told Android Police: "We are aware of this bug and are working to fix it."

The wording of the statement doesn't exactly make it clear how, though. Google Photos may start converting HEIC photos to the less-efficient High Quality JPEG format during upload, which would result in an additional reduction in quality. Alternatively, Google could allow the pictures to be uploaded as-is but start counting them toward Google Drive usage. We'll have to wait and see which course the search giant takes.

Under Google One plans, Google account holders are entitled to 15GB of free Google Drive cloud storage. Beyond the free allotment, Google charges $1.99 a month for 100GB storage, $2.99 for 200GB a month, and $9.99 a month for 2TB, with additional 10TB and 20TB storage options available.

Article Link: Google to Fix 'Bug' That Lets iOS Photos App Users Upload HEIC Images for Free
 
Last edited:

Sasparilla

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2012
1,695
2,860
Wouldn’t make sense to go for JPEG, which has, according the article, larger footprint than Apple’s HEIC format. But, anything to rub it in for Apple users bodes well for Google, I guess.

And Google just dropped free storage at original quality for their new Pixel 4 (prior Pixels had it as a perk). So yeah they couldn’t allow that for iPhones when they’re dropping it for their latest.
 

dz5b609

macrumors 6502
Mar 22, 2019
327
803
And Google just dropped free storage at original quality for their new Pixel 4 (prior Pixels had it as a perk). So yeah they couldn’t allow that for iPhones when they’re dropping it for their latest.

But Apple's HEIC format is smaller than the compressed JPEG's and they don't have to compress them which also saves server usage. This will literally cost Google more money than to keep the current situation for HEIC.
 

TrulsZK

Contributor
May 1, 2018
142
179
Norway
I see no reason re-encoding the files as JPEG when it will make the file bigger and the quality worse.
The only reason Google is doing this problebly to avoid giving an “advantage” to iOS users.
 
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JosephKing

Suspended
Oct 14, 2019
44
129
"bug" lmao. I think they just forgot to change this before they released the new Pixel that ships without this ability for free. Hahaha.
 

JRobinsonJr

macrumors 6502a
Aug 20, 2015
665
1,184
Arlington, Texas
I see no reason re-encoding the files as JPEG when it will make the file bigger and the quality worse.
The only reason Google is doing this problebly to avoid giving an “advantage” to iOS users.

Agreed. Plus, Google has a variety of back-end processes that likely rely on all photos being in jpeg format. Also, when sharing with non-iOS users having HEIC formatted pics is likely a major problem. We see this as a potential negative, but cross-platform requires standardization.
 

dysamoria

macrumors 65816
Dec 8, 2011
1,194
697
Basically every mass market site that lets people upload photos will wreck the images with JPEG compression. In this case, it will wreck the images AND waste more space. Way to go, tech industry.
 

CLS727

macrumors 6502
Feb 5, 2018
255
374
I just hate that the Google Photos apps splits my iPhone live photos into separate heic image and video files..... when I re-download onto a computer, they don't get merged again.
 

UnusedLoginID

macrumors 6502
Feb 28, 2012
259
227
I just hate that the Google Photos apps splits my iPhone live photos into separate heic image and video files..... when I re-download onto a computer, they don't get merged again.
Then use iCloud Photos!
Cost is the same ($2.99 for 200GB), your photos are kept in their original form and format, and Apple doesn’t scan them to find out where you go travel or how many pets you have to give you “targeted ads”.
I can’t believe how many people are gullible enough to think they can get away with a free lunch with Google (or Facebook). Remember, with these companies YOU are the product!
 

ItWasNotMe

macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2012
378
239
Basically every mass market site that lets people upload photos will wreck the images with JPEG compression. In this case, it will wreck the images AND waste more space. Way to go, tech industry.

Totally agree, I recently tried OneDrive for a while, uploading high quality jpg files from one of my cameras. Then I discovered whilst the initial upload was fine, if I changed the photo locally and uploaded the changed version; OneDrive created and downloaded a new jpeg overwriting my original with a file that had a a smaller colourspace and lost any keyword and any other data changes.
 
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tomsop

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2012
16
34
Instead of criticizing google we should be criticizing Apple. They came out with iCloud in 2011 when Iphone 4 was shooting five megapixel Photos and gave us five GB’s of storage now we have the iPhone 11 shooting 12 MB photos and 4K video. Everybody now must pay extra for storage which everyone needs. They should have updated their free storage in accordance with the growth of the specs of the phones they sell.
 

TheWatchfulOne

macrumors 6502a
Jun 19, 2009
640
658
What is this "HEIC" people keep talking about? I remember a few years ago Apple introduced new file formats for video (HEVC) and photos (HEIF). But I don't remember any mention of "HEIC". Did I get Mandella effected again? ?
 

UnusedLoginID

macrumors 6502
Feb 28, 2012
259
227
Instead of criticizing google we should be criticizing Apple. They came out with iCloud in 2011 when Iphone 4 was shooting five megapixel Photos and gave us five GB’s of storage now we have the iPhone 11 shooting 12 MB photos and 4K video. Everybody now must pay extra for storage which everyone needs. They should have updated their free storage in accordance with the growth of the specs of the phones they sell.
Apple is no longer the iPhone company, it’s a services company. Don’t hold your breath expecting 50GB of free iCloud storage because it ain’t gonna happen!
And if paying less than $12 a year - a few cups of coffee at Starbucks - for 50GB of iCloud storage is too much money, then you may want to shift your priorities ;)
 

ignatius345

macrumors 601
Aug 20, 2015
4,046
5,573
Instead of criticizing google we should be criticizing Apple. They came out with iCloud in 2011 when Iphone 4 was shooting five megapixel Photos and gave us five GB’s of storage now we have the iPhone 11 shooting 12 MB photos and 4K video. Everybody now must pay extra for storage which everyone needs. They should have updated their free storage in accordance with the growth of the specs of the phones they sell.

So don't pay. Nobody is forcing you.
 

adrianlondon

macrumors 68040
Nov 28, 2013
3,358
3,927
Switzerland
What is this "HEIC" people keep talking about? I remember a few years ago Apple introduced new file formats for video (HEVC) and photos (HEIF). But I don't remember any mention of "HEIC". Did I get Mandella effected again? ?
"HEIC is the file format name Apple has chosen for the new HEIF standard"

The photo files are named <filename>.heic

 

tomsop

macrumors newbie
Sep 12, 2012
16
34
Instead of criticizing google we should be criticizing Apple. They came out with iCloud in 2011 when Iphone 4 was shooting five megapixel Photos and gave us five GB’s of storage now we have the iPhone 11 shooting 12 MB photos and 4K video. Everybody now must pay extra for storage which everyone needs. They should have updated their free storage in accordance with the growth of the specs of the phones they sell.
So don't pay. Nobody is forcing you.


that’s not the point. Apple‘s 5 GB came out when file sizes are small. The fact it has not updated the size in 8 years as file sizes doubled is why we get less and they bank their billions.
[automerge]1571706061[/automerge]
Apple is no longer the iPhone company, it’s a services company. Don’t hold your breath expecting 50GB of free iCloud storage because it ain’t gonna happen!
And if paying less than $12 a year - a few cups of coffee at Starbucks - for 50GB of iCloud storage is too much money, then you may want to shift your priorities ;)

I get your point but 5GB adjusted for file size inflation should be 15 gb. i use Google because it’s free But I agree that it’s not the best solution. I still think Apple is greedy for not increasing the free iCloud storage.
 
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