Google Pixel 3 loses unlimited ‘Original’ photo backups today

Today is the last day that Pixel 3 and 3 XL owners can get unlimited backups in Google Photos in “Original Quality”. That’s a pretty unique perk for Google’s first three phones, which could make a huge difference – economic realities aside – if continued.

Pixel 3 and 3 XL launched in October 2018. Just like with Pixel 2 a year earlier, Google point that is “free unlimited online original quality storage for all photos and videos uploaded to Google Photos from Pixel 3 through 1/31/2022” or about 3.25 years.

That time period coincides with Google ending monthly security patches for the Pixel 3 late last year, although there are one more cumulative update in the first quarter of 2022. It happened when there was a debate about Google trusts that “Three years of security and OS updates still provide a great user experience.” That, taken at the end of a Google Photos backup “Origin”which shows that Google has its own idea of ​​how long people keep their phones before upgrading.

Pixel 3 owners still have unlimited uploads using the “Memory Saver” tier (formerly known as “High Quality”). That perk extends to the Pixel 5, but it’s fascinating how quickly Google starts offloading unlimited uploads.

After January 31, 2022, new photos and videos will be backed up in Memory Saver quality (formerly known as High Quality) for free. Photos and videos backed up in Original Quality will count towards your Google Account storage.

The original Pixel, released in 2016, offered “Unlimited storage forever, ”With cameras being a major marketing focus. It only took a generation for Google to begin rolling out a three-year end date for the privilege with the Pixel 2 (and later 3). The company continues to limit uploads to compressed quality starting with the Pixel 3a in May 2019. By November 2020, with the Pixel 4a 5G and 5, Google is poised to end its unlimited privileges entirely. with future Pixel phones.

End of free unlimited Google Photos backup for everyonethe company cited “growing demand for storage capacity” that’s why it will only give people 15GB of free storage.

Google could have made a big difference if they had kept this cloud backup selling point. Owners never have to think about storing something as important as a memory providing absolute peace of mind and something only a few tech companies can provide.

There’s a reason why the company would take something for free (and uneconomical), but it’s a shame. (Passing on unlimited backup costs to consumers by increasing phone prices doesn’t make sense when you consider the (short) lifespan of consumer electronics.)

In the grand scheme of things, it’s better for everyone to pay for phone/device independent storage, but there’s definitely a psychological barrier for users to sign up for anything, especially if the former it is free of charge.

Like all free stuff, it’s certainly nice when it exists.

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James Brien

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