Google to fix Photos bug that gave unlimited, free uploads to iPhones

Google hasn't said how it will fix the problem

Google Phots on iOS

iPhone users hoping to take advantage of the free, original quality uploads on Google Photos won’t have long to do so.

After a Reddit user discovered a bug in the Photos system, Google said a fix is in the works.

“We are aware of this bug and are working to fix it,” Google said in an email statement to Android Authority.

For those unfamiliar with Google Photos, the app allows smartphone users to backup images to Google’s cloud. Users can pick between free, unlimited ‘High quality’ and ‘Original quality’ backups. Google describes the High quality as “great visual quality at a reduced file size.” While Original quality is a direct upload of the image file from your device, without a loss in quality. It counts against your Google One storage.

Up until the launch of the Pixel 4, Google has offered free, unlimited Original quality uploads as a perk for Pixel owners. However, the recently discovered Photos bug allowed iPhone users to get free Original quality backups as well.

In short, newer iPhones save images in the HEIC/HEIF format by default, which maintains quality but at a significantly smaller image size than comparable file types like JPEG. Google Photos usually saves backup images in a compressed JPEG, but converting HEIC/HEIF images to JPEG would actually result in larger image sizes. As such, Google Photos uploaded iOS pictures at Original quality.

While Google said it was working on a fix, it didn’t elaborate on what that fix would be. The company may block iPhones from gaining unlimited storage at Original quality. Alternatively, Google could make it a feature of Photos, considering the Samsung Galaxy S10 line supports HEIC/HEIF, as well as Android 9.0 Pie, Android 10 and the Snapdragon 855.

Likely, Google will block it in some way, since the company will miss out on revenue if every phone that supports HEIC/HEIFGoogle can take advantage of unlimited uploads at Original quality.

Source: Android Authority