The “feature” that allowed iPhone users to have their photos in original quality backed up to Google Photos is actually just a bug, Google has recently explained, and a fix is already on its way.
Google announced the Pixel 4 only a week ago, but fanboys were surprised to find out that it’s not them the ones getting unlimited original quality backups to Google Photos.
Unexpectedly, Google is offering the unlimited backups to iPhone users, and it’s all happening for a reason that makes total sense.
The benefits of HEIC over JPG
iPhones use HEIC and not JPG, a format that substantially reduces file size, so storing files in the cloud isn’t necessarily a big headache. As one redditor explains in an analysis of this unexpected approach, Apple actually helps Google save the computing power the search giant would otherwise use for compressing files uploaded to its servers.
“With all modern iPhones shooting photos in HEIC format, which is smaller than even Googles compressed JPG files, iPhones therefore get free unlimited ORIGINAL quality backups simply because it would cost Google both storage space (because if Google tried to compress iPhones HEIC photos they would actually become larger) and computing power (because Google doesn’t need to compress and process all of the billions of photos iPhones backup),” the redditor explains in a short analysis.
But according to Google, this isn’t how things were supposed to be in the first place. In other words, no, iPhone users shouldn’t be provided with unlimited original quality backups to Google Photos and this thing will change shortly.
“We are aware of this bug and are working to fix it,” a company spokesperson was quoted as saying by AndroidPolice.
Specifics on the ETA of this fix aren’t available for the time being, but it really shouldn’t take too long before it’s rolled out.