Updated 22/12/15: Microsoft has announced that OneDrive’s free tier will drop from 15GB to 5GB of storage. But if you’re an existing OneDrive user with 15GB of storage, you can click here to keep it. Find out more. iCloud Photo Library prices have also been updated.
Updated 10/6/15: Added Microsoft OneDrive to the comparison matrix based on user requests.
The rest of the article was first published on 4th June 2015 and is still valid:-
Google announced a new photo backup service called Google Photos. The unique selling proposition is insane: free and unlimited backups of your smartphone photos.
To be clear, there are actually two versions of Google Photos. The first is a free, unlimited backup option that stores compressed versions of your photos and videos. Google calls this the High Quality option. The second version, what Google calls the Original option, keeps your photos and videos in their original resolutions, but storage is limited to the first free 15GB of your combined Google Account. If you want more storage for original, you’ll have to pay.
How does Google Photos stack up against popular photo backup services for mobile, and is it the one for you? Here’s a quick comparison to help you decide.
|Dropbox||Flickr||Google Photos (HQ)||Google Photos (Original)||Microsoft OneDrive|
|Free storage||2GB||1TB||Unlimited||15GB (uses your Google Account)||5GB (15GB opt-in available for existing OneDrive users)|
||See Google Photos (Original)||
|Photos saved in original quality||Yes, no size limit per photo||Yes, at up to 200MB per photo||No, compressed, and up to 16MP per photo||Yes||Yes|
|Photo formats supported||Any||JPEG, GIF, PNG, other formats will be converted to JPEG||JPEG||Any||Any|
|Videos saved in original quality||Yes||Yes, 1080p HD videos up to 1GB in size each||No, compressed, at up to 1080p||Yes||Yes|
|Automatic uploads (on mobile)||Yes||Yes||Yes (on Android)||Yes (on Android)||Yes|
|Deleted photos kept for||30 days||N.A.||60 days||60 days||One year|
|Downloads||Download in original quality||Download in original quality||Download in compressed quality||Download in original quality||Download in original quality|
|Available on (mobile)||Android / Blackberry / iOS / Windows||Android / iOS||Android / iOS||Android / iOS||Android / iOS / Windows Phone|
|Not great if||
People on iOS have two more options in Apple’s own photo backup services:
|Photo Stream||iCloud Photo Library|
|Free storage||1000 most recent photos, or last 30 days, whichever is greater||5GB|
|Photos saved in original quality||Yes||Yes|
|Photo formats supported||JPEG, TIFF, PNG, and RAW||JPEG, TIFF, PNG, and RAW|
|Videos saved in original quality||Does not upload videos||Yes|
|Deleted photos kept for||30 days||30 days|
|Downloads||Download in original quality (on Mac or PC)||Download in original quality (on Mac or PC)|
|Available on (mobile)||iOS 5.1 or later||iOS 8.3 or later|
|Great if||You don't really want a backup||You're using a Mac and running Yosemite with the Photos app|
|Not great if||You really want a backup||You're not on a Mac|
Apple’s Photo Stream is free, but isn’t really a backup service, seeing that it only backups your 1,000 most recent photos, and doesn't do anything about videos. iCloud Photo Library is only great if you use Apple-everything, because you’ll need to be running Yosemite and the new Photos app to make the most of it. Apple also charges the most for storage.
We’re listing ‘paranoid about Google scanning your stuff’ in the table rather tongue in cheek, but Google scans your stuff. If you use Gmail, it scans your email to find out what ads to serve you. Google Photos also scan your photos, that’s how it’s able to help you organize them (rather magically). For example, after uploading your photos, you can search inside of them, for keywords like ‘cat’, ‘food’, ‘flowers’, ‘taken in Orchard Road’. Whether or not what Google learns about you will be fed into its ads services is anybody’s guess... but then again, Google does make most of its billions from selling ads.
In short, if you:
Then Google Photos is a simple solution that fits.
But if you:
Then you can look at Flickr for a free 1TB.
Unless you’re paranoid about Yahoo! scanning your stuff, in which case, you...
Try Dropbox. They make you pay, and they’re not in the ad business, so your privacy should be reasonably safe.