iPhones Store Higher-Quality Images in Google Photos than Pixel 4

iPhones Store Higher-Quality Images in Google Photos than Pixel 4

This week, Google unveiled the Pixel 4 to the world with a surprise: The company no longer offers unlimited storage for original quality photos in Google Photos, which means that images undergo a process of compression and quality loss before being sent to the cloud.
Do you know who doesn't have this restriction? iPhone users, surprisingly.

One Reddit user noticed this peculiarity. What happens is a kind of loophole related to how iPhone compresses photos taken with your camera. Apple uses the HEIC / HEIF format to save its images, which is a much more modern and efficient compression technology than the 25-year-old JPG, which is used on Pixel and virtually the rest of the world.

What happens is that photos in HEIC / HEIF format maintain the quality of JPG format, but taking up much less space. Thus, it is more beneficial for Google to store these images in Google Photos at their original size than to "compress" them in JPG, which would actually make them larger. By doing this,

Meanwhile, Pixel handset users are relying on an offer to store their photos in original quality. Those who bought Pixel 1 have the promise of unlimited photo storage forever, while Pixel 2 and 3 users are limited to three years. At Pixel 4, there is no promise whatsoever, and the company will direct users to Google One, the paid cloud storage service.

That said, the HEIC / HEIF format is not proprietary to Apple, and other companies may adopt it to store your photos. Android has technically supported the technology since version 9, but few devices make use of the format. One is Samsung's Galaxy S10, which also has this advantage over Pixel. Theoretically, Google could add the function in Pixel 4 in the future, but there is no information about it yet.

It is worth noting, however, that this iPhone advantage is valid only for photos. Apple mobile users trying to store videos on Google Photos will still have content compressed to the full 1080p resolution.

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