Google Photos Update Will Bring Unlimited ‘Original Quality’ Pic Uploads To Nexus Devices

Google just recently announced that its Photos service—the one it introduced only a year ago and that replaced Picasa—is now used by around 200 million people, who've collectively uploaded 13.7 petabytes of pics, including 24 billion selfies. It's a well liked service, to state the obvious, and for Nexus owners, it's going to get even better with Google planning to remove the data cap on how many original size photos users can upload.

As it currently stands, you can choose between two storage options, High quality and Original. If you choose the High quality option, Google will give you unlimited storage space for your photos and videos, but it caps photos at 16 megapixels and videos at 1080p. Photos and videos that are larger than either size/quality limit are automatically downsized.

Nexus Phones

If you choose the Original option, Google won't downsize your images to 16MP nor will it reduce the quality of your videos to 1080p, but you won't get unlimited storage. The amount of space you have for Original quality photos and videos is limited to how much storage you have in your Google account. That is, unless you own a Nexus phone.

The folks at Android Police performed a teardown of the latest update to the Google Photos app and found some interesting text. It reads, "With Nexus, back up all you want! Unlimited free storage for your original quality photos and videos uploaded from your Nexus device."

That's a pretty big benefit to Nexus owners, though it's worth pointing out that the highest quality Nexus cameras top at 12.3MP. That's kind of a drag, but it doesn't render Google's new policy for Nexus owners completely moot.

For one, this opens up the door to record and upload 4K Ultra HD resolution videos. These tend to take up a lot of space, and now Nexus owners can save them without having Google downsize them to 1080p or worrying about their available storage.

There's also a benefit for photos. Google doesn't just downsize the megapixel count when choosing the High quality option, it also performs some compression tricks to reduce file sizes. Most people won't be able to tell the difference, but if you're a Nexus owner, it's still beneficial to choose the Original setting for photo uploads if you want to preserve your pictures exactly as they were taken. Same goes if you take panoramic photos, which can end up exceeding 16MP.