Google Photos: "Free" Up Space

I caught a commercial recently of Google taking a jab at Apple for limited phone storage.  I feel like I’ve been preaching this to other iPhone users for months!  Space is a premium on my 16GB iPhone and it is incredibly frustrating always having to manage it.

I’ve replaced many of the Apple stock apps with Google versions because honestly Google does a better job.  Inbox instead of Mail, Google Maps instead of Maps, Chrome instead of Safari, and Google Photos instead of iCloud.  I can upload an unlimited amount of photos to Google Photos, for free, from my phone.  Once the pictures have been uploaded, I can delete them from my phone freeing up much needed space to take more pictures.  Photos excels at the way it organizes and makes your pictures searchable both in the app or through a browser.  It even creates GIFs and short movies for you.  The 5GB of free storage that iCloud gives you isn’t nearly enough, especially when you combine data from other apps like Contacts, Reminders, Mail, etc.

The only stock app I use on my phone anymore is Calendar, mostly because Sunrise was discontinued.  That leaves about a dozen other Apple apps that do nothing but take up space on my phone.  As I understand it, iOS 10 will allow you to hide unwanted apps, but they will still technically be on your phone.  That doesn’t solve the problem of space.

Of course Google’s “free” storage isn’t technically free.  Google services are free because they are collecting data about you.  No one wants their personal pictures being used for online ads or showing up in search results.  By the way, uploaded photos default to private automatically.  However Google’s Privacy Policy states they will ask your consent before using any of your information in a way not outlined in the policy.  One way to help protect yourself online is to visit the Digital Advertising Alliance Consumer Choice Page, where users can opt out of the collection of web viewing data.  As long as you can handle the fact that everything you do on the internet is being tracked anyway, then you shouldn’t have an issue with Google Photos.  I’m already planning on my next iPhone having a larger storage capacity than 16GB, but will continue to use Google Photos for my go-to photo storage.

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