Technology

Google to Fix 'Bug' That Gave iOS Users Unlimited Google Photos Access

Google to Fix 'Bug' That Gave iOS Users Unlimited Google Photos Access

Google found itself in hot waters after it came to light that its own users could no longer back up unlimited, original quality photos to Google Photos, but the same did not apply to iOS users. However, the company has since stated the anomaly to be a "bug", further revealing that it is working on a fix that will not allow iPhone users unlimited access to Google Photos for long. The incident came to light after Google discontinued unlimited access to Google Photos without file compression, with the launch of the Google Pixel 4.

iOS typically shoots and saves original files in the HEIC file format, which offers original photos at a compressed file size. This seemingly skipped Google's new rules, where Android users can save "high quality" image files (with low compression rate) even today, but not have access to original quality files any more on Google Photos. Rather, any original file stored in Google Photos would count towards the 15GB file storage limit on Google Drive, that any user without a premium subscription would still have access to. Importantly, those who pay for Google Drive storage would still be able to store more "original" photos to Google Photos.

Now, in correspondence received by Android Police, Google has stated that it is aware of this "bug" that allows privilege access to Photos for iOS users but not Google's own, and is working on a way to limit this. It is not quite clear as to how would the company go about this, but one of the possible ways might be in adding filters for root address of devices where files are uploaded from, or even reducing the maximum file size that qualifies for free storage, that until now was capped at 16MB.

Google has also not produced a timeline for rolling out this "fix", but given the rivalry, iOS users will do well to backup their original photos elsewhere, before Google withdraws support for it.

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