I love Google Photos. It brings order into the mass of digital pictures I take. I know that I myself am probably the product and that I am selling my soul to Google but whatever, I am just way to curious of what Google’s AI is and will be able to do with all that data. But there are some flaws that just diminish my happiness about the otherwise amazing cloud service. Here are my biggest complaints and how I would solve them.
Original quality storage pricing
I know that I’m mostly saving pictures below 16MP and Videos with 1080p but the perfectionist in me still wants to choose the upload option „original quality“, because our DSLR pictures and videos will probably look outdated and strange in 20 years and I don’t want them to look even worse on our huge VR screens with diminishing their quality. The problem is, that the way the Google Drive storage in Google Photos is handled is a pain in the ass. Let’s say you buy 1TB for 9,99€ a month. The price is okay I guess. And if you cancel the plan the uploaded data stays there in original quality, but you cannot upload anything new to Google Drive or even receive E-Mails in that Google account until you pay monthly again. So if you ever have any financial lows your Google account, and with that your E-Mail account, your Google Drive storage and your photos are frozen and considering that Google Photos wants to be a service that manages your photos „for life“ this is just horrible.
There are probably many ways to improve the storage options, these are the ones I was thinking about. Way one: Just make the original quality option completely free for everyone. One could argue that this would be way to expensive for Google and not very economical, but taking into account that Google wants to build a „personal Google“ for everyone this may be an important step. What is more personal than a life worth of photos? And free storage of original quality photos may be the best way to get many people to use their service. Way two: Separate Google Photos from Google Drive and offer an ‚unlimited original quality‘-plan, maybe priced around 9,99€/14,99€ per month. And if someone cancels that plan don’t ban them completely from uploading pictures to Google Photos, but just allow them to upload in high quality. And through the separation of Google Photos and Google Drive the E-Mail Account and the Google Drive storage are not affected. I know that this inherits the danger of people buying the plan for one month and then uploading like 50.000 pictures and then cancelling it. To avoid that you could either make it a 12-month contract or just ignore it, because once again: Personal data is the most important thing for Google in order to build a personal Google for everyone.
Let’s face it: many people take pictures they do not want to have in their gallery between their pictures of the last family trip and pets, because what if you want to show somebody your family or cat pictures? At best that’s just super inconvenient, at worst, it’s extremely embarrassing. The thing that totally freaks me out about this is, that the solution is so easy, that even Snapchat’s backup service has it. Just create a „private photos“ area which is only accessible with your Google password (or a code, your fingerprint or somehing like that) and where you can move the pictures you do not want to appear in your normal gallery. That just can’t be that hard.
Don’t get me wrong, I think that Google Photos is the best service for managing your photos and this is criticizing on a very high level but that are just two of the things about Google Photos that could be better and that would change a lot in my opinion, and I just wrote this comment to get my frustration about this out.
PS: I’m not a native English speaker so sorry if anything is wrong.