Google Photos is the most popular and widely used cloud photo storage service out there, mainly thanks to the fact that it has provided free unlimited photo backups to the cloud to everyone with a Google account for the last couple of years. More than 4 trillion photos are stored in Google Photos, as Google announced last year, and 28 billion new photos and videos are uploaded each week.
All good things come to an end eventually, though, and soon, the same will be true for Google Photos' unlimited photo storage. As many of you might already be aware, Google is ending its free unlimited storage service starting June 1, and if you own a Samsung Galaxy phone or tablet, that applies to you as well.
Starting June 1, all photos and videos backed up to Google Photos will count against the free 15GB of Google Account storage that's shared between Google Photos, Drive, and Gmail (photos and videos uploaded before that date will not count towards that free storage). That means it's time to start thinking about paying Google for more storage or look for another cloud storage service and pay for that instead.
Time to pay to store those memories in the cloud
That's because no cloud service out there provides unlimited free storage of photos and videos. Google was the only one, but that's no longer going to be the case starting next week. And depending on which ecosystem you're using, the best two options for buying cloud storage from are Google and Microsoft, both of which provide you with the ability to buy additional online storage at different prices and are two of the most trusted brands around.
With Microsoft, the benefit is that OneDrive Sync is integrated into Samsung Gallery, which is great if you tend to browse your photos and videos on Samsung's gallery app. Microsoft also tends to be less heavy-handed with how much of your data it farms to make money from advertisers, so it's better if privacy of your data is a big concern. Microsoft's OneDrive storage plans can be seen here.
If you're wholly into Google's ecosystem and use its various services, then Google Photos is easily the better choice, especially since you will be able to access the app on every Android device out there — and the iPhone as well — if you someday decide to stop using a Galaxy-branded phone or tablet. Plus, the Google Photos app offers a lot of amazing AI-enhanced features that can't be found elsewhere. Here's where you can check out all of Google's storage plans.
Either way, the decision is up to you: If paying for cloud storage isn't your thing, then you can choose to start saving your photos and videos to physical media. For Galaxy devices that support expandable storage, you can buy a microSD card for cheap. Or, if you want to be able to access your photos online from anywhere, you can also check out network-attached storage devices like Western Digital's My Cloud that connect to your home's Wi-Fi router and can be used by all members of your family.