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While Google Photos has proudly offered free high-quality photo storage for years, that's changing in 2021. Beginning June 1, all "high-quality" photos you upload to Google Photos will start to count against your Google account storage.
If you relied on the free storage and are now worried about running out of space, you can prepare yourself and avoid paying for more storage by freeing up space in Google Photos.
Follow the below tips to free up storage space in Google Photos—as a bonus, you'll also clean up your photo library while at it.
1. Convert to High-Quality Photos
All the photos you've uploaded in original quality to Google Photos count against your storage quota. You can quickly free up space in Google Photos by simply converting all the photos uploaded in original quality to high quality. This can be done from Google Photos on the web.
Navigate to the Google Photos website on your computer, then click on the Settings icon at the top-right corner near your profile photo. In the settings menu, click on the Recover storage option. Google Photos will provide an overview of how much space you'll recover by converting your original photos and videos to high quality. Your videos will also all be compressed to 1080p to save space.
Keep in mind that this method will only work until June 1, 2021. Once the new storage policy from Google comes into effect, all high quality photos uploaded to Google Photos will also count against your account's storage quota.
You can export your existing photos and videos from Google Photos in full resolution, so you have a copy before compressing them in your account to save space.
2. Disable Photo Backup for WhatsApp and Other Device Folders
Google Photos can automatically back up photos and videos from WhatsApp, Instagram, and other folders on your device. While this can come in handy for some, these media backups also take up storage space.
If you receive a lot of junk media on WhatsApp or simply do not want your Instagram posts to back up to Google Photos, it's a good idea that you disable backup for such folders from your device to save space.
To do this on Android, open the Google Photos app on your device, then tap your profile photo at the top-right corner and choose Photos settings. Then, head over to Back up & sync > Back up device folders and disable all the irrelevant folders from which you do not want any media backup to happen.
Unfortunately, this isn't an option on iOS due to system limitations. As a workaround, you should instead open the app you don't want to back up images for (like WhatsApp) and disable automatic media saving so those images don't get synced to Google Photos.
3. Delete Unsupported Videos
Google Photos supports backing up a wide variety of photos and video formats. These include RAW files from selected Canon, Sony, and Nikon cameras, MKV videos, and more.
If you use a number of cameras or upload videos from many sources, it's possible that at least some of the backed-up media files are not supported by the platform. All unsupported media files will continue to take up space in Google Photos, though, so it's best to delete them.
To delete all unsupported videos from Google Photos, open the Google Photos website on your computer, then click on the Settings icon at the top-right corner near your profile photo.
On the Settings page, you will see the Unsupported videos option from where you can delete all incompatible videos to free up space in Google Photos. Make sure to empty the trash after this if you delete particularly large files.
4. Remove Junk Screenshots
If you back up your device screenshots to Google Photos, it's a good idea to delete these as well. Over the years, you've likely accumulated a lot of junk screenshots that are no longer relevant.
You can easily find all the screenshots you've uploaded to Google Photos by searching for "screenshots." Then proceed to delete the ones you no longer find relevant.
5. Empty the Trash
Any photo or video you delete from Google Photos resides in the trash (also called the bin in some regions) for up to 60 days. Meanwhile, the trash itself is capable of holding up to 1.5GB of deleted media.
If you want to immediately free up space in Google Photos, empty the trash to reclaim a decent amount of space. This is particularly important to do after you have deleted junk screenshots, photos, and videos from your photo library by following the steps mentioned above.
6. Resize Photos Before Uploading
If you back up photos taken from a DSLR to Google Photos, you should ideally resize them before uploading. Uploading 30-40MP resolution photos to Google Photos is only going to take up precious space in your Google account—they will be of little use.
By reducing the resolution of such photos, you will reduce their file size considerably and make them better for backing up to Google Photos. Depending on your use case, you can resize your DSLR photos to around 20-25MP and save a substantial amount of space.
You can also reduce the resolution of the videos before uploading them or use a different file format to potentially reduce the file size.
7. Delete Files From Google Drive and Gmail
Any file or document that you back up to Google Drive also counts against your Google account storage quota. So if you want to free up even more storage space in Google Photos, you should look into deleting junk and other unnecessary files from Google Drive as well.
You can also transfer files from your primary Google Drive account to a secondary account without re-uploading them and save space in the process.
The same also applies to Gmail—files you use in Gmail take up space in your Google account. But you can always delete old emails with large attachments to free up space in your Google account. Make sure to back up your Gmail account locally before cleaning up large emails in Gmail.
Freeing Up Space in Google Photos
You can free up a substantial amount of space in Google Photos by following these tips. This will allow you to back up more photos and videos without having to pay for storage. Before the change, Google also plans to roll out a new tool that lets you easily delete blurry and poor-quality photos to further free up space.
If you are unable to free up a substantial amount of space in Google Photos even after following the steps above, you'll probably need to pay for a Google One storage plan.
The battle between Apple and Fortnite-maker Epic Games isn't going away any time soon.
According to a new report by Bloomberg, Epic has now submitted a complaint about Apple to the United Kingdom's antitrust tribunal.
Epic's Battle With Apple
It argues that Apple's decision to boot Fortnite from the App Store in 2020 was unlawful. In the filing, Epic's lawyers accuse Apple of abusing its "dominant position" as the controller of the App Store. It also protests against Apple's control of the in-app payment processing mechanism for iOS.
This is the crux of the clash between Apple and Epic. Last summer, Epic introduced a new way to allow Fortnite players to make in-app purchases without going through the iOS App Store. This violated Epic's developer agreement with Apple, and deprived Apple of the monetary cut that it takes of in-app payments.
Apple quickly responded by removing Fortnite and other Epic titles from the App Store, prompting Epic to file a lawsuit against Apple.
In Epic's newly filed complaint against Apple (a similar one was also filed against Google), it requested an order to stop Apple from taking further action against the company. It also wants Apple to reinstate Epic's Apple Developer account. Finally, Epic asks for a court order that will stop Apple making access to iOS software contingent on use of the App Store and Apple-authorized in-app purchases.
Following the filing, Tera Randall, Epic's VP of communications and policy, gave the following statement to 9to5Mac:
"Epic Games has launched legal proceedings against Apple and Google in the United Kingdom, expanding its fight to advance fair digital platform practices for consumers and developers. The legal proceedings, filed in London's Competition Appeal Tribunal, allege the conduct of both Apple and Google in their respective app stores is an abuse of a dominant position and in breach of the UK's competition laws, substantially reducing competition in app distribution and payment processes."
"We believe that this is an important argument to make on behalf of consumers and developers in the UK and around the world who are impacted by Apple and Google's misuse of market power," the statement continued. "We look forward to making our case on January 21. Epic is not seeking damages from Apple or Google in the UK, Australia or the US, it is simply seeking fair access and competition that will benefit all consumers."
Apple and Epic are currently scheduled to meet in court in the United States later this year.
Samsung has come a long way from its TouchWiz days; its modern One UI skin offers a great user experience as well as plenty of features. One UI 3, based on Android 11, has arrived for its flagship Galaxy S and Note devices, which further includes many new features and improvements.
If your Samsung Galaxy device has recently received the One UI 3 update, check out some of the top tips and tricks for it below.
1. Double-Tap to Lock and Unlock
You can lock your Samsung Galaxy device running One UI 3 by simply double-tapping an empty area on the home screen. This feature only works with the stock One UI launcher. However, it is a handy function to have, as it means you will not have to press the power button for locking or unlocking. This is convenient and can save your power button over the lifetime of your phone.
You can enable/disable double-tapping to lock/unlock on your Samsung Galaxy device from Settings > Advanced Features > Motions and gestures.
2. Pin Items to Share Menu
One UI 3 offers the ability to pin items to the Share menu. So if you regularly share content to a specific app or service, you can pin it to the Share menu to speed up the process.
To pin an item, bring up the Share menu by sharing any content. Then long-press on the item that you want to pin, and select the Pin option. All pinned items will appear in a separate section in the Share menu.
3. Advanced Video Controls
If you have Bluetooth earbuds connected to your Samsung Galaxy device, you can use them as an external microphone while recording videos. This will provide much better audio quality than simply relying on the built-in microphone of your device.
Also related to videos, if you know what ISO, shutter speed, and aperture mean, you can take full advantage of the Pro Video mode in the One UI 3 camera app. The mode gives you full control over all the important aspects of your Samsung Galaxy camera while recording videos.
4. Enable Notification History
Google added a handy Notification History feature in Android 11. Since One UI 3 is based on this version of Android, it also has this feature. As the name indicates, the Notification History feature will give you an overview of all the notifications you receive, including the ones you've dismissed.
The option is disabled by default, so make sure to enable it from Settings > Notifications > Advanced settings. After that, you will be able to view your notification history from here.
5. Live Captions and Live Transcribe
Samsung has included Google's excellent Live Captions and Live Transcribe features from Android 11 in One UI 3. Live Caption converts speech or audio to text in real-time, while Live Transcribe converts text to speech. These are extremely handy accessibility features for people with any sight or hearing disability.
Samsung has buried the Live Captions and Live Transcribe feature deep inside the Settings menu, though. To enable them, you need to go to Settings > Accessibility > Hearing enhancements.
6. Quickly Access Lock Screen Widgets
Samsung has enhanced the lock screen widgets in One UI 3. The redesigned widgets provide you with an overview of upcoming events, alarms, Bixby Routines, media controls, weather, and more.
To access the lock screen widgets in One UI 3, simply swipe down from the lock screen clock. To re-order or disable lock screen widgets, go to Settings > Lock screen > Widgets.
7. Change Call Screen Background and Layout
You can change the call screen background in One UI 3 by either setting a custom image or a 15-second video as the incoming/outgoing call screen background. This option will only affect the call screen background and not the profile photo of your contact. Samsung also offers an alternate more compact layout for the incoming and outgoing call screen.
You can change the call screen background or layout in One UI 3 by opening the Phone app, tapping the 3-dot overflow menu button at the top-right, and then selecting the Call background option. You will find the option to change both the call screen layout and the background here.
8. See More Icons in the Status Bar
By default, the status bar in One UI 3 will only show the icons for the last three notifications you have received. Samsung has presumably done this to avoid cluttering the status bar, but if you receive a lot of notifications, this might not work for you.
Thankfully, you can change this option from Settings > Notifications > Advanced settings > Show notification icons. You also have the option of only displaying the number of notifications instead of their icons in the status bar.
9. Customize the Always-On Display
Samsung's always-on display implementation has improved tremendously since the company first added the feature to its devices. You can now customize always-on display with a clock style you like, use a GIF as the display wallpaper, show music information, and more.
Customize the always-on display on your Samsung Galaxy device from Settings > Lock Screen > Always On Display.
10. Enhanced Processing
If you want even better performance from your Samsung Galaxy device running One UI 3, you can enable the Enhanced Processing mode. This is basically a high-performance mode that will allow the CPU and GPU on your Galaxy device to aggressively switch to higher clock speeds under load.
Do note that having Enhanced Processing enabled will have a negative impact on battery life and could cause your device to overheat when gaming or running heavy apps. Enable Enhanced Processing from Settings > Battery and device care > Battery > More battery settings.
11. Bluetooth Headsets Do Not Disconnect in Airplane mode
A nifty little change in One UI 3 is that if you have headphones connected to your device, Bluetooth does not turn off when enabling Airplane mode. This feature is another part of Android 11 that Samsung carried over to its skin as well.
Explore and Enjoy One UI 3
If you're using a Samsung Galaxy device running One UI 3 for the first time, take your time to explore all the features of the skin. The above tips and tricks will help you in getting to know One UI 3 better.
Discovering its little-known features will help enhance your user experience as well.