Google revealed its new cross-platform Photos app and service today at its I/O developer conference taking place right now. The idea is similar to Apple’s own Photos app and iCloud Photo Library. Google is automatically backing up and syncing photo and video libraries using Google Drive storage and not local device storage, but Google’s killer feature for its version comes down to price: Google Photos is completely free. Without any subscription fee or access charge, Google will backup and sync your photo collection across your devices and the web while maintaining photo quality up to 16MP and video quality up to 1080p.

Apple’s own free tier is limited to an impractical 5GB while it offers up to 1TB of iCloud storage for a monthly cost of $19.99 with tiers in between including 20GB for 99¢ and 200GB for $3.99 or 500GB for $9.99.

Google Photos features a similar design to Apple’s own app for viewing images and videos by day or year, and it includes built-in sharing functions for sending photos and videos online easily even if the recipient doesn’t use Google Photos.

I’m personally pretty invested in Apple’s iCloud Photo Library and appreciate the native Mac app, but Google’s “free” price should be a compelling offer for a lot of iOS users looking for a more approachable price for a similar experience.

Google Photos is also cross-platform with access from the web for computers and a native app for Android and even iOS. Google Photos for iPhone should be available here later today.


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About the Author

Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news, hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, and created