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Google Photos is now better for iPhone than Pixel 4

Earlier this week, Google revealed Pixel 4 buyers would not receive the same benefits as earlier devices when it comes to storing photos at full-resolution quality.

The company is now only offering unlimited storage at “high” quality, via Google Photos, rather than the “original” quality it had offered with the Pixel, Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 ranges.

However, while buyers of the new Pixel 4 will lose out, it seems iPhone users might be fine to continue experiencing the benefits of full resolution uploads. That’s according to a Redditor who points out a loophole that’ll means iPhone owners are actually better off than those splashing out on a brand new Pixel 4.

Related: Pixel 4 vs Pixel 4 XL

He says the HEIC format Apple uses to save photos is smaller than the file-sizes Google users for the ‘high’ quality compressed JPG files stored in Google Photos, post upload. stephenvsawyer (via 9to5Mac) wrote on the Apple subreddit:

“With all modern iPhones shooting photos in HEIC format, which is smaller than even Google’s compressed JPG files, iPhones therefore get free unlimited ORIGINAL quality backups simply because it would cost Google both storage space (because if Google tried to compress iPhones HEIC photos they would actually become larger) and computing power (because Google doesn’t need to compress and process all of the billions of photos iPhones backup.)

“So Apple is literally saving Google millions of dollars by shooting their photos in HEIC and it benefits iPhone users as well because we get free, original quality backups.”

Unfortunately, 4K videos are still downgraded to 1080p when iPhone users store them in Google Photos, so it’s not all great news.

There is a way around this for Google Pixel 4 owners. In Android 10, Google is enabling users to shoot their photos in the HEIC format, so all is not lost.

Will the decision to stop Pixel 4 users uploading unlimited photos at original quality stop you buying the phone? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.

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