Google Photos, and good news (I hope!) for Mac users

By | November 16, 2020

If you have a Google account, you might have been sent an email last week about Google Photos.  I know a lot of you use it to back up photos taken on your smartphone – I certainly do.  But in case you didn’t get it – here’s the gist…

Ever since Google Photos launched in 2015, they’ve offered to back up all your photos and videos to the internet completely free of charge.  Google compress the files so they don’t take up as much storage space, but they do a really good job of it and it doesn’t cost you a penny.

Now that’s always seemed spectacularly generous to me.  It never felt like something they’d be able to keep doing forever.  And I was right.

As of the 1st of June next year, any photos you back up to your Google account will count towards your 15GB free storage allowance.

I think they’re being very fair about it though. So:

  • Any photos that you upload to Google Photos (using their free system) before 1st June next year will stay completely free – they won’t suddenly start counting towards your storage allowance.
  • After that, Google are still giving you 15GB of storage completely free – which is three times what you get for free from either Apple or Microsoft.  (Although, remember that’s not just for photo storage – Gmail emails and anything you store on Google Drive count too.)
  • You’ll still be able to use Google’s fancy compressing tools if you want to, to store your photos at “High Quality”, so each picture will take up less space.

In the email that Google sent you about the changes, there’s a link to click to see your personalised estimate of how many years of storage space you’ve got left.  Based on the number of pictures I take (and what else I use my Google account for) they reckon I’ve got about 4 years before I fill it up.  My friend Claire’s estimate is only 2 years, but then she takes a lot of pictures.

So I think I’ll stick with Google for now.

There are alternatives, of course, but I’ll talk about those as we get a bit closer to the June deadline.

Apple Macs One Step at a Time

As you know, we’ve published lots of books over the years, explaining how to use various bits of kit – but it all started with the first books Tim wrote back in 2005.  Those books were Computers One Step at a Time and The Internet One Step at a Time.  And – after umpteen Windows versions, updates and changes over the years – they’re still going strong.  

But the one bit of technology that we’d never covered was an Apple Mac. Until now…  As I type, Ellen is “all systems go” – putting the finishing touches to Apple Macs One Step at a Time and The Internet on Macs One Step at a Time.

So why the change of heart?  After all, Macs have been around for as long as Windows PCs.

Well, until recently, Apple Macs weren’t really used by ordinary folks like you and me.  They were for young, professional, graphic-designer types.  But all that’s changed now.

Unfortunately, Apple haven’t made their computers any easier or more obvious to use just because lots of people have them!

Anyway – as I said, the books aren’t quite finished yet, but I’ll hopefully be able to tell you more about the books, what they cover and who they’re for later this week.

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