Google Photos Loophole Gives ‘Newer’ iPhones Free Unlimited Original Quality Uploads

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Google Photos is one Google service that is loved by many. Millions of users around the world use it to back and sync their photos so that they don’t lose them when they have a change.

Google Photos is known for offering photo backup in several modes. The high quality setting allows you back up photos in high quality (1080p) or in original quality. Original quality is the highest mode and they upload your photo as it is. Original quality is limited to the Google Drive storage you have, unless you get Pixel phones that had the

One of the benefits of buying Pixel phones is the fact that Google offered “unlimited storage of original quality pictures”. This was one of the major selling points for the Pixel, Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 phones. However, with the Pixel 4, they stopped that and this is why this story becomes weird.



A Reddit user has discovered that iPhone users can set up their phone to get unlimited storage of their pictures at their original resolution on Google.

Modern iPhones allow you to shoot in Apple’s HEIF format which is smaller than jpeg files.  Apparently if Google tried to compress these HEIF files, it would actually increase the file size.


Apple introduced this new image format with iOS 11 back in 2017 and it is supported by iPhone 7 or later. You can check whether your iPhone has this setting enabled by default by going to Settings > Camera > Formats and choose “High Efficiency”.

It is kind of unfortunate that users with newer iPhones can enjoy uploading unlimited photos to Google Photos unlike users who will end up buying the Pixel 4. However since Android 10 supports HEIC, this feature could be enabled to the Pixel 4 later on.

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