As pointed out by Reddit user Stephenvsawyer, since the iPhones save photos in the new compressed and efficient HEIC format, it is allowing unlimited original quality backups on Google Photos for iPhone users, despite Google’s recent announcement that it will no longer offer free original quality backups for Pixel 4 users.
When HEIC format photos shot on iPhone are uploaded to Google Photos, they don’t need to be compressed from Original Quality to High Quality JPEG, because they’re already smaller than the latter. If Google tried to compress iPhone’s HEIC photos, they would actually become larger.
But when AndroidPolice reached out to Google for confirmation, the company said that although iPhone users are indeed getting their photos stored on Google Photos for free in their original size, it is a “bug” that’ll be fixed in a future update.
We reached out to Google for comment and got a confirmation that indeed, pics captured as HEIC/HEIF aren’t compressed and aren’t charged against Photos’ quota. A Google spokesperson told us: “We are aware of this bug and are working to fix it.”
Do you think Google will forcibly re-convert HEIC pics to compressed JPEG or start charging for HEIC images stored in Photos, even if they’re small and don’t take up much space?