Smartphones these days, even the lower spec ones, are capable of taking high resolution (though not always high quality) photos. That means those photos take up more space on the smartphone’s storage. And when you have a measly 16 GB of internal memory, with no microSD card option, you will inevitably run out of space. That is precisely the point that Google is trying to make in a rare and admittedly amusing Google Photos video ad. And it is aiming its guns at, what else, the 16 GB iPhone.
OK, the ad doesn’t explicitly call out that particular iPhone model, but given the storage full notification and the fact that Apple is still offering a 16 GB iPhone model, the point is hard to miss. To be fair, there are Android devices that have even lower capacities, down to 8 GB, but those usually have microSD card slots. But even then, they might still want what the Google Photos ad is trying to sell.
The ad is technically about the Free Up Space feature that Google introduced way back in November last year. In a nutshell, what this does is to delete photos on the device that have already been backed up to Google’s cloud, thereby freeing up space for even more photos. All of this happens automatically, of course, which makes the feature sound almost magical. Or frightening.
Of course, Google isn’t the only one offering cloud storage for photos. Apple has had one longer. But photos backed up to iCloud don’t automatically get deleted on the iPhone. Some users might want that more direct control. Others might find it to be a chore or even confusing.
But Google Photos and iCloud also differ in one very important way. Google offers near unlimited storage space for photos, depending on your settings, while Apple’s basic free iCloud allocation easily gets filled up with photos. Good thing, then, that Google Photos is available on iOS in addition to Android, so iPhone users won’t be left with zero free storage when those once in a lifetime moments come around.