“Many of the cloud photo services available to date have limitations that have turned me off,” Troy Wolverton writes for The Mercury News. “Google’s new Photos service, which the company announced Thursday, is a case in point. On the surface, it looks great: Pictures and videos uploaded to the service are private by default, and it has been separated from the Google+ social network,” Wolverton writes. “The upload software on computers and smartphones appears to be easy to set up and use. And best of all, the service is free.”

“But the fine print makes it less compelling,” Wolverton writes. “Google doesn’t keep copies of the original photo and video files; instead, it stores compressed versions of them. And it won’t store any photos that are larger than 16 megapixels or any videos at resolutions greater than 1080p; instead, it will downsize both. Google is offering a version of the service that will retain pictures and videos at their original sizes and resolutions, but you have to pay to store more than 15 gigabytes of data. Google’s rates are more reasonable than Apple’s, but they still add up.”

“The iCloud Photo Library differs from Google Photos and other rival services in many of these respects. It stores photos and videos at their original sizes, resolutions and formats, and will allow users to upload pictures that are up to 16 gigabytes in size — 160 times larger than Google’s limit,” Wolverton writes. “The service is built into the Photos app that comes with both OS X, the operating system underlying Mac computers, and iOS, the system for iPhones and iPads. So you don’t have to install any other apps or software to sync your photos to your online account or configure software to find your pictures. Instead, you just have to turn on the service.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wolverton doesn’t even get into the inevitable: How Google will eventually monetize their “free” image data gathering operation:

• She looked good in 2005. Height estimate: 5′ 4″. Weight estimate: 110 lbs. In 2015, she’s up to an estimated 150 lbs. Serve up those Weight Watchers ads!

• The wedding photos were nice. June 7th, 2003. But, the photos of them together ended in 2014. He’s not consistently been with anyone significant since then. Serve up the dating ads!

• The post-chemo photos started in January 2008. They ended that same year. Now, they’re back and it’s looking worse than ever. Serve up the funeral parlor ads! (And start emailing the kids about how easy it is to transfer their mom’s Google Photos library to their devices – for FREE, of course.)

Ah, the price of “free.”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Currentinterest” for the heads up.]

SEE ALSO:

Is Apple is losing the photo wars? – May 29, 2015
How Google aims to delve deeper into users’ lives – May 29, 2015
Apple CEO Cook: Unlike some other companies, Apple won’t invade your right to privacy – March 2, 2015
Survey: People trust U.S. NSA more than Google – October 29, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for government, police – even with search warrants – September 18, 2014
U.S. NSA watching, tracking phone users with Google Maps – January 28, 2014
U.S. NSA secretly infiltrated Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say – October 30, 2013
Google has already inserted some U.S. NSA code into Android – July 10, 2013
Court rules NSA doesn’t have to reveal its semi-secret relationship with Google – May 22, 2013
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014