A year ago Google Photos ended unlimited storage. Since then, Amazon Photos has become my best friend.

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It will be about a year Google made a decision that was not without controversy. That’s right. Google Photos, its gallery app with unlimited storage for photos and videos (compressed, yes), stopped offering unlimited storage. From June 1, 2021, everything uploaded to Google Photos would occupy the space of Google One, which is shared between Google Photos, Gmail, Drive, etc.

Personally, it felt like a pitcher of cold water because I had just uploaded 25,000 photos to the app (all the family photos, stored until then on my father’s old computer). Surely he wasn’t the only one started looking for alternatives, because there are, there are, which is usually said. There are NAS servers, there are cloud storage services and there is the one that, in my opinion, is the best alternative to Google Photos: Amazon Photos.

And now, a year later, Amazon Photos has become my new best friend.

Amazon Photos, one year later: yes

First of all, let’s dot the i’s: neither Amazon Photos is free nor is it as complete as Google Photos. Unlimited Amazon Photos requires a paid Amazon Prime subscription (which recently went up in price), and the app is missing key Google Photos features like shared albums. Although there is a nuance that we will see later.

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On the other hand, Amazon Photos offers unlimited storage of photos in maximum resolution and quality (no compression, go) regardless of the format. Come on, you can upload a JPEG, a HEIC, a RAW file… As long as the file is an image, Amazon Photos supports it and keeps it as it came out of the camera. What it doesn’t offer is unlimited video storage, and that’s important.

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With Amazon Prime, Amazon “gives” you 5 GB of video storage. 5 GB is few, very few. When I record the raw videos to make the TikTok that we upload to the official Xataka profile, I do it in 4K at 60 FPS and, more or less, a minute and a half of video occupies 1 GB. Imagine, therefore, what it is like to record videos while on vacation. 5 GB is not enough to start with.

Here I thought of several options. The first was a NAS, but it quickly got out of my head for different reasons. The second was to pass, halfway, through the hoop of Amazon and pay for 1TB of cloud storage alone and exclusively for videos. 9.99 euros per month that I gladly pay every month.

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Currently I have uploaded 8,500 photos and 637 videos that occupy 45.2 GB, 4% of the tera that I have contracted. In a year, let’s remember. Yes, I buy the idea that 1 TB in the cloud is bread for today and hunger for tomorrow, but doing some quick accounts I doubt that it will be able to fill the tera in the short term. When that happens, other options will be seen. For now, this works for me. And yes, ten euros a month in a year is 120 euros and in two years 240 euros, enough to get a basic NAS, but that is an investment for another time.

Shared albums, what I miss the most

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On the other hand, one of the things I miss is the shared albums. In Google Photos it was pure fantasy to create the album, invite friends and family to it and that everyone could have the photos on their mobile. That in Amazon Photos is not possible. What is possible is to create a family file.

What is the family file? Let’s say it’s a folder shared with up to six people (including you). People added to the archive get an Amazon Photos account at no additional cost that includes unlimited photo storage in said family archive. The videos, however, will occupy the free 5 GB that we mentioned before.

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Basically, all the additions can upload the photos they want to the family archive and everyone will be able to see them. It’s what I do with my girl to have all the important photos in one place. For the videos, he AirDrops them to me and I upload them.

It is not as versatile as a shared and collaborative album in Google Photos, but it works. The positive part, to get something out of it, is that if I make a photo album of a family trip, for example, I can send the link to the album to my family so that they can download the uncompressed photos, in maximum qualitywhich is much better (although less simple) than sending them by WhatsApp and whatever happens happens.

My experience after a year

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After a year using Amazon Photos I have to admit that, as an alternative to Google Photos, He has convinced me. It has automatic upload, the photos and videos (if you pay, mind you) are perfectly preserved, the face search engine is correct (not so much the object search engine), it allows you to create albums, a family file with several people and, in short, it helps me to what I need: save photos and videos without worrying.

It is not a perfect application and it is not as complete as Google Photos, which was done too well, things as they are, but it more than fulfills its mission. Currently, Amazon Photos has become my main lifeline and vault of memories.

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I like knowing that if I take RAW photos I will have them there to edit whenever I want, as well as being able to record vacation videos in 4K at 60 FPS and knowing that the app will not process it to leave a 1 GB video in a 50 MB clip (this, obviously, because I pay the tera. In another context, things would be different).

Is the future uncertain? Yes. I, personally, I live with the doubt of whether at some point Amazon will cut the tap and will go the way of Google. At the end of the day, it is still “having things stored on someone else’s computer”. If that time comes, we will have to look for another alternative and, surely, it is time to make the leap to a NAS. But while that happens, Amazon Photos is, and will continue to be, my best friend.

It will be about a year Google made a decision that was not without controversy. That’s right. Google Photos, its…

It will be about a year Google made a decision that was not without controversy. That’s right. Google Photos, its…

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