Nov 3, 2020 | General

Why You Should Use Google Photos on Your iPhone



google image

Everyone should be using Google Photos on their phone.  Even Apple iPhone users can see great benefits of using Google Photos on their phones.  Keep reading.

NOTE: Since this post was published, Google has made changes to the Google Photos service. Skip down to the UPDATE section below for more information.

It’s free

Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  Bupkis.  That’s how much it will cost you to store your photos (and even 1080P videos) on Google Photos.  Well, you have to create a Gmail account, so I guess there is some small price to be paid.  Outside of that, there is no cost to you whatsoever.

That’s right, you can upload all of your photos and have them safely secured in Google Photos.  If something goes south with your phone, you’ve got all of your precious moments saved.  There is only one caveat to the unlimited storage of Google Photos; you have to accept a little bit of compression of your photos in order to see unlimited storage.  There are two options for storage:

  • High Quality, which requires that some compression be done to the photos you upload to save some space.  The compression algorithm is actually quite good and you would have to zoom into your photos around 500% to see any difference.  For all but the worst pixel-peepers, this won’t be an issue.
  • Original, which saves the exact same file (at the same size) from your phone to Google Photos, but will use your Google Drive storage space to do it.  No free unlimited storage at this option.

The bottom line for this is that High Quality, which is the unlimited storage for free option, will downsample your photos to 16 megapixels.  This isn’t an issue for iPhone photos since they are currently 12 Megapixels anyway.  Video will be compressed to 1080p, but the storage for those is unlimited as well.  

If you want to store all of your photos and video unaltered, you can do that as well.  Google Photos will simply store those items on your Google Drive and use the storage there.  You can increase your Google Drive storage as much as you would like using Google Drive storage plans.

If you are only going to store mainly photos from your iPhone camera, the High Quality plan with its free unlimited storage would be sufficient.  The app even helps you reclaim storage on your phone once files are backed up to Google Photos.  How easy is that?

iCloud will only provide free storage for the first 5GB of data on the system.  If you are like me, I ran through the free storage pretty fast.  If you shoot and keep videos at all, you will use that 5GB up in short order.

It is platform agnostic

We all know that iCloud only really works for Apple iPhones.  You won’t be able to use that service if you switch (gasp!) from Apple to another manufacturer.  With iCloud, you would have to copy all of those photos manually to your new, non-Apple device.  

With Google Photos, you can use the service on any device without having to transfer photos to another service.  You don’t have to take an either/or approach with Google Photos either.  It will work just fine alongside iCloud if you wish.  Perhaps you want to have a risk-free test drive without messing with your iCloud?  No problems, it will work just fine.

It can save space on your phone

The main point of Google Photos to me is to backup all my photos so I don’t have to carry around every photo I take stored on my iPhone.  Sure, I’ll admit that the easiest way to show photos to others is to be able to punch up Apple Photos, and there they are.  Instant access, no muss no fuss.

Carrying all of your photos around on your iPhone chews up storage, though.  Storage is something you don’t get to expand later without another iPhone purchase.  Through the use of Google Photos, you can simply open up the Google Photos app and still have access to all of the photos you have stored in the cloud.  It’s just as easy as photos, only it takes the tiniest bit more time.

It works great with the iPhone

Google Photos has an app that you can install on your iPhone.  Just like the Google Drive app, it works seamlessly.  Anytime you take photos with your phone the Google Photos app notices, and the next time you hit a WiFi signal, it uploads those photos to the cloud.

There is little else for you to do in regard to working with the app once it is setup.  It runs on its own without needing attention from you.  Anytime you wish, you can open the app and browse through your images.  Being that it is a Google application, Google Photos has fantastic search abilities for your photos.

You can even share photos in a text message by selecting the Google Photos icon instead of the Apple Photos icon when composing your message.  Even though your photos are safely stored in the cloud with Google Photos, you can access them just as before – even if you delete all of the photos from your iPhone.


Google Photos can be an extra level of security for the irreplaceable photos on your iPhone.  Google Photos can also be your sole backup and storage system for your photos if you so choose.  The High Quality storage option offers unlimited storage of photos (up to 16 megapixels) as well as video (up to 1080p) and the backup process is automatic.  Once it is set up, you can pretty well leave it alone and it will just work.

Even if you refuse to cut the cord from iCloud, it can still offer a free secondary backup of your photos and video in case a photo were to be accidentally deleted from iCloud.  When you delete photos from your iPhone, they are not deleted from Google Photos.

If you liked this post, please leave a comment down below and leave a suggestion for future topics above.  Until next time, go take some pictures! 


Since this post was published, Google has made some changes to the Google Photos service. As of June 1, 2021, there will be no more unlimited photo storage offered by Google. From that date onward, any new photo or video uploads will count against the Google Drive storage of the account. So that leaves us with two points to consider:

  1. Any uploads made to Google Photos before June 1, 2021 will not count against the account’s Google Drive storage. Those photos and videos will still be free if uploaded at the High-Quality setting.
  2. Each free Google Drive account comes with a free 15GB amount of storage. Photos and video uploaded after June 1, 2021 will count against the Google Drive storage of the account.

I feel that even with these changes made to the Google Photos service, it still represents a great value for those looking to backup their photos for safekeeping. While videos will chew through any storage plan quickly, photo storage will still be reasonable within the new guidelines.

I have a new post giving a quick comparison of Google Photos, Amazon Photos and Microsoft OneDrive. Head on over.



Ralph is an avid photographer in his spare time. He spends a lot of his photography time shooting sports photos of his daughter, who plays softball and swims. He also has a keen interest in mobile photography.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This