After the Pixel 4's announcement, we were surprised to discover it didn't offer free original quality backups on Google Photos like its predecessors. The next day, a Redditor made things even worse for Pixel users by explaining that the new iPhones do get unlimited original quality backups on Photos because they use the HEIC format. We've reached out to Google and got confirmation that this is indeed the case, but it's a "bug" that'll be fixed. Read More
Google Photos version 3.23 just started making the rounds, but there doesn't appear to be anything immediately changing with the update. However, the traditional clues about upcoming features are certainly there to be seen. We can look forward to applying some of those smooth bokeh effects of portrait mode, and this time, we'll control the intensity of the blur. There will also be a new option to downgrade your already backed-up photos to high quality so you can get back some of that cloud storage. I've also included a couple of other teardown sections for earlier versions that were slated to appear in the next Update Notes post, but this is the better place for them. Read More
Streaming music is usually dominated by large names like Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music, but there are some smaller services out there. Tidal might be having a tough time recently, but it's popular among those looking for higher-quality music, and now another name is entering the US audiophile-grade streaming market. Qobuz (don't ask us how to pronounce it) is bringing its high-resolution 40-million track audio library stateside later this year. Read More
An update to the Google Photos app just rolled out, bringing the current version number up to v1.17. This release is pretty straightforward with just one notable change: photos can now be edited in a non-destructive fashion. In other words, you can make changes to a picture and still return to the original version if you like. That feature alone is certainly enough to make this a worthy upgrade, but a teardown provides some good clues about features that are probably coming in the next couple of releases, assuming they're not already here. Read More
As announced yesterday, Google Photos is now ready to offer you an option to downgrade your photos and reclaim some storage space in your account. The option has gone live on https://photos.google.com/settings and will let you convert all photos you had uploaded in Original quality to High Quality (maximum 16MP). Given that the latter don't count toward your Google storage and the former do, this will allow you to save whatever space you had lost on photos while still keeping them stored in your account. Better yet, in our previous review of Google Photos, Alex had concluded that there is no detectable quality loss when switching to High Quality uploads, so you're not likely going to lose anything by activating the conversion. Read More
I love Update Wednesdays, and today we've already seen pretty decent updates to several Google apps. As you've already seen, Google Play Games was updated to v1.5, but the one I'm excited about the most is, without a doubt, Google TTS v3.0, which made a jump today from v2.4.
So, what's so cool about TTS 3.0?
First and foremost, Text-to-Speech 3.0 adds support for high quality voices. Just how drastic the difference is in day-to-day usage in various apps remains to be seen, but as far as file sizes go, we're talking about a jump from 5-6MB to 200+MB. Read More