04 Sep 2015

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Google Photos and Free Storage

There's something I don't understand about the new Google Photos. The settings page lets you choose between uploading high quality photos and videos for free, at reduced sizes (16MP or less for photos, Full HD or less for videos) or uploading original photos and videos at full resolution, but that counts against your quota.



This doesn't make sense. Google+ Photos had a different policy: "Only photos over 2048x2048 pixels and videos longer than 15 minutes count toward your storage limit." Google+ even had a setting that resized your photos to 2048x2048 or less, so they stayed under the free storage limit.

Google's new policy doesn't seem fair to those who pick the "original" option. If you upload photos that are 16 MP or less or videos that are 1080p or less, you should be able to store them for free, regardless of the Google Photos setting you choose. The distinction between "high quality" and "original" should only be made for photos and videos that don't fall under Google's limitations.

04 Sep 2015 9:19am GMT

Google Drive Bonus Storage Is Expiring

2 years ago, Google offered 10 GB of free storage for installing the Quickoffice app for Android or iOS. Unfortunately, Google's bonus storage is about to expire.

"We wanted to let you know that you have bonus Google Drive storage expiring on Oct 3 2015. While this bonus period is coming to an end, you can always purchase additional storage," informs Google. "Rest assured that your files in Google Drive remain safe and accessible by you and the people you've shared them with. You just won't be able to add or sync any files unless you are using less than your current available storage or you've purchased additional storage."



Basically, Google won't delete your files, but you'll have to delete some of them or purchase more storage if you actually used the 10 GB bonus storage. Since the storage is shared between Gmail, Google Photos and Google Drive, all of these services are affected and you can also delete Gmail messages with large attachments or photos and videos from Google Photos that use your Google storage. Here's how to find Gmail messages with big attachments and a list of Google Drive files sorted by size.

04 Sep 2015 8:18am GMT

More About Google's New Visual Identity

Google Design's site has an interesting article about Google's new identity. Google's designers started by "distilling the essence of the brand down to its core" and built 3 elements that work on any platform: a sans serif logotype, the dynamic dots that respond to users and a compact version of the Google logo.



Some people said that Google's new logo is childish and it really is. "The Google logo has always had a simple, friendly, and approachable style. We wanted to retain these qualities by combining the mathematical purity of geometric forms with the childlike simplicity of schoolbook letter printing. Our new logotype is set in a custom, geometric sans-serif typeface and maintains the multi-colored playfulness and rotated 'e' of our previous mark-a reminder that we'll always be a bit unconventional," mention Google's designers.

The dots are a brilliant way to convey the full Google logo in a Material Design approach. "The Google dots are a dynamic and perpetually moving state of the logo. They represent Google's intelligence at work and indicate when Google is working for you. We consider these unique, magic moments. A full range of expressions were developed including listening, thinking, replying, incomprehension, and confirmation."


Google now uses pixel-perfect SVGs for base assets and generates thousands of vector-based variants. For example, there's a version of the logo that's optimized for low-bandwidth connections and is only 305 bytes. Google's old approach was to serve a text-based approximation of the logo.

All in all, the new logo is more flexible, works better for devices with small screens and there's an animated abstract version. For the first time, Google's logo becomes a user interface control that communicates information and connects users to Google.

{ Thanks, Brendan Early. }

04 Sep 2015 7:34am GMT