Google Photos’s storage-saving feature could be coming to Android (APK teardown)

Google Photos’s storage-saving feature could be coming to Android (APK teardown) post thumbnail image
Google Photos app with photo stack edited

Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • An APK teardown of the latest version of Google Photos suggests Android users will be able to choose the backup quality of their photos and videos.
  • Backups that are compressed will be saved in a permanently reduced size.
  • The option to compress full-resolution photos and videos was previously only available on the web.

If you take pictures or record videos frequently, you’ll likely find yourself running up against Google Photos’s free 15GB storage limit sooner rather than later. While you have the option to buy extra space, the tech firm also offers a free alternative that compresses backup photos and videos, reducing their size. This feature was only available on the web, but it looks like it could be coming to Android as well.

An APK teardown helps predict features that may arrive on a service in the future based on work-in-progress code. However, it is possible that such predicted features may not make it to a public release.

In the latest version of the Google Photos app, we have spotted strings of code that appear to reference Google Photos’s Storage saver setting. This setting allows the user to choose the backup quality of their photos and videos. If the setting is picked, the file is saved in a permanently reduced size to save on storage space.

<string name=”photos_cloudstorage_ui_compressiondialog_compress_button”>Yes, compress</string>

<string name=”photos_cloudstorage_ui_compressiondialog_message”>Your eligible photos & videos will be permanently backed up in a reduced size. This step can’t be reversed.</string>

<string name=”photos_cloudstorage_ui_compressiondialog_success_toast_text”>Compressing your existing photos & videos. This may take a couple of days.</string>

<string name=”photos_cloudstorage_ui_compressiondialog_title”>Compressing photos & videos can’t be undone</string>

While this feature is available on web, adding this option on Android would be a first. It also appears to work the same way as it does for web, which means photos larger than 16MP will be reduced to 16MP and videos higher than 1080p will be reduced to 1080p. You can find all of the details on Google’s support page.

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