Google is now uploading your photos over 3G or LTE, but promises not to eat your data.
Google has announced that it is making low-quality previews of photos available to users right after they take them, so they can start sharing through Google Photos without having to wait for a Wi-Fi connection.
The company announced the update to Google Photos alongside a number of other bandwidth-saving measures aimed at reassuring its very important, and growing, Brazilian user base that it is taking their suggestions seriously.
Today we’re rolling out two new features on Android and iOS to make backup and sharing easier on low connectivity. Now your photos will back up automatically in a lightweight preview quality that’s fast on 2G connections and still looks great on a smartphone. And when a good Wi-Fi connection becomes available, your backed up photos will be replaced with high-quality versions.
We’re also making it easier to share many photos at once even on low connectivity. Never mind if you’re at the beach or hiking in the mountains, with Google Photos you can now share pictures quickly even with a spotty connection by sending first in low resolution so friends and family can view them right away. They’ll later update in higher resolution when connectivity permits.
The company isn’t saying at what quality the preview images will be uploaded, and of course the feature can be disabled, but it’s an interesting move for a company always interested in finding a balance between persistent online presence and bandwidth preservation.
It’s also interesting that a photo can now be in one of three stages within Google Photos: low quality, uploaded over cellular; “high” quality, which is what Google calls its unlimited storage tier (around 12MP max); and original quality, which does not change anything about the initial photo.
The update will be rolling out to Android and iOS in the coming days, so stay tuned.