Google is readying a fix for a bug that gave iPhone owners the chance to upload original quality photos to Google Photos for free. A Redditor originally posted the information that has been reported by all major publications. It appears that Google has taken note of the issue and has confirmed it is a bug to Android Police by saying “We are aware of this bug and are working to fix it.”
The issue was, according to one Redditor, that the iPhone shoots in HEIC format – a format that reduces the file size. As a result, files were uploaded and classified as free “high-quality” images.
“With all modern iPhones shooting photos in HEIC format, which is smaller than even Googles compressed JPG files, iPhones therefore get free unlimited ORIGINAL quality backups simply because it would cost Google both storage space (because if Google tried to compress iPhones HEIC photos they would actually become larger) and computing power (because Google doesn’t need to compress and process all of the billions of photos iPhones backup),” the redditor explains.
“So Apple is literally saving Google millions of dollars by shooting their photos in HEIC and it benefits iPhone users as well because we get free original quality backups,” he adds.
It was initially thought that iPhone users had access to unlimited photo storage at the original quality. But according to Google, it was a bug, rather than a feature. Exact details around the fix aren’t available, though we expect Google to roll out the update shortly.