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Google Photos Now Frees Up Space On Phones

A new update to Google Photos now allows users to free up space on their cell phones, thanks to a handy new “Assistant” through which users can now double-tap their screens in order to gain more storage space — all without losing any photos in the process.

The Assistant feature can be accessed in the settings menu.  Once there, users will find a ‘Free Up Space’ option.  This prompts users to delete videos and photos that have already been stored on Google’s servers.  It asks for confirmation to make sure that deleting the files is wanted by the user.  The application even notifies when users are running low on space and asks if photos or videos could be deleted after 30 days in order to make room for more.  Since everything is automatically backed up in Google’s cloud, there is no reason to worry that precious memories will be lost.

Another feature that allows more free space invites users to downgrade their photos from ‘original quality’ to ‘high quality’, which is a more compressed version of the original photos.  High quality images do not count against usage quotas, whereas original quality files do.

If a user joined Google Photos and selected the ‘Original quality’ setting for their photos, but changed their mind, they could have future media backed up in ‘High quality’.  However, for media already backed up in ‘Original quality’ before then, users were in an awkward state: they had no way to downgrade that media to ‘High quality.’

If photos are backed up in high quality, users also may now receive a message asking if they want to bulk delete the copies from their devices when their phones or tablets are reaching their storage limits. Until now, this feature has only been available for those backing up images in Original quality.

Google also announced that its rolling out a fix that should prevent photos from popping up over and over, even after being deleted.  Users will need to delete the images from their devices’ SD cards to get rid of them completely.  This is now possible.

The Assistant app has been released for Android phones and an iOS version will be out soon.

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