If you’re an Apple user, you probably just store all the photos you have on your iPhone or iPad on your iCloud service. But sometimes, you may have wished for a more robust cloud photo storing service. Google Photos is of course one of the more popular ones out there. Now Apple is offering a tool that would let you transfer your iCloud photos into Google Photos and it seems to be pretty painless. Of course, you need to have enough space in Photos as well, especially by June 30 when everything will count against your Google Storage numbers.
There are several reasons why an iOS user would want to transfer their photos. They may want to free up space on their iCloud especially if they’re just using the free 5GB storage. If you take a lot of photos, then that is definitely not enough for you. It can also be that you want a better photo storage app and as we all know, Google Photos has a lot of features to help you store, manage, search, and even edit all your photos and videos there.
So if you do want to initiate the transfer, you’ll have to go to privacy.apple.com where there are pretty easy-to-follow instructions. You can choose which kind of media to copy, like only photos or only videos or both. The caveat is that it will not be able to transfer some of the file types like shared albums, smart albums, photo stream content, some metadata, and live photos. There is a bit of confusion there though as iPhones actually take Live Photos by default so it’s not clear if it refers to the video clip or the entire picture itself.
Apple also says that only the most recent edit of an image will be transferred and not the original copy. The file names in the transferred content will start with “copy of”. And in case your goal is to free up space on your iCloud, you’ll still have to do it manually. Transferred photos will still remain in your iCloud storage unless you delete them yourself. It will also take 3-7 days for your request to be verified and for your content to be copied.
Of course, while Google Photos used to have unlimited storage but by June 1, 2021, new photos and videos that will be uploaded will already count to the 15GFB free storage that you have with Google. So while there’s still “unlimited” now, it would be best to transfer your iCloud photos already.