Moving from Google Pixel 3xl to iPhone. Keep Unlimited Photo Storage?

Hello fellow OZB'ers,

I'm looking to move from my beloved Pixel 3XL (great phone, have loved it) to the new iPhone 12. When I bought the 3xl Google were offering unlimited original quality photo storage. Apart from the obvious storage advantages the integration with the phone itself was great. I believe they have changed this part of the deal and I would love if someone who knows what the changes are could summarise them for me!

My question is that if I move to iPhone is there a particular 'hack' or work-around where I can still utilise the storage capabilities of my Pixel. I remember reading somewhere you can use your Pixel as a 'server' or something to that affect. Can anyone shed light on this? Or has succeeded?

Additionally, what is the integration between Google Photos and IOS like - it is perfect with the Pixel phone but want to know what other people's experiences are like?

I would love to keep my photos original quality. Is it too much to have my cake and eat it too?


  • +1 vote

    you can install Google Photo to on iphone and it can still do automatic backup.


      This is correct


      I thought you needed the app open and running for that to work.

      Secondly, from June photo backup will count towards the storage quota.

  • +3 votes

    Starting June 1, 2021, any new photos and videos you upload will count toward the free 15 GB of storage that comes with every Google Account or the additional storage you’ve purchased as a Google One member.

    Any photos or videos you’ve uploaded in High quality before June 1, 2021 will not count toward your 15GB of free storage.

    If you have a Pixel 1-5, photos uploaded from that device won’t be impacted. Photos and videos uploaded in High quality from that device will continue to be exempt from this change, even after June 1, 2021.

    Google Photos Storage Changes


      Does anyone know of a way automatically transfer photos I take on my future iPhone to the Pixel for it to be automatically uploaded? And does Google know if a photo wasn't taken on the Pixel itself and thus wouldn't be eligible for quota avoidance?

      • +2 votes

        And does Google know if a photo wasn't taken on the Pixel itself

        Why wouldn't Google know? They know everything.

        In seriousness, that's what EXIF data is for …


          I’ve seen posts about side loading photos from other devices to a Pixel and uploading from that. But no clear answers. Are you saying it’s not possible because of the EXIF data?


            @bigharpo: Sync iPhone photos with your computer using iTunes, and then sync the same photos from computer to Pixel?



            Are you saying it’s not possible because of the EXIF data?

            Depends on how deep Google looks at the images to determine they're eligible for free storage. If they're checking the source (where the file is coming from) then will probably be fine. If they're reading the EXIF data (what device took the photo) then they won't qualify.

            I dare say they'd be doing the latter, since you won't have been the first person to consider uploading photos via your Pixel.


        Syncthing may be a possibility. There's issues running it on the iOS side, but it works great on Android