Google Sharpens Its Axe Against Photos Prints Subscription Service


Google is now officially bringing its limited Photos-based monthly prints subscription service to an end, reports indicate. The company emailed monthly prints subscribers about the change, stating that the service will end in just 11 days on June 30. Specifically, this is the subscription plan that offered up the ability to order prints directly through the Google Photos app and have them delivered. That cost users right around $8 per month.

The plan in question was already novel, to begin with. Separate from the Print-to-Store features in Photos and driven by Google's photo analysis algorithms, its primary focus was convenience. In fact, subscribers didn't even need to select the photos to be printed. Instead, Google chose the "best" of a user's shots automatically. The photos, mailed to customers, arrived printed on quality cardstock.

All of that became available to some Google account holders in the US back in February.


What does this mean for Google Photos monthly prints subscribers

Not only is Google ending its subscription program for Photos prints on June 30. The company is also removing all associated UI. That means that order histories associated with the subscription are going away too, according to the company's email. At the very least, that's the case for the Google Photos website — and presumably the app.

Subscription related order history information will be available via Google Takeout through July 15. That's Google's somewhat obscure backup-creation utility.  The company is urging customers to take action and create a backup of their order history for their own records prior to that date.

Google will not charge users who signed up and are still under a free trial offer for the final month of service. But the company decided not to ship photos to at least some who are signed up at all for the final month too. That's going to depend on a number of factors. Google points out that subscription timing will largely be the determining factor.


Those users who have not seen a review email by June 25, won't be receiving any more photo prints. That's the email sent by the search giant letting users see which photos have been selected for the month. Google also won't charge those customers that don't receive the prints. But those customers are going to want to look elsewhere for prints if they want them delivered.

You can still order photo books or photos for pickup

Now, none of this has any impact on the Google Photos prints services users outside of the subscription service. Features associated with the ability to order up a custom photo book on-demand are sticking around. CVS and Walmart locations in the US will still print photos for pickup too. The primary change applies only to those who had ordered photos on a monthly basis for a monthly cost.

As noted by the language in the email sent to subscribers, this was only a trial. And, given Google's track record with these kinds of services and apps, its demise isn't entirely surprising. But it does mean that those few users who were able to get in on the trial will face a bit more inconvenience. Or that's going to at least be the case with regard to their photo prints being delivered.


The company also notes that it will likely be re-launching the feature later on, with improvements made based on trial feedback. So customers may be able to resubscribe later on for even better service. Otherwise, users are going to need to search out another app for a similar experience from the plethora of apps available.