The Google Photos app for Android is receiving a new update that effectively removes the option to allow (or disallow) videos from uploading over cellular data. Navigating to Settings – Back up & sync – Cell data usage now shows a “Daily limit for backup” option.
First spotted by the folks at 9to5Google (via Android Police), it’s unclear if this change was intentional or if it was accidentally pushed by Google. The update seems to be making its way to devices across the U.S. and Europe. The “Daily limit for backup” has options including No data, 5MB, 10MB, 30MB, or Unlimited. Meanwhile, there’s a toggle right below to “Back up while roaming.”
The fact that users can no longer choose to upload only videos on cellular is somewhat annoying. There’s some hope that this could be reversed as the Google Photos support page does not mention these changes.
The daily cellular data upload limit first arrived on Google Photos back in March 2019 for users in India
The daily limit for Google Photos uploads first made its way to the app in 2019 for users across India. This was part of Google’s Next Billion Users (NBU) initiative to offer “more granular daily controls” over backing up videos and photos while using cellular data.
While the daily limit seems to be rolling out for Google Photos on Android, the iOS version of the app hasn’t received the feature yet. So if you’re using Google Photos on an iPhone, you should still be able to find the toggle to enable video backups on cellular data. This is yet another indicator that Google may revert to the status quo over the next few days.
In some good news for Google Photos users, the app brought along an update to the “Cinematic photos,” feature last month. Google described this as “sort of like a movie director for your photos.”
Moreover, the company also added a People & Pets widget that puts a live album of photos on the homescreen. The update also allows users of the Nest Hub to access their Google Photos Memories. There are options to hide specific people, pets, or specific time periods from appearing on Memories.
December 2021 was clearly a busy month for Google Photos. In addition to the changes we briefly discussed above, the app also received a “Locked Folder” feature for added privacy. Photos inside this folder will require either a passcode or biometric authentication (fingerprint or face scanners).