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For years, Google spoiled users with free storage. Now, it’s limiting it. The biggest loss? Perhaps the end of Gmail storage space.
A recent Bloomberg report describes the storage drawbacks Google issued on various devices and applications. Take the Pixel 4 — Google’s latest smartphone. When the Pixel came out in 2016, the phone came with unlimited, free storage. But the most recent Pixel 4 decreased in photo quality in order to combat storage shortages. The dissatisfaction with the Pixel 4 led to a petition to “Bring back Unlimited Original Quality photo storage to Google Pixel 4” which received 12,440 signatures within the past week.
“While Google tries to leverage the superb photography capabilities of its new flagship, it appears to be an even more hypocritical and cash-grabbing move to not let users utilize their photo storage service as a part of the offering,” Evgeny Rezunenko, who started the petition, wrote.
While issues with photo quality are annoying, the biggest Google-related storage issue for most people will be (or perhaps already is) Gmail. Anyone who uses Gmail — reportedly one billion people — will also eventually see their storage capped. Google initially increased storage space as Gmail grew. In 2013, Google blocked access to unlimited, free space by capping storage at 15 GM. In May of 2018, a new storage plan launched as Google One. Users have a free 15 GB for Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. After that, users must pay $1.99 a month for a 100 GB plan; prices and space increase from there.
There are obvious issues in hitting your Gmail storage roof. Rod Adams, a nuclear energy analyst, told Bloomberg that he stopped receiving emails for two days before realizing he had been cut off.
Other users often take to Twitter to complain about storage space. Google usually responds by suggesting users check their storage plans.
@gmail I haven't received my emails for a about 2 weeks now. Is this still a glitch & will it be fixed soon?— 🔮 (@Scorpio_Kate) October 22, 2019
@gmail my gmail is not showing me any new emails - last emails from yesterday evening. my other/linked account is working just fine. Tried updating app, accessing from desktop, etc. Same problem everywhere. Help!— Emily (@emilyyyyy) October 21, 2019
@gmail hi! emails are being send to me by my friend but they are nowhere to be found in my inbox. i haven't gotten any new emails in the last couple of days and ususally i at least get some advertisements. could you help me out? 🙂— iris (@ColleensSneeze) October 15, 2019
Storage caps mean huge profits for Google. Bloomberg reports that if just 10% of Gmail users buy the Google One subscription for $1.99 a month, the company would earn $2.4 billion in sales annually.
If you want to avoid storage costs maybe deleting your emails is something you should finally look into.
Libby Cohen is a third-year University of Texas student originally from New Jersey. She has written for ORANGE Magazine, the Daily Texan, and most recently interned for 1010 WINS in NYC. She's now back in Austin writing for the Texas Standard and the Daily Dot.