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Moving away from Google Photos? Here are some alternatives

From Google One to the self-hosted Nextcloud

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Are you a Google Photos user? If yes, then you may have heard of a big change that Google is going to implement starting June 1. Unlimited storage for photos stored in high quality is going away, and free users will soon be limited to 15GB of storage after the date.

However, there’s no need to panic just yet. A lot of alternatives do exist as a backup for your precious photos. Still, you may be wondering why Google is actually doing this.

After years of gracefully offering unlimited storage, you may have come to use and associate the service as a dumping ground for all your photos and videos. Transferring these to alternative services can indeed be time-consuming, not to mention, it may also cost a lot.

2020: The end of unlimited storage

For those following the news, however, the end of unlimited storage for Google Photos isn’t exactly new to them. Last 2020, Google announced sweeping changes on its storage policy that affected its popular services such as Gmail, Google Drive, and of course, Google Photos.

As for Google Photos, the change in storage policy meant the end of free, unlimited storage for photos uploaded in high quality. High quality here doesn’t mean that the photos and videos uploaded kept their original resolution, though, as Google actually compresses them with this option.

Google didn’t mention any reason for ending its unlimited storage. It could be likely that the company wants more people to try its Google One storage plans. It may also have to do with the growing number of users. Either way, offering unlimited storage seems unsustainable for the company in the long run.

Yes, there are alternatives

It could be really hard to switch to alternatives especially after years of getting acquainted with Google Photos. If, however, you find it hard to get over the features that it offers, then why not consider paying for more storage space? Google One’s storage plans start at US$ 2 a month for 100GB of space, which is not bad.

The storage plans max out at 2TB for US$ 10 per month, which could be more than enough for everyone. There are no unlimited storage options, but most of the storage plans will likely satisfy the bulk of die-hard Google Photos users.

It is worth noting that you can still actually enjoy unlimited storage — if and only if you own existing Pixel smartphones. Emphasis on the “existing” since that means all the Pixel smartphones released prior to 2021.

If paying for cloud storage is an issue for you, just remember that Google offers a generous 15GB of free storage across services such as Gmail and Google Drive. It is also worth noting that any photos and videos you uploaded before the dreaded June 1 date won’t be deleted even if they exceed your storage quota.

iCloud for the Apple converts

Outside of Google’s own products though, there are competent alternatives that could satisfy Google Photos users. Those who switched to an iPhone can easily find a one-on-one alternative in the form of iCloud. Sure, there are no options for unlimited storage here, but the price tiers closely match those of Google’s.

Pricing starts at US$ 0.99 for 50GB of storage and goes all the way to 2 TB for US$ 9.99 per month. Just remember that device backups and other files are also counted towards the storage.

Luckily, users can fine-tune their iCloud settings so that only choose what files (and photos) will count towards their storage quota. Users who don’t want to pay a dime can also opt for a free plan, but this one only comes with a measly 5GB of storage.

Microsoft OneDrive: a multi-platform solution

If you are a user of Microsoft Office, then you may already be aware of OneDrive. Microsoft’s own cloud storage solution is a competent alternative that works across many platforms.

However, it is best used along with a subscription to Microsoft 365. It may not be cheap at US$ 6.99 per month, but the personal plan nets you a massive 1TB of storage along with a one-year subscription to Microsoft Office.

That alone could be a definitive reason for trying out OneDrive. It is also a good choice for most professionals who would rather pay for a single bundle rather than shelling out money for different products.

You may also try out OneDrive’s free plan before paying for a plan. Just take note that the storage maxes out at 5GB for the free plan.

Dropbox, the long-time cloud storage stalwart

Dropbox is one of the most established cloud storage providers out there. It also offers one of the most generous storage spaces out there, maxing out at 2TB for US$ 11.99 per month. A big plus here is the option for camera uploads, which backs up all your photos and videos to the cloud.

Users who opted to pay can also take advantage of Dropbox Paper, which is a collaborative document editing service useful for work environments. Those sharing their storage space with family members can even upgrade for up to six users sharing up to 2TB of space.

Like the other two mentioned above, Dropbox also offers a free plan with 2GB of storage. This is much limited than the other two,

Photographers still have a Flickr to rely on

Flickr used to be one of the most popular image hosting services back in the day. It still is a favorite among some photographers out there thanks in part to its pricing tiers.

There is only one premium plan, but that includes unlimited storage and various perks including a free two-month to Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan.

Monthly plan starts at US$ 7.99 per month, which is not bad. Unfortunately, though, storage is limited to photos only.

The Nextcloud Equation

Tech-savvy users can try a radical solution to storing their photos and videos with Nextcloud. Nextcloud allows you to create your own cloud storage solution for your files — photos and videos included.

Since it is self-hosted, the only limit to the storage space is the hardware you choose. The setup is not for the faint-hearted though, and users are also responsible for maintaining their self-hosted cloud storage.

However, building your own self-hosted cloud storage is a feat worth celebrating with various advantages too. Privacy and control of data are the biggest advantages since your data stays within your own cloud storage.

Getting out of Google Photos

If you’ve already decided to get out of Google Photos, then you’ll take some steps to export your photos and videos. It’s an easy affair that begins by heading to your settings.  Scroll down and you’ll see the option to export your data. Select that, and you’ll see the option to back up an archive of your data.

Google will then take you to a dedicated page for exporting your data. Just follow along with the process, bearing in mind that you can choose to export your data to other services through the “Delivery method” option.

When you are done, you can click the “Create export” button to end the whole process. Take note that the whole export process may take hours or even days.

Sure, the death of Google Photos’ free and unlimited storage is lamentable. It is worth remembering the old adage though: “there is no such thing as free lunch”. Perhaps, that could just be the painful reality of life. Luckily though, users have lots of alternatives to choose from for their precious mementos.

Features

5 timeless gifts you can give to a dad anytime of the year

For your dad, your friend who became a dad, or any ‘dad’ in your life

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Father's Day Gift Guide

Dads don’t get a lot of spotlight, probably because a lot of us suffer from daddy issues. But for those who have a loving relationship, or those who just started repairing theirs — giving your dad a thoughtful gift might be a way to strengthen the connection.

Here are five timeless gifts you can give to your dad, your friend who just became a dad, or if there’s any ‘daddy’ in your life.

Powerbank

Father's Day Gift Guide

In the era of connected life, going out without a power bank is like going out without a wallet. Even though most gadgets nowadays have strong battery lives, it’s always practical to have a backup.

And dads love being prepared at any costs, making it the perfect gift that’s versatile to every need — whether it’s for their smartphone, wireless earbuds, portable speakers, or a mini-fan. Shop here.

Electric Shaver

Father's Day Gift Guide

Just because they’re getting old, doesn’t mean they should forget how to groom themselves. Teach them to be like a fine wine — they should get better as they age, and they should even look more dapper to keep up with the times. (Hello, matching father and son outfits?).

Anyhoo, an electric shaver will suffice — giving them a clean, shaved look that will help them look presentable wherever they are. Shop here.

Leather Wallet Phone Case

Father's Day Gift Guide

For so many years, dads kept us protected in different ways. Now that we have a chance to give back, why not help them protect their essentials through a leather wallet phone case?

Mujjo’s, for example, speaks convenience and efficiency, without forsaking style. Its cardholder can carry up to three cards, and the case comes in a durable yet gorgeous leather design producing a beautiful patina over time. Shop here and use coupon #dad for 15 percent off all products (valid through June 21st).

Cordless Drill

Father's Day Gift Guide

Men love cordless drills. Not because they love drilling somebody else, but because it gives them the power to build and repair things.

In a way, it’s also one of the most useful and practical gifts that you can give, since the household can use it in different situations. Shop here.

Treadmill

Our dads sometimes forget that health is wealth. Give them the gift of health through a treadmill, so you can encourage them to live an active and fit lifestyle to prevent diseases that come with age.

Running a few miles can help them live longer, so you all can bond and make more memories together. Shop here.

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First Look

realme 8 5G Unboxing and First Impressions

Midrange game changer?

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Game-changer. It’s a bold adjective to use, especially when you’re describing a smartphone that’s situated in a competitive midrange segment. But realme has always dared to leap, and they’re doing exactly that with the realme 8 5G.

They’re calling it a 5G game-changer. It will require more extensive testing to determine whether that’s true or not, but for the meantime, here are our first impressions of realme’s newest offering.

But first, a quick rundown of the specifications for this device.

Display 6.5-inch IPS LCD display, 90 hZ 1080p
Processor MediaTek MT6833 Dimensity 700 5G (7nm)
RAM + ROM 128 GB ROM/8GB RAM
Cameras 48MP primary camera (wide)
2MP macro camera
2MP depth sensor
Battery 5000 mAh

 

The phone comes in realme’s signature yellow box. No surprises there.

Taking out the lid, you’re greeted by a short note from the brand. Nice touch!

Going through the rest of the box, you’ll find your usual set of manuals, a charging cable, and your charging brick. Realme also included a case for free out of the box. Good stuff!

It makes a good first impression, but can it last?

Out of the box, the first thing you notice is how pretty the device is. Without touching it, you’d think it was made out of glass. But in reality, they used plastic for this device. The radiant light effect is definitely a nice touch.

Outside of the fingerprint smudges you’ll definitely be leaving on the back, you’d want to rock this phone without a case.

The realme 8 5G uses a curved back for added ergonomics. The phone is well-built, and it doesn’t feel cheap even if plastic was realme’s material of choice.

That extra feeling of sturdiness matters, especially in a competitive midrange market. First impressions can make or break whether you get a smartphone or not. In this case, realme passed with flying colors. Early indications suggest that realme has a winner with the 8 5G.

That’s all we have on realme’s newest midrange offering for now. We’ll be testing the device to see whether the realme 8 5G can truly #CaptureInfinitePossibilitiesWith5G.

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First Look

Huawei MatePad 2021 Unboxing and First Impressions

The device for people on the go!

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Huawei has updated its primary tablet the Huawei Matepad. Come and join me as we unbox the new Huawei MatePad 2021.

Unboxing

Starting off, we have the box. A clean and simple look, but definitely pleasing! The front of the box shows us the branding and the name of the device.

A Huawei logo on the upper left corner, the AppGallery on the lower right, and on the lower left, the screen size of the device.

The box also has an interesting texture, only on the top cover though.

Opening the box, we have the device itself wrapped in fine paper and a pull tab to assist you when lifting the device out of the box.

Underneath the device, you are presented with two boxes. One box for the charging brick…

and the second containing the paperwork, USB Type-C cable, a 3.5mm headphone jack adaptor, and a warranty card.

Only the larger box is removable so be careful not to rip out the smaller box. Behind the larger box is the sim ejector tool, be sure to keep it safe!

Huawei MatePad

Removing the paper, we now see the simple but gorgeous Huawei MatePad in the “Midnight Grey” colorway. Be sure to remove the sticker — it’s optional but I suggest that you do.

The device itself is lightweight and easy to carry around, as a slim device it’s very easy to place it in a bag and you will have no problem carrying it around all day.

Starting off at the front, you will see the 10.4-inch screen with the camera at the top. Referring to the format at the back of the device, the front-facing camera is placed at the top.

On the left side of the device, you will be able to find the speakers along with the sleep/wake button. The right side shows you another pair of speakers and a charging port.

The top shows 4 microphones with the volume up and down button at the very left.

Heading over to the back you’ll be able to see the single-shooter camera, the Huawei branding, and an indication of their partnership with Harman/Kardon. The camera is accompanied by a flash and a microphone.

Specs

  • Display: 10.4-inch 2000×1200 IPS, 225 PPI
  • Processor: Huawei Kirin 820 series
  • Memory: RAM – 4GB, ROM – 128GB
  • Camera: 8MP front, 8MP rear
  • Battery: 7250mAh

Final thoughts

Finally, now we have unboxed the new Huawei MatePad. With this, the device itself feels good to the touch and is a good size for a tablet. Additionally, the “Midnight Grey” colorway of the MatePad is a great choice, it doesn’t collect fingerprints easily and the device is lightweight so you don’t have to worry when taking it with you anywhere.

The initial setup of the new MatePad was fast and easy, there are pre-loaded apps that are ready to use. Although I’m not sure if it’s just me or the apps change from time to time when you open the designated folders of the pre-loaded apps. For media consumption, the experience was good. Although the YouTube app was not the same as the ones we see on our devices, it works well as it should.

The screen looks good so far with the 2000×1200 IPS display, trying a few videos and films, the quality was great. Additionally, the speakers are a huge boost to the volume — loud but good quality. The MatePad also doesn’t have a 3m5mm headphone jack, luckily, they provided an adaptor. The MatePad is looking good so far, stay tuned for the next article as we are going deep and we’ll be having a full review of the Huawei MatePad 2021.

 

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