Whether you’re a professional photographer, hobbyist, or just want to take a quick snapshot of a hilarious cat, we all have the power to take beautiful pictures straight from our smartphones, thanks to the power of technology.
Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about waiting weeks for our photos to be developed and organizing them effectively in photo albums because we have many photo storage apps and services to help us store our precious memories quickly and securely.
But which ones are the best?
If you think it's Google Photos or iCloud, it would be hard to argue with you, and while they’re certainly the most popular, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best.
So, the best way to find out is to pit the two against each other, and in this article, we will check out the great Google Photos vs. iCloud debate by analyzing both platform's key features and offerings.
Once we have looked at both these platforms, we will also see if there are any alternative platforms to store, sync, or share your photos. Wonder who it could be? Scroll down to find out!
Google Photos vs iCloud: About Both Companies
Google Photos is part of the Google product suite offering users a photo-sharing and storage platform. Google launched the platform in 2015 for users to organize, manage, and share digital media while enjoying the other Google product suites, including Gmail and Google Drive, on any device.
iCloud Photos integrates with the Apple platform to store photos and videos in the cloud automatically from any device, although it is primarily targeted at Apple users. Much like Google Photos, with iCloud, you can enjoy Apple’s suite of products for your photo storage, including:
- Apple Mail
- Find My services (iPhone, iPad, etc)
Now that you have a general of both services and are considering either Google Photos or iCloud as your photo or cloud storage provider let’s take a look in more detail at what each provider offers for the more essential features.
Google Photos Pricing Plans and Features
Both Google and Apple offer free storage plans, but Google takes the edge by offering a generous free storage of 15GB. From there, you can upgrade to a monthly or annual plan to access additional features.
If you want to use Google exclusively for photos, any documents, spreadsheets, or presentations you or others make will take up your storage space, so you should consider this when choosing any of the following plans.
Google Pricing Plans
If you want an affordable upgrade from Google’s free storage plan, you can upgrade to the basic plan or choose from any of the three monthly payment options Google offers, which are:
- Basic: 100GB for $1.99
- Standard: 200GB plan for $2.99
- Premium: 2TB plan for $9.99
If you want cloud storage or access to Photos without the hassle of monthly payments and prefer to pay a one-time annual payment, Google’s yearly plans include:
- Basic: $19.99
- Standard: $29.99
- Premium: $99.99
iCloud Pricing Plans
In comparison, iCloud offers less free storage, and the price of iCloud is more or less the same as Google’s. However, if you want more flexibility when upgrading your cloud storage, Apple offers five different storage options if you want a larger storage solution for your photos. These options are:
- 50GB: $0.99
- 200GB: $2.99
- 2TB: $9.99
- 6TB: $29.99
- 12TB: $59.99
While the pricing plans may be similar, if you want an extensive storage system of up to 12TB, then Apple can provide you with it. To help you decide which option is the best, you can calculate how many gigabytes or terabytes you will need with a byte converter.
Google Photos: Features
When you upgrade your Google plan, you will have access to more features to gain the most out of your account. These features include:
Access to Google experts
Google experts will answer your questions regarding your Google account, whether it’s to help you recover your files or learn how to use Google’s suite of products.
Share your account with up to five people
If you want a storage space to share and view photos of you and your friends, you can share your account with up to five people and keep all your photos organized and shared in one place.
VPN for multiple devices
Google's VPN helps you browse the web securely and secure your network by encrypting the connection on whatever apps or browsers you use. Google’s VPN is built using open-source software to ensure they can offer you the best security when browsing the web and staying safe from web trackers.
With an iCloud+ plan, it also offers additional features for its cloud storage plans, which are:
iCloud Private Relay
iCloud private relay is designed to keep your internet activity confidential. When activated, the traffic leaving your phone is encrypted to prevent websites from tracking your IP address or location.
Hide My Email
You can use Hide My Email when signing up for new accounts, newsletters, or other subscription services. This feature is designed to keep your email address secure from companies, as it generates a unique and random email to keep your personal information safe.
Custom Email Domain
HomeKit Secure Video support for up to five cameras
Apple’s secure video service allows you to set up home security cameras to record the footage and view it from anywhere to ensure the security of your home and its contents. None of the videos are stored in the cloud, and they are protected with end-to-end encryption. Depending on your plan, this option is broken down in the following ways:
- 50 GB plan: Add a single camera.
- 200 GB plan: Add up to five cameras.
- 2 TB plan and above: Add an unlimited number of cameras.
You can access the videos from any of your Apple devices, and you can view videos from the previous 10 days.
Google Photos vs iCloud: Editing and Customising Photo Features
For those who enjoy editing their photos, Google offers various software to help you turn your snapshots into professional-looking photos. Again, you will have to upgrade from your free account to access these features, but once you do, you can enjoy:
- Magic Erase: Remove background distractions or people.
- HDR: Adjust the brightness & contrast of photos and videos.
- Lighting & blur: Improve the lighting or blur the background of photos.
Google is also joining the hype of using Artificial Intelligence (AI) on its platform and will make complex edits even easier. By introducing their new advanced AI, Magic Editor, it will take Google Photos editing capabilities to the next level.
Magic Editor allows you to edit specific parts of photos, i.e., sky, people, or background, to improve the composition, move objects, or move the photo's subject around so they are perfectly aligned with the background image.
If you want to edit photos with an iCloud+ plan, however, you will find that iCloud Photos comes up short against Google. While you can make edits, they are limited and focus more on different filters or exposures. However, whatever changes you do make are automatically saved across all devices.
Google Photos vs iCloud: Security Features
Much has been said over the years about how Google treats user data, but Google boasts that if you upload, store, or share your photos with them, they are protected with the most advanced security features and technology.
When it comes to security, both Google Photos and iCloud protect your messages, emails, or photos are protected by end-to-end encryption, both at rest (when it's stored on your device) and in transit (when your device sends it).
Another thing Google and Apple share in common is storing your data in Apple and Google data centers, respectively, as part of their security measures. Both companies state that they have limited access to the photos you store in the cloud, but they hold the decryption key to your files.
If either Google or Apple suspects you are storing illegal photos or content or the law asks for access to your files, both companies can view your photos or any other files you are storing in the cloud.
While it's true that attacks on data have not impacted either company, it is worth considering other companies out there who focus on privacy for your photos, files, and general online presence that would be a valuable alternative to Google Photos or Apple.
Internxt Photos is part of the Internxt family of privacy-centric products designed with your privacy and security in mind. If you value the privacy of your photos and want to secure, sync, and share your memories securely, then Internxt is one of the most secure photo storage and sharing platforms out there.
Internxt Photos: Security Features
Internxt uses AES-256 encryption, the industry standard, to protect your files. Your files are encrypted directly on your device, split, and sent across various servers across Europe, so your files are never sent on the internet in one complete file. Instead, they are sent in tiny encrypted pieces to protect them against data hacks or breaches.
Internxt values your privacy and will never sell your data to third parties under the guise of a more personalized ad experience. Your photos, encryption keys, and files are never stored in an unencrypted or unhashed form. The only person in charge of your data is you.
As part of Internxt’s commitment to transparency and privacy, Internxt provides its source code on GitHub. Google Photos and iCloud+ are propriety software companies, meaning their source code and the way they build their products or store your data is hidden from the public.
The benefits of an open source platform such as Internxt, is that experts in the field can continuously monitor the code for potential security vulnerabilities and request to fix them quickly and efficiently. As well as this, with the proper knowledge, people can view precisely how companies like Internxt protect your photos or other documents.
But don't just take our word for it, earlier this year, Internxt successfully passed an independent security audit to verify the security of its platform.
Internxt Photos: More Features
If you want to learn more about Internxt, here is a quick breakdown of its important features.
With Internxt, you can access all of the services and get up to 10GB of free lifetime storage for Drive and Photos for free. You can also use Internxt Send to send files of up to 5GB for free without creating an account.
If you want to upgrade your plans, Internxt offers monthly, annual, or lifetime plans, as follows
- 10GB: Free
- 20GB: $0.99
- 200GB: $4.49
- 2TB: $9.99
- 20GB: $10.68
- 200GB: $41.48
- 2TB: $107.88
- 2TB: $299
- 5TB: $499
- 10TB: $999
Secure photo sharing
Internxt Photos gives you complete control over the privacy of your photos when sharing your photos with others. Yes, they are encrypted, but Internxt also gives you a secure link to control exactly who can view your photos and how many times. Advanced sharing is also an additional feature you can take advantage of on Internxt Drive.
Considering Google Photos vs. iCloud will largely depend on your preferred device. Google Photos is easier for those who use multiple devices, as it is available on Windows, MacOS, and Android. If you’re a Linux user, however, you’re out of luck, as Google Photos isn’t available unless you choose third-party apps.
iCloud may be better for uses dedicated to the Apple product suite; although it is available on Windows, iCloud Photos is designed with seamless integration across multiple Apple devices. It’s also not available for Android or Linux users.
Internxt makes your Photos, documents, videos, or music available on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux devices, so no matter where you are, you can access your files. If the worst happens to your devices, such as theft or breakdown, you can still access your files from other devices thanks to Internxt’s automatic syncing feature.
Google Photos vs iCloud: Which One Should You Choose?
As always, the choice is yours, and we are fortunate enough to have many options available for our data storage, and we don't need to feel locked in to the major tech companies anymore.
That's not to say Google or Apple aren't valid choices, they are especially if you want features like advanced AI photo editing. However are these features worth compromising your privacy?
If you are open to suggestions and wish to discover possibilities of photo sharing or storage and want to choose alternatives to Google or Apple, consider Internxt if you value privacy, security, and control over who can access your photos