Skip to main content

Uploading those 4K videos just got faster (sort of) on Google Photos

google photos low resolution video update albums 2
Google Photos on Android just got a speed boost — the photo storage and sharing app just updated over the weekend with a quick fix for uploading video on slow connections.

The update is a continuation of a feature launched earlier this year, bringing the same functionality to videos. An earlier update allows the software to detect when the connection is weak. When a slow signal is identified, the app uploads a low-resolution file, waiting for a Wi-Fi connection before uploading the image in all its full-resolution glory.

Related Videos

That same feature is now available for video files — the app, detecting slow signals, will upload a lower resolution video for sharing, replacing the file with a full-resolution version once a Wi-Fi connection is available. Google doesn’t clarify at what size the files upload on the limited connection.

While the feature has been in place for photos for several months, videos tend to have larger file sizes, particularly for longer videos. As more smartphones adopt 4K video and the larger file sizes that come along with it, the feature becomes even more important.

For now, the update is only available for Android users — so the faster backup speed isn’t yet available for those 60-frames-per-second 4K files from the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Google Photos on iOS was last updated shortly after the launch of iOS 11, adding compatibility for Apple’s new smaller size HEVC photos and HEVC videos as well as general performance improvements.

The speed improvements are part of a string of several updates over the last several months. This spring, the app expanded with family sharing for both single files and albums, with any photos added to the album automatically updated for that shared user. At the same time, the app gained Google Lens, an artificial intelligence platform that recognizes objects through a smartphone camera. The app also an auto white balance option to its selection of editing tools.

Google Photos has only been around for about a year and a half, integrating with other Google products to do such things as making photo backups with Google Drive and integrate with Google Assistant, as well as adding other features like A.I.-powered tools, editing tools, and printable photo books to the list of features.

Editors' Recommendations

Google Pixel Tablet: news, release date and price rumors, and more
The Google Pixel Table and the Speaker Dock.

After years of speculation, Google finally revealed the Pixel Tablet at its annual I/O conference in May 2022. Google was pretty vague at the reveal and has remained tight-lipped when it comes to giving official details about the upcoming tablet.

Luckily, there have been plenty of leaks and rumors about the Pixel Tablet that help paint a picture of what fans can expect when it finally launches later this year. Here's everything we know about the Google Pixel Tablet.
Google Pixel Tablet: design

Read more
The 5 biggest announcements we expect from Google I/O 2023
The Google "G" logo surrounded by renders of the Pixel 7a, Pixel Fold, Pixel Tablet, and Android 14 logo.

Google I/O 2023 is right around the corner. Can you believe it? Google's annual developer conference acts as a showcase for the biggest and most interesting things the company is working on — including new Google Search tools, Android updates, and even upcoming hardware products.

Each year, Google I/O comes with more announcements than you can easily keep track of, and I/O 2023, which is scheduled for May 10, likely won't be any different. But what news from this year's conference are we most looking forward to? Here are a few of the biggest and most exciting things we expect to see at Google I/O 2023.
Android 14

Read more
A new Android 14 update is here — but you still shouldn’t download it
The Android 14 logo.

Google has released the second developer preview of Android 14, as the next major version of the operating system takes another step toward a full release. Like the first Android 14 developer preview, the clue as to who it’s for is in the name.

This early version is designed for developers to test new features and designs in their apps, and to explore how new tools in the software could help improve them. It’s not designed for everyday use by consumers -- that version will come later.

Read more