One of the best things about owning a Google Pixel smartphone has been the unlimited photo backup in original resolution but turns out a minor typo in the AOSP build broke the feature for those running a custom ROM
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One of the perks of owning a Google Pixel or the Pixel XL series of smartphones is the camera, which at the time the phones were launched, was the best smartphone camera in the market. Even today, the Pixel and Pixel 2 continue to stand in the top 5 smartphone cameras no matter which reviewer you speak to. To make owning a Pixel device sweeter, Google promised that owners of the Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2 and the Pixel 2 XL would get unlimited Google Drive storage for original resolution photos. However, if you’re one of the few people who decided to flash a custom AOSP ROM, then you probably missed out on this lucrative offer.
Turns out those who had flashed their Pixel and Pixel XL devices with an AOSP ROM were seeing their original resolution photos account towards their Google Drive storage, something that should not be the case. The culprit, it seems, was a minute typo in the AOSP build script. In the script, the flag “PRODUCT_MANUFACTURER” was set to the lower-case “google” when it should have been “Google” instead. This little typo broke the unlimited original photos upload for the owners of the Google Pixel and Google Pixel 2 smartphones. Interestingly, the stock Google ROM is not affected by this bug, and neither is the AOSP custom ROMs for the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL.
Originally discovered by XDA forum member Razorloves, a fix for the issue was submitted on July 3 and consequently merged into AOSP on July 6. This means that if the AOSP based custom ROMs have been updated since, the fix would be a part of them and hence, your original resolution photos should go back to not taking up any extra Google Drive storage. However, as Google had shared on various occasions, the free original quality uploads will be available only till 2021, and after that, will start counting towards the allotted storage space.
Whether Google offered free storage of original resolution photos or not, the Google Pixel cameras have truly brought a gold standard for photography to the Android market. The original Pixel smartphones had one of the best HDR algorithms in the market and the Pixel 2 smartphones offer one of the most effective portrait modes. The next Google smartphone, the Pixel 3 is expected later this year and hopefully, Google would extend the unlimited original resolution storage offer even further.
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