Google is adding a new feature to the camera app on Google Pixel phones that will enable users to save some extra space on their device. The feature, ‘Storage Saver’ is available with the Google Camera version 8.1 that was rolled out to Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a smartphones earlier this month, although, some users with older Pixel phones (Pixel 2XL) running the same app version were also able to use the option. As per information available on Google Support page, the Storage Saver was originally supposed to debut with GCam 8.0 but is finally rolling out with the latest app version.
According to screenshots of the Storage Save feature for Pixel devices available on Twitter, Google is essentially crunching down the quality of photos and videos to save up space on the smartphone. As per the screenshot, Storage Saver “will change settings that use large amounts of storage.” When the feature is enabled, RAW photos will get downgraded to JPGs and videos will be stored in a more efficient H.256/HEVC format. Similarly, motion photos will save as still images, whereas videos will record in full-HD quality instead of 4K resolution. Notably, time-lapse and slow-motion modes continue to function normally. Google has also added the option to turn Storage Saver off automatically whenever the device has at least 1GB of internal storage.
To enable the feature, Google Pixel user will need to open the camera app > Click on the down arrow at the top > Tap Settings > Select Storage. Pixel users who are still using the camera v8.0 can either update the app via Google Play Store or sideloading the latest version from APKMirror.
The feature is useful to those users who enjoy taking photos and videos but have limited storage on the smartphone. Meanwhile, Google recently announced that the unlimited storage option on Google Photos would come to an end next year (June 1, 2021), although the current Pixel devices are exempted from this rule. Google has confirmed that future pixel devices (Pixel 6 or Pixel 5a) won’t have free Google Photos backup, even with the regular “high-quality” option.