This week’s top stories: Google Photos drops free storage, OnePlus Nord N10 5G hands on, more

This week’s top stories: Google Photos drops free storage, OnePlus Nord N10 5G hands on, more
In this week’s top stories: Google Photos lays out a plan to discontinue its free tier, we go hands-on with the OnePlus Nord N10 5G, YouTube Premium promo offers free Stadia Premiere Edition bundle, and more.

The biggest story this week is that Google Photos will no longer offer free unlimited “High quality” storage, with images and videos uploaded after June 1 counting toward your Google Account’s free 15GB of storage or expanded Google One storage. Perhaps more notably, all current and past Pixel phones will retain their free Google Photos storage, but not future devices.

Google Photos has a new “personalized estimate” for how long it could take to max out storage that takes into account backup frequency. Next year, another utility inside Photos will highlight dark or blurry photos and large videos that you might want to delete to conserve space.

This year, OnePlus has significantly shifted toward creating budget friendly Android devices, the latest of which is the Nord N10 5G. Our team got the chance to go hands-on with the Nord N10 5G and shared some thoughts this week about the debatable decisions OnePlus made to make this phone and its price point — still unknown in the US — possible.

On paper, the Nord N10 brings a lot to the table, but in practice I’m not sure it lives up. The hardware, despite being plastic, is not bad. I think OnePlus also made a good call with the very responsive rear fingerprint sensor. The performance has some hiccups, but it gets the job done well. The cameras are one of the only areas there’s no excuse to be made for, but I can say with confidence that if the camera is your priority, you should be buying a Pixel 4a instead.

However, a much larger criticism of the Nord N10, and really the whole OnePlus Nord line, came later in the week when OnePlus announced that their affordable devices would only receive a single major update to Android. That means phones like the still-unreleased Nord N10 will only be updated from last year’s Android 10 to this year’s Android 11.

Beyond the Android 11 update, OnePlus will live up to the bare minimum when it comes to security updates. They’ll get two years of security updates, but there’s no mention of how often those updates will arrive. I’d wager not very often.

Gamers have had a rush of excitement this week, with the latest Xbox and PlayStation consoles launching to early adopters. Possibly hoping to ride that wave of excitement, Google has launched a promo allowing YouTube Premium members in select countries to claim a free Stadia Premiere Edition bundle complete with a Chromecast Ultra and a Stadia Controller.

Even if you’re not particularly interested in Stadia — though I do suggest giving it a try some time! — this promo is absolutely worth claiming if you’re able to. With the release of the new Chromecast with Google TV, the only way to get a Chromecast Ultra is through the Stadia Premiere Edition, and despite originally releasing in 2016, the Chromecast Ultra is still a solid device. Additionally, the Stadia Controller is a great game controller, even if you don’t use it for Stadia.

Lastly, YouTube, YouTube TV, and Google TV — aka Play Movies & TV — experienced a simultaneous outage this week starting in the late afternoon and carrying on nearly two hours. Interestingly, the Google Play Store also experienced issues with installing apps during the same window.

YouTube on all platforms [was] browseable, but users [were] not able to play videos. Initially, the thumbnail image would appear on mobile, but be accompanied by a continuously loading progress indicator. Later on in the outage, an error message appeared. Searching for videos still [worked], but there [was] a slight delay before everything [loaded].

The rest of this week’s top stories follow:

Android |

  • Nokia N95 reboot would have arrived w/ slide-out speakers, kickstand [Video]
  • Samsung makes a bid to steal Huawei market share as Galaxy S21 Ultra specs leak
  • Samsung is still trying to fix Galaxy S20 FE touchscreen problems [Updated]

Apps & Updates |

  • Google One reaches 100 million Play Store downloads
  • Microsoft Your Phone can now run multiple mobile apps on select Galaxy devices
  • Google opens Play Store voting for your favorite Android apps, games, books, and movies
  • Android Auto is about to add support for wallpapers
  • YouTube adds ‘Your Premium benefits’ page with video watching and Music listening stats
  • Philips Hue products lose ‘Works with Nest’ integration next week
  • Google Photos integrates crowdsourcing tool to help improve machine learning

Google Workspace |

  • How to get the old Gmail, Calendar, Google Drive icons back on Android, iPhone, and Chrome
  • [Update: Voice] New Google Workspace icons rolling out — Drive, Gmail, Chat, Meet, Docs, Calendar, & Keep
  • Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides will count toward storage caps, new auto-delete policies announced

Made by Google |

  • Google Camera 8.1 brings Pixel 5 redesign and Cinematic Pan to past Pixels
  • Future Pixel phones won’t have unlimited Google Photos storage [Updated]
  • [Update: 94-point selfie score] Google Pixel 5 camera earns 120-point score from DxOMark
  • Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G set to gain Dual SIM Dual Standby 5G support
  • Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 receive Android Enterprise Recommended certification
  • Google confirms that it’s working on Nest Audio and Chromecast integration
  • Face Unlock issues arise again for Pixel 4 owners

OnePlus |

  • OnePlus will only give a single major Android update to its most affordable Nord phones
  • T-Mobile put random OnePlus pop-up stores around the US, you can win $5,000 by finding them
  • OnePlus Buds Z review: Borderline brilliant budget Bluetooth buds [Video]
  • LineageOS 17.1 support comes to OnePlus 5/5T, Fairphone 3, plus more
  • OxygenOS 10.0.1 rolls out for OnePlus 5/5T w/ September patch, camera EIS, more
  • OnePlus Watch reportedly won’t be using Google’s Wear OS
  • OnePlus Nord ‘SE’ w/ 65W charging tipped to be the company’s fourth budget phone in under a year

Videos |

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