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Google Photos vs Amazon Photos

Google Photos vs Amazon Photos
(Image credit: Google)

Creative professionals know all too well the struggle of having no storage left on a phone, computer, or tablet. If your hard drive is filling up with too many high-resolution files named things like “final_really_v2.jpg” and “seriously_final_reallythistime_v10.png,” you may want to consider moving your photos to the cloud.

Two of the most popular and, in our estimation, best cloud storage options available today are Google Photos and Amazon Photos (also see our list of the best Google Photos alternatives). Since many people are already Amazon or Google users, relying on these companies for cloud photo storage is an easy next step.

In this article, we’ll compare Google Photos vs Amazon Photos, discussing their features, performance, support, and cost to help you figure out which cloud storage option is right for you. 

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Google Photos vs Amazon Photos: Features

Google Photos vs Amazon Photos

Amazon Photos offers unlimited full-resolution photo storage with Prime (Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon Photos is a subset of Amazon Drive, the cloud storage feature Amazon offers to customers. In addition to accessing your photos from your Amazon account on a web browser, Amazon Photos offers an app for iOS and Android. With the Amazon Photos app, you can sync photos from your devices automatically, meaning every picture you take will be instantly backed up.

Similarly, Google Photos is part of Google’s cloud storage option, called Google Workspace for businesses or Google One for consumers. Google Photos also offers a standalone app for syncing photos automatically, but takes it one step further—enabling users to create an auto-updating album of a selected person or pet.

Collaboration is important for creative professionals, and both Amazon Photos and Google Photos have features that enable you to share your photos with other users. With both services, you can easily allow another user access to a created album, or share it via text or email if your collaborator doesn’t use the service.

Amazon Photos makes it slightly easier to share photos with other Amazon Photos users with a built-in messenger-style app, enabling users to share photos, messages, and reactions. However, this option would be more useful for sharing photos with friends than with customers or collaborators.

Another important tool for creatives is the ability to find what you’re looking for quickly among your many files. Both Google Photos and Amazon Photos have photo recognition built-in, meaning if you’re looking for a photo of a bicycle, all you have to do is search “bicycle.” You can also sort photos by a person or pet, by date, or by location.

An important consideration for creative professionals is that Amazon Photos rules stipulate that you can only use the service for non-commercial uses, explicitly saying that you cannot use the service to operate a photography business. 

Besides that one small, albeit crucial, consideration, Amazon Photos and Google Photos are comparable when it comes to features, offering all the essentials.

Google Photos vs Amazon Photos: Performance

Google Photos vs Amazon Photos

Google Photos offers an app to sync photos from your smartphone easily (Image credit: Apple)

How much storage will you get for your photos with Google Photos or Amazon Photos? 

Google One offers 15GB of storage for free to all Google users. That’s across all of Google, so if you also use Google Docs or Gmail in addition to Google Photos, that will eat into your allotted free storage. Currently, Google Photos allows unlimited compressed-quality photo storage, but this will end on June 21, 2021.

When it comes to Amazon Photos, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can store unlimited full-resolution photos as well as up to 5GB of video. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, you have up to 5GB of storage for photos and videos included in your Amazon account.

We tested both the Amazon Photos app as well as the Google Photos app and found that both were easy to set up and navigate. However, it took the Google Photos app slightly longer to sync all the photos from our phone, and the app crashed multiple times during the process.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member already for the streaming or free shipping benefits, Amazon Photos beats Google Photos when it comes to performance for the capability to upload unlimited full-quality images.

Google Photos vs Amazon Photos: Support

Google Photos vs Amazon Photos

Google Photos lets you ask questions to the Google community (Image credit: Google Photos)

If you’re having an issue with your cloud storage, it’s important to be able to get assistance quickly. With Amazon Photos, you can get support directly from the app as well as on the web, either by searching their help directory or by contacting Amazon support over email or on the phone.

Google Photos also enables you to easily access support from the app or web. A nice feature is the ability to ask the Google community, which is similar to a message board, for help, giving you access to real people who use Google Photos all the time. On the web browser, you can also search previous questions asked in the Google community to see if anyone has already solved your problem.

However, Google Photos lacks a way to contact Google itself for support – so while the community feature is nice, Amazon Photos offers slightly greater support.

Google Photos vs Amazon Photos: Pricing and plans

Photographers and artists with lots of high-quality images to store will likely need more than Google’s free 15GB of storage. That means upgrading to a paid Google One account.

Google One offers three levels of cloud storage. The cheapest plan is $1.99 a month (or $19.99 a year) for 100GB of storage. The middle plan offers 200GB of storage for $2.99 a month (or $29.99 a year). Finally, the most expensive option is 2TB of storage for $9.99 a month (or $99.99 a year).

We’ve already mentioned that Amazon Photos offers unlimited photo storage free with Amazon Prime, but of course Amazon Prime comes at a cost: $12.99 a month, or $119 for a year.

Non-Prime members still have the option to purchase cloud storage through Amazon that is comparably priced with Google Photos. For $1.99 a month (or $19.99 a year) you can purchase 100GB of storage. For $6.99 a month (or $59.99 a year) you can purchase 1TB of storage. 

After that, pricing for storage through Amazon becomes either comparable with, or more expensive than, a Prime membership, so if you only plan on storing photos, you might as well sign up for Prime and take advantage of the unlimited storage.

Google Photos vs Amazon Photos: The verdict

If you’re an Amazon Prime member already, you might as well take advantage of Amazon Photos’ unlimited storage of full-quality photos.

However, it can’t be ignored that Amazon Photos’ ban on commercial uses seriously hinders its usefulness for creatives trying to make a living off their work. Use Amazon Photos to back up your vacation photos and cat pictures if you have Prime already – for everything else, Google Photos is a better option.

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Sarah Rogers

Sarah James is a freelance writer in Los Angeles. She has written about creativity, culture, and technology for brands like TechRadar, Submittable Content For Creatives, The Billfold, Pittsburgh City Paper, The Toast and more.