Google now makes it possible for Photos users to transfer individual photo albums to the competing storage services Microsoft OneDrive and Flickr. Previously, users could only transfer their entire Photos library to the services.
Transferring individual photo albums gives users more control over what they can do with their data, according to Google. For example, users can choose to back up specific albums to another storage service. Another advantage is in situations where the user’s Photos library is larger than the available storage capacity with the service to which the images are exported. In those cases, Google itself would decide which photos should or should not be transferred. Now the user can decide for himself by choosing which albums to transfer.
Transferring individual photo albums is part of Takeout, which allows users to export data from Google products such as Gmail, Drive and Photos. According to Google, users use Takeout to back up data, to get an overview of what is in an account, or to be able to move data without having to download it first. It also makes it easier for users to try out a new service and they are not limited by a possible data limit of their internet connection when transferring.
Takeout is possible thanks to the Data Transfer Project, an initiative of Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter. With this initiative, the tech companies want to ensure that users can more easily move their data between different services. There are two million exports through Takeout every month, with over 200 billion files exported in 2019.
On Reddit, iOS users are also complaining about how the Google Photos app handles photo library permissions. During the iOS14 beta, it was possible to use Google Photos with selective access to the photo library. However, since the release of the full release, that is not possible. Users will then be notified that the Photos app can only be used if Google has permission to view the full photo library of the users. Why Google chose this is not clear.