For a long time, Google Photos has been offering the option for users to upload their photos and videos over mobile data. In order to prevent overconsumption of data, it also offers the option to backup videos over Wi-Fi only. For countries where the availability of Wi-Fi is not always assured, instead of this, there exists an option to set a limit to the amount of data consumed daily. Google now appears to have accidentally rolled out this setting globally for all Android users.
First reported by 9to5Google, if users navigate to Google Photos > Photos settings > Backup & sync, they can find the option. This option allows users to set a daily backup limit while using mobile data. The options to choose from for daily available allowances range between No data, 5MB, 10MB, 30MB, and Unlimited. Moreover, there is a separate toggle for photo and video backup when on roaming. As of now, the option to disable video backups while using mobile data has been removed.
Accidental Mistake or Intentional Update?
The Photos support page still directs users to the settings prior to the change. Therefore users believe that the rollout might have been a mistake by Google. While the Android version of the app is mired with confusion about this, the iOS version of continues to display the option to enable or disable video backups while using mobile data. Since the daily data limits are quite low as per US and European standards, and users cannot manually increase this, people suspect this to be an accident by Google.
In countries such as Thailand, Brazil, India, and Nigeria, users have a relatively lower data allowance. They also have limited or no regular access to a Wi-Fi network. This feature is helpful to users of Google Photos from these regions. However, this is not necessary for developed nations. Moreover, some people prefer backing up their photos immediately over a mobile network. Since videos are larger in size, people often prefer backing them up exclusively over Wi-Fi.