Yes, the year is already half over, but it’s not too late for some spring cleaning – in your Google account.
You might want to consider uncluttering your account because as of June 1, Google Photos stopped providing unlimited storage. That means your account can only expand to 15 gigabytes beyond what you had as of June 1.
Your Google account combines storage for Google Drive, Photos and Gmail, so you could regularly do some pruning in those programs to help avoid going over the limit. Otherwise, you can pay the $1.99 monthly rate for its Google One entry-level 100-gigabyte plan (you can also pot to save 16% by paying the $19.99 annual rate). Additional plans offer up to 2 terabytes.
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More modest data users can take some steps to stem bulk data buildup including updating your Gmail inbox, which can stealthily swell thanks to attachments and subscribed email lists. Google announced its new data plan back in November.
Beyond Google, there are other storage options including online plans from Amazon, Apple, Dropbox and others, plus you can move photos and videos to external storage devices, too. Regardless, you might want to consider storing second or third copies of important photos and videos on an external drive or USB drive, just in case your computer or cloud storage service has issues.
What else happened in tech?
• Facebook law. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle of the Northern District of Florida blocked a Florida law that would penalize social media companies for barring the speech of politicians. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he planned to appeal the law, which the judge said likely be ruled unconstitutional because it would have forced social media companies to allow speech even if it violated their rules. The technology industry challenged the law, which Florida lawmakers approved after Facebook, Twitter and YouTube suspended President Trump’s accounts following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
• Twitch turns 10. The Amazon-owned service, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, has evolved from video game-centric site into a video streaming home for musicians and other creators to make a living.
• YouTube TV adds 4K, downloads. You can now watch 4K video and download videos to go on YouTube TV – if you want to pay a bit more. The service will let you try the new 4K Plus feature, which also includes Dolby surround sound, for free for one month. After that, a current promotional fee gets you the upgrades for $9.99 monthly for one year before it bumps up to the regular $19.99 fee.
Big video game makers Sony and Nintendo have made considerable acquisitions in recent days but the trend “might actually be a good thing,” suggests Inverse’s Tomas Franzese.
If you weren’t keeping score: Sony acquired Housemarque, developer of the PS5 game “Returnal,” and Nixxes Software, which excels at bringing PlayStation games to PCs. Meanwhile, Nintendo snatched up Next Level Games, which developed “Luigi’s Mansion 3.” Publisher Take-Two Interactive made an acquisition of its own, facial animation and motion capture studio Dynamixyz, which had contributed to “Red Dead Redemption 2: and “NBA 2K21.”
Meanwhile, rumors persist that Sony might also acquire “Demon’s Souls” developer Bluepoint, notes GamesBeat’s Jeff Grubb. Meanwhile, at Microsoft, which added Bethesda Softworks’ parent ZeniMax to its Xbox team last year, Xbox Head Phil Spencer told IGN that studios being acquired “is a natural and healthy part of our industry.”
This week on Talking Tech
On the Talking Tech podcast, we talk about the Alexa’s new ability to read books along with your kids and TikTok’s plan to rollout longer videos of up to three minutes.
Contributing: Terry Collins, Jessica Guynn, Brett Molina and Rob Pegoraro