Google Photos has long been the go-to option for Android users, offering seamless backup, editing, and AI features. However, with the recent changes to its storage policy, users are now seeking alternatives. Enter Microsoft OneDrive, a powerful cloud storage service that also boasts a capable photos gallery and recently added photo editing tools. But can it truly replace Google Photos as the ultimate backup tool on Android? Let’s compare the two and find out.
OneDrive, as part of Microsoft’s ‘Mobile first, Cloud first’ mantra, is natively available on Windows, iOS, Android, Mac, and the Web. On the other hand, Google Photos has native apps for Android and iOS, while Windows and Mac users have to rely on the Web or Progressive Web App (PWA). OneDrive also enjoys direct integration with the Photos app on Windows 10, giving it an advantage over Google Photos in terms of cross-platform availability.
User Interface and Widgets
Both OneDrive and Google Photos sport a user-friendly interface following Material Design guidelines, with a handy bottom bar for navigation. They also offer support for dark mode. While Google Photos takes you directly to the homepage displaying all uploaded photos, OneDrive takes you to the Files section where you can find files and folders uploaded to the cloud. However, OneDrive has the upper hand with a useful widget that allows users to easily search for photos or open the photos tab within the app. Surprisingly, Google Photos lacks widget support on Android, though they offer an iOS 14 widget.
Auto Backup and Organization
Both Google Photos and OneDrive provide the option to auto-upload images and videos to their platforms. However, Google Photos is known for its more accurate and consistent background upload process. OneDrive sometimes experiences issues with auto-upload due to aggressive Android skins, causing the app to go into sleep mode. In terms of organization, OneDrive excels by neatly organizing every photo and video under specific month folders in the Camera folder, making it easier to locate specific pictures in a large library of photos. Microsoft is also set to release an update that automatically creates folders based on the upload source of your pictures.
Features and Security
OneDrive offers built-in fingerprint protection, a feature lacking in Google Photos. Additionally, OneDrive includes a robust Personal Vault secured by two-step verification, auto-locking after 3 minutes of inactivity, and unlocking only with biometrics. Google Photos, on the other hand, allows users to lock photos in a separate folder but lacks the overall implementation and security measures of OneDrive’s Personal Vault. When it comes to search capabilities, Google Photos has the upper hand with its ability to search for photos based on people, places, and scenarios. OneDrive also auto-tags photos but lacks Google’s superior AI in differentiating places and scenes. Furthermore, Google Photos offers impressive AI-generated suggestions for enhancing photos with auto-applied filters and creating animations, collages, and cinematic photos.
Editing and Sharing Photos
Google Photos takes the lead in terms of photo editing, offering a wide range of options such as cropping, adjusting, applying filters, and AI-based suggestions. OneDrive recently added photo editing functions, but they are limited to crop and adjustments like brightness, exposure, contrast, and shadows. OneDrive lacks features like doodling on photos and a variety of filters. In terms of sharing, both platforms allow users to generate share links, but Google Photos goes a step further by enabling direct photo sharing within the app interface. Users can create groups to share photos among friends and family, eliminating the need for other services.
Google Photos offers a generous 15 GB of free storage, but that storage is shared with Gmail and Google Drive. Beyond that, users must subscribe to Google One, starting at $1.99 per month for 100 GB. OneDrive provides 5 GB of free storage and offers Microsoft 365 subscriptions, starting at $59.99 per year, which includes 1 TB of OneDrive storage along with Microsoft Office apps.
In conclusion, the choice between OneDrive and Google Photos depends on individual preferences and needs. OneDrive is ideal for those already using Microsoft 365 and Windows 10, seeking an Android widget, and valuing security and better photo organization. On the other hand, Google Photos excels in sharing capabilities, AI-based suggestions, and comprehensive editing functions. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make based on what matters most to you.