Although Nexus devices have the benefit of receiving software updates directly from Google, outside of that, they aren’t really given an preferential treatment when it comes to apps or services. That might soon change. A recent app teardown involving a new version of Google Photos revealed some interesting references to a perk exclusive to Nexus devices: the ability to backup unlimited original quality photos.
Right now, Google Photos offers unlimited high-quality backups to any and all Android users (Nexus device or not), but those looking to backup original quality photos will have to use their limited Google Drive cloud storage space. Giving owners of Google devices exclusive perks isn’t entirely unheard of, anyone who buys a Chromebook gets 100GB of free Google Drive storage, but even then — it’s not unlimited.
Of course, questions on whether this applies only to photos taken with a Nexus device’s camera or any photos uploaded from the device — like those downloaded from the internet and/or transferred to the phone with a DSLR — remains to be seen. Even then, we don’t imagine there are too many people with DLSRs looking to transfer entire photo collections to their Nexus device, then back those up using the Google Photos app.
Album sorting options
Other changes referenced inside the app (that everyone will soon be able to enjoy) include the ability to sort albums in the Edit Album screen. This can be useful when collaborating with others and you want to keep everything organized. The usual options are here like sorting an album by newest first, oldest first, recently added, and custom (restoring the way they were initially organized).
Device folders get their own albums
A huge deal (at least for me) is that device folders may soon get their own albums. This means should you decide to backup a device folder from your phone, they’ll now have their own album in Google Photos — no need to sort things manually. This will make it easy to go into an album on Google Photos and quickly find everything that was backed up in a specific device folder on your phone (if you want to view all the Snapchats you’ve saved, for instance).
New photo editing tools
Google Photos could also be adding new options for editing photos, but don’t go expecting Snapseed level controls. Right now Google Photos only offers a very basic set of editing options — color, light, pop, and vignette — but exposure and contrast should be coming in a future update. Again, these are just a few options severely lacking in Photos, although we wouldn’t mind seeing options for shadows, highlights, and ambience like we had in the original AOSP Gallery app.
So that just about wraps up what could be coming down the line. Just remember that because there are references to this stuff found inside the app, things could change at any time and some of these features — if not all of them — may never make it into a final release. If nothing else, at least you know Google was working on it.