You can finally get unlimited Google Photos storage but there’s a catch

A new Google One membership is on the way, offering users unlimited Google Photos cloud storage – however it’s only available to T-Mobile customers in the US, and it’ll cost $ 15 per month. 

Google Photos delivers one of the best photo cloud storage services – ideal for users who upload a lot of high-res images. T-Mobile’s latest Google One membership plan, which the mobile network provider says is launching soon, will also give users 2TB of cloud storage across Gmail and Google Drive. This matches the current top-tier Google One subscription package offered to all Google account holders.

What makes the mobile brand’s announcement unique is that not even Google is giving away unlimited Photos storage for high-quality uploads. 

The One membership

It wasn’t that long ago that Google Photos used to offer unlimited high-quality uploads – a promise it had kept since its unveiling in 2015. 

However back in June 2021, the company started limiting basic users to just 15GB free cloud storage across Google Photos, Drive, and Gmail. 

In a move that mirrors Apple’s own iCloud expanded storage subscription options, media-heavy users looking to expand or upgrade their cloud storage options must join the Google One subscription service. 

Google One is billed as ‘one membership to get more out of Google’. The packages, which are available on a Basic, Standard, and Premium subscription tier, includes perks like expanded Google Drive cloud storage and a VPN for Android and iOS – all of which can be shared with up to five family and friends.  

Finding the right Google One plan

The newest option builds on T-Mobile’s two existing Google One packages: $ 5 a month nets customers 500GB of storage, while a monthly fee of $ 10 delivers 2TB of cloud storage without unlimited Google Photos. 

However, if it makes you feel better, note that T-Mobile’s unlimited photo and video storage plan is only available to the main account holder. 

T-Mobile’s unlimited Google Photos plan will be available from April 26 2022. 

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Windows 11’s best new feature comes with a big catch

Microsoft has announced a powerful new feature for Windows 11 that can protect users from malicious apps and downloads – but to enable it, you’ll have to deal with a pretty big catch: a total reinstall of Windows 11.

The Smart App Control feature aims to keep your PC protected from malicious apps, and as PCWorld reports, this “major enhancement to the Windows 11 security model,” as Microsoft calls it, will be baked into Windows 11, with every new app you run checked to see if it may be a virus – or worse.

It appears to be based on similar tech to SmartScreen, which is included in the Edge web browser, but will go much further in checking apps you run on your PC, including ones you download using other browsers.

This increased level of threat protection is great to have, and will be of particular use to businesses and enterprises that want to ensure their devices are protected. However, it comes with a pretty big caveat: existing Windows 11 users will need to reinstall Windows 11 completely. This means wiping your entire PC and starting again, and that could be a real pain for many users.


Analysis: is it worth it?

Angry man ripping out his hair in front of his laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

As Microsoft explained when it announced the feature, “Devices running previous versions of Windows 11 will have to be reset and have a clean installation of Windows 11 to take advantage of this feature.”

For new Windows 11 devices, this shouldn’t be an issue, as hopefully they'll ship with the latest version of the operating system which includes this feature. However, if you're already running Windows 11 you’ll be faced with a dilemma: do you wipe and reinstall Windows 11, or miss out on added security?

Performing a fresh install of Windows 11 is not a minor task. Although it’s certainly easier than with previous versions of Windows, you’ll be erasing all your apps, documents and settings. You’ll need to make sure all your important documents are backed up before you do this, and then spend time re-downloading and installing your apps and games, and tweaking your settings.

This is a time-consuming process on a single device, but for businesses that have a large number of Windows 11 PCs already it could cause major logistical issues.

Despite this, it’s advisable for many people to perform the reinstall to get the new feature, as any additional protection against online threats is worth having, especially if that protection is baked-in at a system level, which should minimize any impact on performance.

For people who download a lot of programs from the internet, and businesses for which the protection of devices and the data they hold is of the utmost importance, this is an inconvenience that's worth enduring – and the earlier you do it, the less impact it should have.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Windows 11’s best new feature comes with a big catch

Microsoft has announced a powerful new feature for Windows 11 that can protect users from malicious apps and downloads – but to enable it, you’ll have to deal with a pretty big catch: a total reinstall of Windows 11.

The Smart App Control feature aims to keep your PC protected from malicious apps, and as PCWorld reports, this “major enhancement to the Windows 11 security model,” as Microsoft calls it, will be baked into Windows 11, with every new app you run checked to see if it may be a virus – or worse.

It appears to be based on similar tech to SmartScreen, which is included in the Edge web browser, but will go much further in checking apps you run on your PC, including ones you download using other browsers.

This increased level of threat protection is great to have, and will be of particular use to businesses and enterprises that want to ensure their devices are protected. However, it comes with a pretty big caveat: existing Windows 11 users will need to reinstall Windows 11 completely. This means wiping your entire PC and starting again, and that could be a real pain for many users.


Analysis: is it worth it?

Angry man ripping out his hair in front of his laptop

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

As Microsoft explained when it announced the feature, “Devices running previous versions of Windows 11 will have to be reset and have a clean installation of Windows 11 to take advantage of this feature.”

For new Windows 11 devices, this shouldn’t be an issue, as hopefully they'll ship with the latest version of the operating system which includes this feature. However, if you're already running Windows 11 you’ll be faced with a dilemma: do you wipe and reinstall Windows 11, or miss out on added security?

Performing a fresh install of Windows 11 is not a minor task. Although it’s certainly easier than with previous versions of Windows, you’ll be erasing all your apps, documents and settings. You’ll need to make sure all your important documents are backed up before you do this, and then spend time re-downloading and installing your apps and games, and tweaking your settings.

This is a time-consuming process on a single device, but for businesses that have a large number of Windows 11 PCs already it could cause major logistical issues.

Despite this, it’s advisable for many people to perform the reinstall to get the new feature, as any additional protection against online threats is worth having, especially if that protection is baked-in at a system level, which should minimize any impact on performance.

For people who download a lot of programs from the internet, and businesses for which the protection of devices and the data they hold is of the utmost importance, this is an inconvenience that's worth enduring – and the earlier you do it, the less impact it should have.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Sony needs to catch up on nostalgia, while Microsoft buys it up for billions

The announcement of Microsoft agreeing to buy Activision-Blizzard in a $ 68 billion dollar deal shook the gaming industry, with many wondering what’s going to happen once the deal closes.

This means that brands such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, and True Crime: Streets of LA are about to be the property of Microsoft, alongside other brands such as DOOM, Elder Scrolls, Halo, and more.

But this brings up the aspect of where Sony stands in this. With a rumored service called Project Spartacus offering titles from its back catalog of almost 30 years, there’s going to be franchises, such as Crash Bandicoot, which will need more discussion for them to be allowed on the service.

However, this is also representative of how far behind Sony looks compared to Microsoft’s big news, and what it could mean for future generations of consoles and gaming as a whole.

A Sony and Microsoft agreement?

When the Nintendo Online Expansion Pack service was announced in October, Nintendo surprised many by confirming that Microsoft-owned Banjo Kazooie was about to arrive on the service, now available to play on the Switch.

In retrospect, it wasn’t a surprise, mainly due to the starring titular characters Banjo and Kazooie appearing in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as paid DLC, back in 2019.

Also, to see the first game in the series, on the Nintendo Online Service with a ‘by Xbox Game Studios’, will cause anyone older than 20 years old to do a double-take. Especially with the Rare logo appearing once you start up the game. But it shows how far some brands have come since their first outing on other systems.

Banjo-Kazooie

(Image credit: Rare)

Yet Sony is already on the backfoot. It didn’t help matters when the CEO, Jim Ryan, publicly called out its older catalog as ‘dated’ and questioned why anyone would play them, a comment Ryan has seemingly backed away from since.

To dismiss over 25 years of gaming wouldn’t put anyone in a good light, especially the CEO of Sony. But Project Spartacus looks to reverse some of that ill-will, rumored to include games from the PS1 and PS2 era.

While I’m not expecting Onimusha 2 or Rosco McQueen to appear on the service, at least to start with, seeing games such as Ridge Racer and Tomb Raider 2, ready to play on a PlayStation 5 is immensely appealing.

But we’ve been here before already. Back in 2015, Sony enabled PS2 Classics to run on the PlayStation 4, where you could play Ape Escape 2, Resident Evil 4, and almost the entire library of Rockstar Games’ PS2 releases.

Users were hopeful that this would mean the games that you could play on PS3, PSP and PS Vita would eventually work on PlayStation 4, but this wasn’t to be. The program fizzled out after 18 months, and while you can play these on your PlayStation 5, it nowhere near scratches the demand that’s out there.

But it also goes back to who holds the rights. Sony may have another battle soon, to offer the original Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon games, now that they’re about to be the property of Microsoft. These were once tentpole Sony exclusives, at least in the heyday of their original releases. We may see something similar to the agreement that Microsoft and Nintendo had for Banjo to appear on the Switch Online service.

But time will tell. Nostalgia is a powerful asset in gaming, now more than ever. It brings back memories and good feelings of a time when you enjoyed a game for what it was when it was released, not what it could be, either through DLC content or multiplayer season packs.

After so many years of Sony flat-out refusing to honor the past that so many still hold in a great light, Project Spartacus needs to impress on day one, and not repeat the same tropes that its PS2 Classics series on PS4 brought.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Bitdefender wants to protect your device for just over 7 dollars, but there’s a catch

If you're looking for a great deal on security – Bitdefender has extended its Black Friday sale and its Total Security 2020 platform has never been so cheap.

The company is offering a huge 60% discount, which means you pay only $ 35.99 (excluding taxes) for a year's protection instead of the usual $ 89.99. 

That’s about $ 7.20 per device, or just pennies per day, for one of the best security suites on the market.

While there is a VPN tool includes, it's not the best in town for a number of reasons – and we believe you'd be much better off using a standalone service such as  ExpressVPN.

In a nutshell, you get complete protection across up to five of your devices (Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android). The new version includes webcam and anti-ransomware protection and zero system slowdowns, plus dozens of other features.

Just bear in mind that this deal is only valid for the first year and you will likely pay far more going forward. One way to get around the issue is to use a different email on renewal to pass as a new customer. 

We'd recommend leaving the company's Antivirus Plus 2020 and Internet Security 2020 offerings; both of them are fantastic products but will run you $ 12 and $ 4 respectively. With Total Security 2020, you get a much better all-rounder with extra device coverage to boot.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More