Google Photos has drifted past the 5 billion download milestone on the Play Store, that’s despite the news that free photo and video backups are set to end very soon.

When Google Photos launched, there simply was nothing else like it in the mobile landscape. A replacement gallery app that would effectively backup all of your precious memories for free in the cloud, making them instantly accessible across devices. While the “free” backup element is set to disappear, Google Photos is still a really good way to manage your snaps, download them across devices and just access them in a consistent manner.

Google Photos has since morphed into a complete hub for your images and videos — making it a must-download for most people. It allows you to edit, apply filters, even order physical copies of your favorites in photobooks, and more. You’d expect interest to wane now that the free backup option is disappearing, but Google Photos has still managed to cruise to 5 billion downloads with approximately 1 billion active users reported as of July 2019 according to Android Police.

Of course, the download figure for Google Photos is bolstered substantially as it does come pre-installed on almost every Android device sold. This wasn’t always the case, and that 1 billion download milestone achieved back in 2017 was prior to the pre-installation on devices.

Expect that Google Photos download figure to increase steadily over the coming years, but we’d actually expect the daily user figure to drop substantially now that you’ll require an active Google One subscription for added online storage.

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