Google account users that back up new photos and videos in High quality will have these files counted towards their free 15 GB storage limit starting June 1, 2021. Google will provide a free tool in June 2021 that will let users find and review low-quality photos to stay within the free 15 GB storage limit. Additional file storage can be purchased from Google One, if needed
Another recent Google Photos change is the ability to save photo attachments in a Gmail message directly to Google Photos with a new “Save to Photos” button (JPEG images only).
The newly released Microsoft Office app combines Excel, Word and PowerPoint into a single app that requires less storage space to install. New features include converting images into editable Office documents, scanning and signing PDFs, scanning QR codes, and transferring files between devices.
The Office app is now available for Apple iOS and Android and is free to download.
Gmail Go is a lightweight mail app that was previously available only on devices running the Android Go operating system, but now it is available for all Android users. Not all features in the Gmail app are currently in the Gmail Go, such as Google Meet.
Foxit, a maker of document and imaging software, has a free lightweight PDF Reader app for Windows, Mac, and Linux as well as mobile apps for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. A list of free and paid Foxit products can be found at www.foxitsoftware.com/downloads.
Android custom distributions (ROMs) are replacement operating systems for Android smartphones and tablets. This allows users to customize older devices that may not have available Android updates and extend their service life. This may erase data and void your device’s warranty. Available security updates are usually based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). More information is at
Opera is currently testing its free VPN service in its Opera for Android browser. Free VPN is currently available for the Windows and Mac desktop versions of Opera for extra privacy when browsing the web, and it is especially useful when connected to public Wi-Fi networks.
Microsoft is currently testing a new Excel for Android feature that will allow you to take a picture of data with your phone or tablet and paste the photo’s data into an Excel worksheet. Insert Data from Picture is currently being tested by select Office Insider users.
Google has announced the release of accessibility apps Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier to help users with hearing issues.
Live Transcribe transcribes live audio in real time using Google’s speech recognition technology. This feature is installed on Pixel 3 smartphones under the Accessibility settings and will soon be available in a limited beta release to users worldwide via the Google Play Store.
Sound Amplifier amplifies microphone sounds while reducing unwanted or distracting background noises and is available now at Google Play.