Q: I pay Apple an extra fee to store my thousands of iPhone photos on its iCloud online service. But I’d rather switch to Google Photos, because it offers more free storage. (I realize I might still have to pay for some extra storage.) I also want to be able to download my Google photos to my desktop computer and keep backup copies there. And before I do all this, I need an easy way to eliminate all the doubles and triples I have of some iPhone photos. What do you suggest?
Cathy Prusinski, Dyer, Ind.
A: There are arguments for and against switching cloud storage services.
Google does give you more free online storage (15 gigabytes) than Apple (5 gigabytes.) But the 15 gigabytes are shared by Google Photos, Gmail and Google Drive (which stores documents), so it probably won’t be enough to hold thousands of photos, too.
An alternative Google storage plan allows you to store an unlimited number of photos if you allow Google to permanently reduce its resolution, or quality, to save storage space. But Google is discontinuing that option in June.
The good news is that buying additional online memory from Google is cheap — but it’s cheap from Apple, too, which is an argument for not changing cloud storage services. Google charges $2 a month for 100 gigabytes and Apple charges $1 a month for 50 gigabytes.
But there’s another option for getting more free online storage space, and here Google has the advantage.
Google’s 15-gigabyte limit applies to a single Google account, and there’s nothing to prevent you from signing up for a second free account that has its own 15 gigabytes of free storage. Getting a second Apple iCloud account would only get you another 5 gigabytes.
To transfer Google photos to your computer, open Gmail and click the icon at the upper right that looks like a square made up of dots. In the resulting menu, click “photos.” To save a picture to your computer, double-click the photo to open it, then click the three dots at the upper right and choose “downloads.”
To eliminate duplicate photos on your phone, search Apple’s App Store for “Remo Duplicate Photos Remover,” “Photo Finder: iCloud & Duplicate” or “Gemini Photos: Gallery Cleaner.”
Q: After I bought my iPhone 11, I was able to use Microsoft’s Outlook app to access my Comcast e-mail account. But after I upgraded the iPhone’s operating system to iOS 14.2, I could only receive Comcast e-mails, not send any. I think it’s just a settings issue, but Comcast, Apple or Microsoft haven’t been able to help. What should I do?
Jim Connors, Merrimack, N.H.
A: It isn’t a settings issue. The Outlook app for the iPhone wasn’t designed to be compatible with Comcast’s Xfinity e-mail system. My guess is that your phone’s iOS update just made the incompatibility more obvious.
If you want to continue using Comcast’s e-mail system, you will have to give up on the Outlook app and access your Comcast mail through the xfinity.com website or via the Xfinity Connect app for iPhone (see tinyurl.com/y9f5xp9y).
If you want to keep using the Outlook app, you will need to switch to an e-mail system that’s compatible with it, such as Google’s Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Apple’s iCloud or Microsoft’s Outlook.com (a Web-based mail system that is not related to the Outlook app.)
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