Apple finally makes it possible to move photos from iCloud Photos to Google Photos
Apple hasn’t always been one to play nicely with others when it comes to opening its ecosystem. For example, while there have been ways to move photos around between other cloud photos services from Google, Microsoft or Dropbox, iCloud Photos users have been left out in the cold. If you wanted to transfer your photos out of iCloud Photos, you would have to manually download them first and reupload them to your service of choice -- for someone like me, with nearly 50,000 photos in iCloud Photos and 3,500 videos, it would simply take far too long.
Thankfully, and somewhat out of the blue, Apple has launched a new web-based tool that now allows iCloud Photos users to seamlessly move their library to Google Photos. As someone who has switched from using an iPhone over many years to Android (which effectively changing my primary camera), I can now finally merge my Google Photos library with my iCloud Photos library. Once this is done, a process that takes between three to seven days according to Apple, I can finally ditch my paid iCloud 2 TB storage tier -- for the record, my total transfer amounts to just over 600 GB.
The process is quite straightforward and requires users to sign in with their Apple ID at privacy.apple.com and select ‘Transfer a copy of your data’. Users simply follow the prompts which includes signing into a Google account to initiate the transfer. Apple has published a support document outlining the process and its limitations. For example, shared albums, smart albums, photo stream content, live photos, some metadata and photos and videos stored in other iCloud folders or locations is not transferred. The service is initially only available in Australia, Canada, the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.