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Google Photos free storage has ended – here’s what you need to do

It feels like Google Photos has existed a whole lot longer than the five years it’s been around. By 2019 the service had attracted over 1 billion users, meaning that Google’s recent decision to stop providing free unlimited storage is a huge blow to, well, more than a billion people.

As of 1 June 2021 any photos or videos you upload, or which are uploaded automatically by the app, will count against your 15GB of Google storage, or however much storage you have with your Google account.

Only Google’s own phones – the Pixel 2 through to 5 – will be exempt from the new rules. If you own one, here’s what happens now:

  • Pixel 3a, 4, 4a, 5: You’ll still have unlimited ‘Storage saver’ uploads, but not Original quality.
  • Pixel 3: Unlimited free Original quality photos until 1 January 2022. After that, unlimited Storage saver uploads.
  • Pixel 2: Unlimited Storage saver uploads.
  • Original Pixel (2016): Unlimited Original quality uploads until your phone stops working.

For everyone else, you get to keep your uploaded photos and videos, but anything uploaded on or after 1 June will count against your Google storage. 

Google Photos won’t delete your photos

Technically, you don’t need to do anything differently now because photos and videos you take on your phone will still be uploaded to Google Photos as normal, even after 1 June. But uploads (backups) will stop when your Google storage is full.

This means those images and videos will stay on your phone and won’t be backed up in the cloud. That may be ok with you, and it doesn’t mean you can’t view those photos in the Google Photos app on your phone and benefit from all the great features such as automatic tagging, the subject-based search (such as “cats” or “cars”) and the automatic creations such as animations and videos.

Aside from the fact you no longer have an online backup of your photos and videos, you won’t be able to access them in Google Photos from any other device.

I love being able to quickly find a photo in web browser version of Google Photos, but once your storage is full, the web version won’t update with new photos and videos.

What’s Storage saver?

Google has changed the name of ‘High quality’ uploads to ‘Storage saver’.

This is a tacit admission that this option, which compresses photos and videos and doesn’t store the original-quality files (except for photos 16Mp or under), isn’t really high quality at all. So you may want to rethink your options and start uploading at Original quality.

If you don’t want to pay for Google One storage – see below – then here are the

How can I free up Google Photos storage space?

You can. But this is only a temporary fix as that space will fill up again with photos and videos sooner or later.

Google is also rolling out a tool that identifies blurry, dark photos and large videos so you can choose which ones to delete to free up space.

Don’t forget, though, that your 15GB of free storage is used by Gmail and Google Drive as well as Google Photos, so you’ll need to keep some storage free if you want to keep receiving emails and creating new Google Docs or uploading files.

You’ll have received an email about the change and in it is a link to a personalised estimate of when your free storage will fill up, so it could be months or years depending upon how many photos and videos you take.

If you missed it, open the Google Photos app and look in the Manage storage section (under Backup & sync) to see the same estimate.

Get more Google Photos storage with Google One

Ultimately, if you want to continue backing up to Google Photos you’ll have to pay. This isn’t as expensive as you might fear. The service is called- a sort of combined storage and.

Upgrading to 100GB is less than £2/$2 per month and you can have up to 2TB if you need it. Check out our fullfor more on the costs and benefits of the service.

If you do add more storage to Google Photos, this is a great excuse to make sure all of your photos and videos are backed up there, so make sure to check out.

What other options do I have to back up photos and videos from my camera roll?

If you prefer, you can sign up to one of thewhich may offer even more storage or – better still – a lifetime plan which means you pay once for a set amount of storage and there’s then no subscription fee to pay after that.

An example iswhich offers 500GB for a one-off payment of £175 or 2TB for £350. Both are 65% discounts on the normal prices.

The pCloud app for Android and iOS offers automatic backups of your camera roll too, so you won’t have to do anything – just like Google Photos.

Obviously you lose the great features of Google Photos mentioned earlier –  plus the photos and video editing tools. Which is why you might prefer to pay for Google One storage instead.

Unfortunately, there are no free services which are equivalent alternatives to Google Photos. If you have a, you can probably use it to back up your camera roll. As for online services, iCloud isn’t free and neither is Flickr (which now limits free users to 1000 photos).

For more details on those, see our roundup of the

If you decide to move to a new storage solution, don’t worry – there’s an easy way to, so that you can re-upload them to your new backup.

We discussed the changes in our, which you can watch right here:

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How to update Android

Android is one of the biggest mobile operating systems out there, running on the majority of smartphones that aren’t iPhones (which run iOS). Keeping your Android-powered phone up to date is key to ensuring that you get the latest features and that your device remains secure.

Security patches for Android are delivered on a monthly, basis while full-blown Android updates are released annually – typically around August or September (additional, incremental Android OS updates do sometimes seed too, although there’s no set frequency).

Devices that run close-to-stock Android (such as Google Pixel, Motorola and Nokia phones) typically get these OS and security updates first, while handsets from other manufacturers – with more heavily modified Android experiences – may have to wait weeks or even months for their equivalent updates to arrive.

How long updates take to arrive on a device can vary by manufacturer, the class of device (i.e. budget, mid-range or flagship) and in some cases, carrier involvement.

Manufacturers will typically support higher-end Android devices for longer (at least a couple of years after release but some manufacturers are now committing to longer-term support) than cheaper models. It’s for this reason that there’s so much fragmentation in the Android market, as we’ll outline below.

What is the latest version of Android?

The latest publicly available version of Google’s mobile OS is, which was released in autumn 2020. Google has ditched the dessert names on its latest software, so just expect a numerical format from now on. 

Previous versions of Android are as follows:

  • Android Donut (v1.6)
  • Android Eclair (v2.0)
  • Android Froyo (v2.2)
  • Android Gingerbread (v2.3)
  • Android Honeycomb (v3.0)
  • Android Ice Cream Sandwich (v4.0)
  • Android Jelly Bean (v4.1)
  • Android KitKat (v4.4)
  • Android Lollipop (v5.0)
  • Android Marshmallow (v6.0)
  • Android Nougat (v7.0)
  • Android Oreo (v8.0)
  • Android Pie (v9.0)
  • Android 10

is on track for an August/September 2021 release and we already have details on everything it’s bringing to the table, as well asand try it out for yourself, early.

Manually update once available

Most phones automatically notify you of new updates by default, but will only download them when connected to WiFi and when they have over 50% of battery. 

If you’d like to check if there are any updates for your device manually, the process is incredibly simple. Head to Settings and choose System. Under the ‘Advanced’ drop-down menu you’ll see an option for ‘System updates’. Tapping on this will initiate a check to see if there are any updates available, and prompt you to download anything more recent than what your device currently has installed.

The above steps will work on a Pixel phone, but it may differ slightly depending on which device you use. For example, using Samsung’s One UI user experience, there’s a ‘Software update’ option straight from the main Settings menu screen.

If your device’s settings menu has a search function, simply searching for the word ‘update’ and looking for a result called something along the lines of ‘System Updates’ should point you in the right direction.

Android Device Fragmentation

Despite a glowing report from StatCounter in early 2021 claiming that adoption of Android 11 has been faster than any previous release (at least in markets like the US), the OS still suffers from a sizeable fragmentation issue.

While Google no longer publicly shares fragmentation data like this to the public (although developers can still get eyes on it), based on StatCounter’s unofficial figures, Android 10 still runs on the majority of Android devices, despite Android 12’s release looming.

Even if you’re running software that is no longer supported, missing some features and or finding your device is increasingly buggy, it makes little sense to bin an otherwise working smartphone. This is especially true if you’re on a budget, althoughproves you don’t have to spend much these days to get a great Android phone. 

How to watch the Europa League final for free

The Europa League final is here. After almost nine months of competition and hundreds of matches, Man Utd will take on Villarreal in a one-off tie in Gdańsk, Poland.

The Red Devils are strong favourites to win their first trophy in four years, and first under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. However, having finished second in the, the extra incentive ofqualification for next season doesn’t apply. The same cannot be said of opponents Villarreal, who finished seventh in La Liga.

Here’s how you can watch all the action for free, wherever you are in the world.

When is the Europa League final?

The 2021 Europa League final takes place on Wednesday 26 May in Gdańsk’s Stadion Energa. Kick-off is 9pm local time, or 8pm in the UK. Here’s how that translates around the world.

  • 12pm PDT
  • 3pm EDT
  • 8pm BST
  • 9pm CEST

Head to the UEFA website to see a full guide to the.

How to watch the Europa League final free in the UK

BT Sport has exclusive rights to the Europa League in the UK, so you usually need an active subscription in order to start watching.

However, the broadcaster is making both the Europa League final available for free via the official. We’ve embedded the stream at the top of this page. Full coverage of the event begins at 6.30pm UK time, and will be live streamed for viewers at a resolution of up to 4K.

If you’d still like to subscribe (perhaps in preparation for next season), check out all the deals on , including if you just want If you want access to , you can easily do so by updating your viewing card. Prices currently start at £10 per month with £29.99 upfront. 

BT Sport is also now offering a, which gives you unlimited access to all the channels for £25 a month. This is contract-free, so you can dip in and out at any time. 

How to watch the Europa League final for free from abroad

BT Sport is usually geo-restricted, which means you can only officially stream the final if you’re based in the UK.

However, before using the following method, we’d encourage you to find out if the official broadcaster in your country is making similar arrangements. That’s CBS/Univision in the US, Optus Sport in Australia or Sony Pictures Networks in the Indian subcontinent.

If you still need to pay to access the local coverage, we’d recommend accessing the BT Sport stream using a VPN. This will allow you to still appear as if you’re in the UK and retain access to channels, and it’s completely legal. 

 is one of our top recommendations, but you can check out our , which shows you some of the best services for accessing UK content from abroad.

If you’re only planning on using the VPN for the football, you might also want to consider a. Nearly all will have a UK server, but there may be strict data limits. 

While you’re here, you might also be interested in how to watch the,and. 

How to tune in to Nvidia’s Computex 2021 keynote

Nvidia is set to take to the stage at Computex 2021 with its ‘Transformational Power of Accelerated Computing, From Gaming to the Enterprise Data Center’ keynote, and while that doesn’t sound like something that gamers might be interested in, the inclusion of a particular Nvidia exec – and multiple RTX 3080 Ti leaks – suggests we’re about to see a new RTX 30 Series graphics card.

Here’s all you need to know about Nvidia’s Computex 2021 keynote, including start times in different timezones, how you can tune in live and what to expect from the event.

When does Nvidia’s Computex 2021 Keynote begin?

Nvidia has confirmed that its keynote is set to kick off at 1pm local time in Taipei, which translates to either a very late or very early start depending on where you’re tuning in from around the world.

Those on the West Coast of the US are the luckiest, able to tune in at 10pm PDT on 31 May, but those on the East Coast and the UK aren’t quite as lucky, translating to the early hours of 1am EDT and 6am BST respectively on 1 June. Better set those alarms now if you want to watch it live!

Here’s a breakdown of the event timezones:

  • 1pm Taiwan Time (local) on 31 May
  • 10pm PDT on 31 May
  • 1am EDT on 1 June
  • 6am BST on 1 June
  • 7am CEST on 1 June

How can I watch the Nvidia Computex 2021 live stream?

As you might expect, Nvidia is planning on livestreaming the entire keynote so those around the world can tune in and see what the company has up its sleeve.

With that being said, you’ll be able to watch the Nvidia keynote via thealong with the usual suspects includingand the company’stoo.

We’ll embed the livestream in this article once it becomes available, so simply bookmark this page and head back on 31 May/1 June to tune in.  

What should I expect from Nvidia at Computex 2021?

The official title of Nvidia’s Computex 2021 keynote is ‘The Transformational Power of Accelerated Computing, From Gaming to the Enterprise Data Center’ and let’s be honest, it doesn’t sound that interesting for consumers – but don’t let that fool you.

The title does point towards a focus on data centres and artificial intelligence, both likely aimed at an Enterprise audience, but the mention of gaming suggests something a little more consumer-focused could also be revealed at the event.  

While it’s yet to be confirmed, rumours suggest we could see the reveal of the– several real-world images of the upcoming graphics card have appeared online in recent weeks, so we know it’s coming soon, and Computex 2021 would be the perfect opportunity to reveal it.

That’s especially true given its main competitor, AMD, is also hosting awhere it’s expected to announce its Radeon RX 6600 XT graphics card.

It’s also worth pointing out that Jeff Fisher, the senior VP of GeForce is set to take the stage during the keynote. The exec revealed the RTX 3060 graphics card earlier this year, so it’s possible that history could repeat itself at the Computex 2021 keynote. Who better to talk about the capabilities of a new GPU than one of the people in charge?

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How to use Apple’s HomePod as a TV speaker

Unlike the likes of the Amazon Echo Studio, Apple’s HomePod doesn’t feature a 3.5mm headphone jack or optical cable to plug directly into your TV, but there is a way to wirelessly connect it to your TV using an Apple TV 4K. The catch? It’s a feature exclusive to the second-gen Apple TV 4K, meaning you might need to upgrade to the latest model to take advantage.

It was previously possible to stream Apple TV audio to a HomePod, which is great when you’re watching Netflix on the streamer, but it wouldn’t work if you switched to your PS4 or a Blu-ray player. However, theuses HDMI Arc or eARC to ‘receive high-quality audio from a supported TV and then play that audio through your HomePod speakers’ according to Apple.

You’ll need to make sure your TV supports ARC or eARC technology to use your HomePod as a TV speaker, but most modern smart 4K TVs do, so you likely won’t need to upgrade to an entirely new TV at least.

It’s also not exclusive to a single HomePod. In fact, it’s recommended that you use a stereo pair of HomePods for the full cinema audio experience. Those with the smaller HomePod Minis are out of luck though; it’s a feature exclusive to the larger HomePod for now.

It’s a little complicated to set up, but we take you through each step right here.

How to use the HomePod as a TV speaker

The process is broken down into three parts, with the initial steps requiring an iPhone or iPad with the Apple Home app installed.

Set up a HomePod stereo pair (optional, but recommended)

If you’re going to use two HomePods as a home cinema system, you’ll first need to create a stereo pair. Feel free to skip ahead to the next section if you’re only using a single HomePod, or if you’ve already set up a HomePod stereo pair.

  1. Open the Home app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap and hold the HomePod icon.
  3. Scroll down and tap Create Stereo Pair.
  4. Select the HomePods you’d like to pair together.
  5. Adjust the audio output so they’re assigned to the correct channels.

Your HomePod stereo pair will then be set up, and it’ll be ready to use within a few seconds.

Set up a room

The next step is to assign your Apple TV and HomePod(s) to the same room in the Home app. If you’re yet to create a Room for your products, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Home app on iPhone or iPad
  2. Tap the + icon in the top-left and tap Add Room.
  3. Name your room and tap Save.

Once you’ve got a room set up, follow these steps to make sure your Apple TV 4K and HomePod(s) are correctly assigned:

  1. Open the Home app on iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap and hold the HomePod icon.
  3. Scroll down and tap Room.
  4. Select a room and tap the X icon to save.
  5. Repeat this process for the Apple TV 4K, making sure it’s assigned to the same room as the HomePod.

Set up your TV output

The final step – and the most important one – is to enable the eARC functionality on your second-gen Apple TV 4K. This allows the Apple TV 4K to receive audio from other TV outputs and stream it to HomePods in the same room.

It’s also worth checking your TV manual for whether ARC/eARC functionality on your TV is limited to a single HDMI input – if so, make sure your Apple TV 4K is connected to the right port.

Once you’re ready:

  1. On your Apple TV 4K, open the Settings app.
  2. Select Video and Audio.
  3. Select Audio Output.
  4. Select your HomePod as the default audio output.
  5. Under Arc Return Channel (Beta), select Play Television Audio.

Your Apple TV 4K will then check to make sure your TV supports ARC/eARC, and it’ll then start to wirelessly transmit all TV audio – not just Apple TV audio – to your HomePod system.

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How to watch PlayStation State of Play

Just like Nintendo Directs or Inside Xbox, the PlayStation State of Play videos are one of the ways Sony updates fans with new game reveals, details, and more, so they’re essential viewing for anyone who wants to keep up with what’s coming next for PlayStation.

They’re easy to miss if you’re not paying attention though – so here’s when the next State of Play takes place, what it’s about, and how to watch along live. You can also take a look at our picks of the, and how to watch. 

When is the next State of Play?

The next State of Play takes place today, Thursday 27 May at the following times:

  • 5pm BST (UK time)
  • 9am PT
  • 12pm ET
  • 6pm CET

Sony has said that that the segment will last for 20 minutes, with 14 minutes being dedicated to game footage for Horizon Forbidden West.

How to watch State of Play

When the stream starts you’ll be able to watch on the PlayStationandchannels. We’ve embedded the livestream below so you can tune in via this page:

What to expect from the next State of Play

The upcoming episode will focus on Horizon Forbidden West, an upcoming action RPG, starring the character Aloy. Aloy is on a quest to get to the Forbidden West to find a cure for a mysterious and deadly plague – but the journey will take her through various harsh landscapes along the way. 

The event has not mentioned that it will be covering anything to do with hardware or other games, sadly. 

How to watch HBO Max in the UK

While US viewers can enjoy all the shows and films available on HBO Max, international viewers are sadly missing out on this streaming giant that has the likes of Friends, the Studio Ghibli movies, the DC catalogue and new HBO new shows such as Lovecraft Country.

Fortunately, we’ve managed to successfully find a workaround. It’s a similar method that we use to watch the likes of,and- through using a VPN.

Here’s how you can access HBO Max from the UK – you can use this method to watch the latest HBO Max release, the. We also recommend taking a look at how to watch, and the differences between.

This method will allow you to tune into the likes ofand every other Warner Bros. movie that’s planned to launch on the service in 2021 or 2022 – including Dune, The Matrix 4, and The Suicide Squad.

Watch HBO Max using a VPN

To sign up for subscription you have to go to theHowever, you won’t be able to open the website on your normal UK browser due to the site only being available in the US. However, this is easily overcome through the use of a VPN.

Having a VPN (virtual private network) allows you to change your IP address so you can browse the internet as if you’re based in another country. For HBO Max, you will need a US server. For the best performance and pricing we recommend eitheror. You can also take a look at our list of the.

Once you’ve chosen your VPN, you’ve gotten past the first hurdle of watching HBO Max. The next will be when you need to input your payment information.

Billing information for HBO Max

For the next step, you’ll need the HBO Max app. We have successfully tested this method using NordVPN – based on our experience of. 

Once you’ve signed up for your VPN of choice, you’ll need to download it on either your iOS or Android device. The HBO Max website currently only allows you to sign up if you have a payment card that’s tied to the US. If you don’t have that, here are the steps you should take:

  • Launch your VPN on your iOS/Android device and connect to a US server
  • Create a new Apple ID/Google Play account in your browser that’s tied to the US (leave the country blank)
  • Register your new account on your iOS/Android device app store
  • You should now have access to the US app store – download and install the HBO Max app
  • Tap ‘skip’ if the app store asks you to add payment information to your account
  • Create a new account in the HBO Max app with your email address and password
  • Use PayPal as your method of payment (this can be a UK account)
  • Once your account is verified, you can sign in from any device

We have had reports of people not being able to install HBO Max on iOS as the app store forces users to register their payment details within the app store, and doesn’t accept UK PayPal if you try to register with this account. 

If this happens to you, we recommend purchasing US App Store credit via a digital gift card – which can be added as a US payment option.

This can be bought from places such as, though there are other retailers available – you’ll need a website that allows you to pay with UK bank details. The typical minimum amount you can purchase will be $25 – enough to cover one month’s subscription of HBO Max at $14.99, or $9.99 for the upcoming cheaper ad-supported tier set to launch in early June.

If you set your email address as the recipient, the code to redeem the money will be sent to your inbox. When you come to add the payment information, select ‘redeem gift card or code’, and you should be able to add the money as credit on your account.

With this, you should then be able to sign up for an HBO Max account – and you should be able to change your payment information back to your UK PayPal via the website to avoid having to pay for a new gift card every single time.

We’ve gone into more detail in our article on. We’ve also done the same for.

You should now be able to watch HBO Max as if you were in the US, providing you have a VPN on the device you’re using – you’ll need to use the VPN every time you want to watch something.

As always when using a VPN to access content abroad, be aware that you’ll be in violation of HBO Max’s terms of use, so the company could theoretically cancel your account if it realises you’re using a VPN. Proceed at your own risk.

How to watch the French Open 2021

The French Open is nearly here, and the competition is fierce. In the men’s, champion Rafal Nadal is aiming for a record 14th title, but Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer stand in his way. In the women’s draw it’s anyone’s guess, so it would be smart to keep an eye on defending champion Iga Swiatek – especially now that Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the competition.

Though The French Open is hosting an audience, it’s a lot more limited and strict than usual due to the pandemic – though that won’t matter if you’re tuning in from home anyway.

Here’s how to watch the tournament live and for free on just about any device, anywhere in the world – including how to watch the event in 4K HDR.

When is the French Open?

The tournament is back to its usual slot in the season after a late start last year, and began on Sunday 30 May and will conclude with the men’s singles final on 13 June.

Watch the French Open in the UK

In the UK, ITV is broadcasting coverage, so you can can tune into ITV 4 on your TV and see the tournament’s key matches totally for free.

If you’d rather watch on a smart device, you’ll also be able to watch full coverage and catch-up on ITV Hub, either in aor via the ITV Hub app on or. You can even watch ITV Hub from outside the UK if you use a VPN like- we go into more detail below.

Remember that you need a  to watch live on TV or online, or even on catch-up.

Unfortunately ITV 4 isn’t available in HD on Freeview (it’s in standard definition on channel 24), so you can only watch in HD (and higher) if you have a premium TV package with Eurosport included. 

You can watch the French Open in HD on Eurosport on Virgin (channels 521 and 522), Sky (channels 521 and 411) and BT (channels 435 and 436).

Roland-Garros will also be shown on. But access is not free: you need to subscribe directly to watch on Eurosport Player, which costs £6.99 per month on a rolling plan (or £4.99 for an annual plan), or have the Eurosport 1 and 2 channels included in your TV package with Sky, Virgin or BT.

How to watch the French Open in 4K HDR

UK Virgin customers with a V6 box will also have the option to watch the entire tournament in crisp and clear 4K UHD. To do this, you can tune into Eurosport as usual (channels 521 and 522) and press the red button on your remote. Alternatively you can simply go straight to Virgin TV Ultra HD (channels 205 and 999).

You can find out if Eurosport/Virgin TV Ultra HD is included in your package on.

How to watch the French Open in the US

In the States, NBC will broadcast full coverage of this year’s tournament. You’ll need a cable subscription to NBC Sports, which also lets you stream the tennis on the NBC Sports app. 

If you don’t have cable the easiest way to watch will be via NBC’sstreaming service, which has plans starting from justand gets you access to loads of other TV, movies, and live sport. It’s also possible toif you’re based elsewhere.

US fans can also subscribe to, though it’s not cheap at $110 per year. On the other hand this will let you watch over 100 ATP & WTA events, so it might be worth it if you’re a tennis devotee.

Watch the French Open anywhere in the world

It’s still possible to watch Roland-Garros if you’re in a country without a broadcaster, or simply if you’ll be travelling while the tournament is on.

The easiest way is to watch the ITV Hub coverage. However, because the website and app will block access outside the UK you’ll need to use a VPN service and connect to a UK server.

VPNs (virtual private networks) reroute your IP address so you can browse the internet securely and as if you’re from another country. You’ll find a selection of recommendations in our, but to save you time, two good bets areand.

ITV requires you to have an account to watch content, so sign up with a valid UK postcode before things kick off on Sunday to make it quicker and easier when you’re away. You can find more detailed instructions in our guide to.

Official Roland-Garros app

There is an official app for  and  but don’t expect much from it.

It doesn’t allow you to watch live: it lets you see scores and stats in real-time, and seems to be designed for people who are at the tournament wanting to manage tickets on their phone and even order food.

Twitter is letting anyone get verified again – but has paused the process

Back in 2009, Twitter created a verification process so you could apply to get a blue check mark next to your name. The symbol showed the account was either genuine, so you didn’t accidentally follow someone pretending to be Elon Musk, Katy Perry or another celebrity or brand. But it also marked out notable accounts, and a few years ago anyone could apply to prove they are who they claim to be.

Unfortunately the verification gates were shut on 26 February 2018 and users have been waiting ever since for a chance to get their account verified. Now, Twitter has announced they’re opening again and you’ll see the option appear in the app over the next few weeks.

Frustratingly, just days after opening verifications up Twitter has paused them again, blaming the sheer volume of applications so far. The company does promise that verification will open again soon though.

We’re rolling in verification requests. So we gotta hit pause on accepting any more for now while we review the ones that have been submitted.

We’ll reopen requests soon! (we pinky swear)

— Twitter Verified (@verified)

Here we explain how to get your Twitter account verified once the option returns to the app.

How to apply for Twitter verification

First, it’s important to understand that not just anyone can get a blue tick. They are meant for authentic, notable and active accounts in the following categories:

  • Government
  • Companies, brands and organisations
  • News organisations and journalists
  • Entertainment
  • Sports and gaming
  • Activists, organisers, and other influential individuals

If you think you qualify for ‘high public interest’ – and you can read thefor more information about the criteria – you can check under Settings and privacy to see if you have the option to apply. Twitter says the Verified option is ‘rolling out over the next few weeks’.

When you have access to the option to request verification, tap Start request.

On the next screen you’ll choose the category that best describes you.

After that, you’ll have to confirm your identity. This could be:

  • A government issued ID (such as a passport)
  • A confirmed email address relevant to the category you chose
  • A official website which references your Twitter account.

You can then submit the request. Twitter says it will let you know when to expect a decision – usually within a few days, but it could be several weeks depending upon the length of the queue.

If your application is approved, then the blue tick will appear on your profile straight away.

Will Twitter expand the verification categories?

Yes. It says that it understands there are other accounts that should be eligible for the badge, and it’s planning to introduce more categories later in 2021.

You can follow theTwitter account to get the latest updates on the process.

How to upload your entire photo library to Google Photos

Google Photos is a fantastic way to see your photos and the powerful search makes it easy to find pictures of certain people, places or times. Before 1 June 2021, Google did offer unlimited free storage for photos. Now, things have changed. 

You only get 15GB of Google storage in total, which counts files on your Google Drive and Gmail, as well as Google Photos. Therefore, if you want to upload more photos and videos that will take your limit past 15GB, you’ll need to purchase more storage with.

There’s four tiers of storage currently on Google One. These are:

  • 15 GB – Free
  • 100 GB – £1.59 per month/£15.99 per year
  • 200 GB – £2.49 per month/£24.99 per year
  • 2 TB – £7.99 per month/£79.99 per year

Sadly, no unlimited storage option is currently available. You’ll have to look atif you want that. You can also make more room for photos and video by.

There’s no need to worry about existing files from before 1 June, as these photos will remain on Google’s servers and won’t be deleted or blocked if you don’t pay – that’s a common misconception.

If, like me, you have a photo library full of pictures you took prior to owning a smartphone, chances are they’re sat on a hard drive somewhere. Google hasn’t made it easy to upload them, but here’s are two ways to upload every single photo, one of which is automatic.

Upload to Google Photos via a web browser

Before I get to the best way, here’s the obvious way: head toand click on Upload.

Unfortunately, the easy way won’t work for most people because the Upload option in Google Photos will only upload the contents of a single folder.

Most people keep their photos in multiple folders so they have ‘albums’ for different occasions. Unless you’re willing to go through dozens or even hundreds of folders and copy – or move – those photos into a single folder, you won’t be able to use this option.

You could laboriously use the Upload button for each folder you have but, again, that’s impractical if you have a hundred or more.

TIP: Before you upload all your photos, upload one or two and check that Google Photos can correctly identify when they were taken. Otherwise, you’ll have a tough time finding them again.

Once uploaded, you should be able to enter the date it was taken, such as ’22 May 2000′ and all photos from that date should be shown. If not, search for the exact filename of the photo you just uploaded, and Google Photos should show it. Click the i symbol at the top and you’ll see the info for that photo. 

If there is a problem and the ‘date taken’ isn’t identified correctly, you’ll need to use a tool to edit this metadata.

Once you’ve hit the limit of what you can upload, Google will inform you. If you need more space, you can get a premium Google One account. 

Upload to Google Photos via Backup & Sync

And so we come to the best option for uploading your whole photo library to Google Photos. It involves downloading Google’s Backup & Sync utility, choosing a folder or folders to sync, then leaving it to upload the photos, as well as any videos in those folders.

If those folders happen to be on a NAS drive as mine were, you may find you cannot select the root folder in Backup & Sync. The workaround is to create a folder within that (call it upload or whatever you like), then move all your folders of photos into that.

Here, step by step, is how to go about installing Backup & Sync and uploading all those snaps to Google Photos.

Note: this only works for Windows computers and you’d need to install the Google Photos app on Android or iPhone if you want to upload the camera roll from your phone. This guide is primarily aimed at those who’ve already done that and now want to upload photos stored on their Windows laptop or PC.

1. First, head to the Google Photos websiteand click the Download button.

2. When the file is downloaded, click on it in your web browser, or navigate to the folder where downloaded files are stored – usually Downloads. Double-click on the file (called installbackupandsync.exe) and click the GET STARTED button.

3. You’ll need to sign into your Google account, the one you use for Google Photos.

4. On the ‘set-up’ screen, choose Back up photos and videos.

5. Next, you need to tell Backup & Sync which folders your photos are in. This could be as simple as clicking the box next to Pictures, but if your photos are stored elsewhere, such as another folder on your hard drive, on an external drive or on a NAS drive, click CHOOSE FOLDER and navigate to it.

You can sync multiple folders, but you can’t select multiple folders at the same time.

6. Select the quality you want for your photo/video – Storage Saver takes up less room, but compresses the file. Meanwhile Original Quality will not compress the files, but will take up more storage in your quota. 

7. Click START and Backup & Sync will begin uploading photos and videos in the folder(s) you’ve chosen to Google Photos.

8. If you want to check on progress, click the ^ symbol on the Windows Taskbar and click the little white cloud symbol. You’ll see a scrolling list of the files being uploaded.

How long it will take to upload all your photos and videos will depend on the total amount of data to be uploaded and the upload speed of your internet connection, which is typically a lot slower than the download speed.

Leave your laptop or computer on while it’s uploading the files. In my case, with a 16Mbps upload speed, it took around 24 hours to upload 30,000 photos and videos from hundreds of folders on a NAS drive.

Again, the amount you’ll be able to upload will depend on the amount of storage you have in your Google One account.

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