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Google Photos Ends Monthly Photo Print Trial

This week Google Photos told participants in its monthly photo print trial that it would not continue after June 30th. They are considering feedback from participants and it may "evolve" into 

Back in February, Google Photos offered me the chance to participate in a free trial of a monthly photo print subscription. The idea was simple: Google Photos would choose 10 of your best photos uploaded during the previous month. You then had 3 days to edit the photos or swap them for different images. 

Google Photos would then make 4x6 prints and mail them to you. The cost was set to $7.99 per month, but was free during the trial period. As there was no obligation to continue the subscription after the trial, I jumped at the chance. 
I did enjoy receiving photos every month. It is fun to have prints, and to be able to share with family and friends.

In general the print quality was good. The colors weren't as vibrant as they could be, but I think that is to be expected with matte, rather than glossy, prints. And it's nice to have images on card stock, which makes them sturdy enough to display without a frame. 

Google Photos also did a pretty good job selecting quality photos each month, with some caveats.

While Google Photos is good at picking images that are exposed and framed well, it can't tell what's significant to me. 

For example, in January I took a lot of photos of local businesses to level up in Google Local Guides. Some of those were good photos, if I do say so myself, but I don't want a print of the local gas station. I'd rather have a so-so photo of a meaningful event, than a great photo of something I don't particularly care about.

Fortunately the selected photos could be swapped for any image in Google Photos, and I took the opportunity to make prints of some old images.  

But would I subscribe for $8 per month? No. 

The bottom line is that I don't really want or need so many prints.

That was especially true during the trial period, since I've been sheltering in place at home since early March. While there are some nice images from my garden and daily walks, there wasn't a lot of variety (ooh, the same tree again!). 

But even in normal times I don't print many photos. And at 80 cents each, the cost adds up. 

It might be a great service if you have young kids or photogenic pets, travel extensively, or like to display a lot of photos. 

Ending the monthly photo prints trial program

It turns out, Google Photos is not going to be continuing the trial after June 30th. They do say they plan to "evolve this feature" which they "hope to make more widely available."
Email cancelling the Google Photos monthly prints subscription trial program.

If you participated in the trial, order data will remain in your account until June 30th, and you can download a list of the images printed through Google Takeout until July 15, 2020.

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