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Google combines free storage across Drive and Picasa, counts it toward paid plans

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Google Drive iOS
Google Drive iOS

Google conducted its latest round of "spring cleaning" last week, announcing plans to discontinue several minor features and to consolidate storage offerings across Drive and its Picasa photo-sharing service. Among the services being phased out are AdSense for RSS feeds, Google News Badges, and Classic Plus, which allowed users to upload their own background images on Google's homepage.

Most notable, however, is the company's decision to combine storage plans for Google Drive and Picasa. Previously, Google offered 5GB of free storage on Drive and 1GB on Picasa. Now, all storage will be pooled into the same account, with Google offering a single, 5GB pool of data across both Drive and Picasa. Gmail, it's worth noting, appears to remain unaffected by this change.

Paying users, meanwhile, will now see their free storage counted toward their final allotment. Under Google's previous scheme, users paying for a 25GB plan for Drive and Picasa would see that amount added to their pre-existing free space, giving them a total of 31GB. Going forward, however, they'll only have 25GB, meaning they'll only be paying for an additional 20GB of space.

Google says "this approach will make it much easier for users" to manage their accounts, and that it will roll out its new storage system "over the next few months." By the time its latest round of cleaning is completed, the company will have axed nearly 60 services since it began trimming the fat last fall.