Google One app for Android now offers free phone backups

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Google One, Google’s unified cloud backup service, offers subscribers the ability to automatically back up device data, multimedia messages, photos, and videos from their Android devices. Starting today, that same feature is being extended to all Android users free of charge.

The backup feature is a convenient and worry-free way to preserve your texts, contacts, apps, photos, and videos. And it’s all automatic, so very little work needs to be done by users. If you wind up breaking, losing, or upgrading your device, all of your important information will be saved in the cloud. Most Android devices already support backing up data to the cloud thanks to Google Play Service’s backup manager service which uploads files to a private directory on users’ Google Drive accounts. However, this backup solution doesn’t sync MMS or photos and videos in original quality, which is a perk available from Google Photos/One.

In addition to the free backup feature, Google is also introducing a storage manager, which will be available in both the mobile  app and online. This will allow users to delete files from across the various services that One supports, including Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos, in order to free up space. You get 15GB of free storage with a Google account, and it’s $1.99/month for 100GB of data on Google One after that.

As usual, One allows subscribers to share their plan with up to five additional members, so if you do need more than 15GB of storage but not quite 100GB or more, you can split the extra storage space with your family members. That’s a nifty incentive to upgrade. A membership also features premium support, Google Play credits, and Google Store member rewards. There are also hints that a subscription will be required to access premium editing features in Google Photos, but we haven’t seen that come to fruition just yet.

Google said it’s also planning to launch a Google One app for iOS soon, so iPhone users will also get free automatic backups. The Android app is available from the Google Play Store right now.

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