December 4, 2020

Google will automatically back up your Android phone for free

You can also get a new iOS app that backs up your iPhone or iPad.

Google Pixel 4 XL home screen 8

  • Google has made automatic Android backups free to people without Google One plans.
  • An iOS app now backs up media, contacts, and calendars on iPhones and iPads.
  • The Google One app includes a storage manager, too.

Google is about to give many more Android users a better safety net — and iOS users, too.

The internet giant is making automatic backups available for free to Android users, whether or not they have Google One memberships. Vital data like contacts, photos, and media messages should always be available if something goes wrong. The feature will be accessible wherever Google One is an option.

Google One backup pixel

Credit: Google

You now have more options if you prefer an iPhone or iPad, too. An upcoming iOS app will let you store media, contacts, and calendars with Google, including through the free 15GB of storage. This is ultimately consolidating features available through separate apps like Google Photos, but helpful if you want additional protection beyond what Apple’s iCloud offers.

Regardless of platform, you’ll have an easier time managing available backup space. Google One is getting a new storage manager in its app and website that will both illustrate how you’re using space and give you ways to make room by deleting large files, spam emails and other items that you don’t need. Naturally, Google hopes to upsell people to more expensive plans.

Read more: The best Android backup apps

The Android features will reach Google Play in the “coming days,� while the iOS app will be ready “soon.� These tools are for everyday consumers, Google said, and won’t come to G Suite’s business users.

The Android addition is, to some degree, a way to counter iCloud. While you’ve long had ways to recover your info on Android, wider access to automated, centralized backups provides an iCloud-like reassurance — much of your most important data should be safe if something goes wrong. At the same time, there’s little doubt that this helps Google sell One. The more likely you are to back up your data to Google’s cloud, the more likely you are to need extra storage.