Irreparably damaged your phone in a freak accident? Not to worry — Google’s got your back. The search giant today announced that subscribers to Google One, a subscription service that offers expanded cloud storage, can now take advantage of a whole-phone backup solution for Android that automatically copies videos, multimedia messages (MMS), and uncompressed photos to Google’s datacenters.
But wait, you might say, doesn’t Google already offer a free backup solution for Android? That’s true, but it only covers content, select data (apps, call history, contacts, and calendar), and settings. (Only Pixel phones get native SMS backup.) And while Google’s eponymous Google Photos service backs up photos and videos for free, it by default resizes pics to 16MP (original-quality photos count against your Google Account storage). Google One doesn’t touch photos before uploading them, and it throws in the aforementioned text messages backup at no extra charge.
If you’re already a Google One subscriber, launch the app on your phone. You should see a Device Backup section on the home page, and additional controls in Settings > Manage backup settings.
“We’ve taken the standard Android backup (that includes texts, contacts, and apps) and we’re giving you even more,” wrote Google One general manager Larissa Fontaine in a blog post. “[T]he next time you break, lose or switch your phone, you won’t lose your photos, videos, contacts and messages — basically, everything that’s important to you.”
As you might recall, Google One plans rolled out in May as replacements to Google Drive storage upgrades. Google Accounts have historically come with 15GB of free storage, which can be used across Google products including Gmail, Google Photos, and Google Docs. Those who needed more could pay $1.99 per month for 100GB of storage, $9.99 for 1TB, $19.99 for 2TB, $99.99 for 10TB, $199.99 for 20TB, or $299.99 for 30TB.
With Google One, Google kept the free 15GB ceiling and the starting 1GB plan but added a 200GB tier to the mix that costs $2.99 per month, plus a new 2TB plan for $9.99 per month. Additionally, the company debuted a new family-sharing feature that allows up to five family members to use the same plan, each with their own personal storage space.
Along with the expanded storage, Google One subscribers get access to “Google experts” for service and device questions through the dedicated Google One mobile app. They’re also afforded Google Play credits and special Google One member prices on hotels through Google Search.