iPhone users will get free cloud storage — thanks to Google

(Image credit: Google)

iPhone and iPad users are getting a perk Android phone owners have enjoyed for nearly a year — automatic phone backups to Google One.

That’s been available on the Android side of things since September 2019, at least to paid subscribers of Google’s cloud storage service. Now iOS users who also pay for Google One will be able to do the same, according to a blog post. A new Google One app rolling out soon will deliver the capability, and now the backups will be free even if you don’t subscribe to Google’s service.

It’s easy to understand why this has become a big deal. Our smartphones have become a storage locker for countless photos, songs, movies, and messages. Even if you buy the larger capacity version of your favorite flagship device, you may still find yourself occasionally out of space. Services like Google One can bail you out in that situation. 

When the new Google One mobile app rolls out, all iOS users will have to do is download the app and sign in with a valid Google account. From there, Google will do all the heavy lifting, as it backs up photos, text messages, contacts, emails and more to its cloud storage service. 

What's more, Google is making it easier to sort through all of these files with a new storage manager feature. Available via both desktop and mobile apps for users, this tool will make it easier to see how much free storage is remaining while also letting you add or remove files without having to exit the app. For anyone using the free storage, there will also be an option to lock in an upgrade via the manager. 

Having a reliable and easy way to move files around is especially useful for free Google One users, as storage is limited to 15GB. For anyone who needs a bit more space to play around with, paid plans begin at $1.99 a month. Comparatively, Apple's iCloud service only offers 5GB of free space — the choice is clear when it comes to saving some cash here.

Paid Google One subscribers will also be able to share their plan with up to five other users by way of family sharing and will be subject to premium customer support. Some areas will receive special bonus credits to spend on the Play Store as well as discounts and perks, depending on the region users live in. 

As far as the new Google One app goes, it's available right now from Google Play for Android users, but iPhone storage fanatics will have to wait a bit longer. There's currently no set release date other than "coming soon." That should give users plenty of time to start sifting through what needs to be saved via cloud storage and what needs to be trashed, at the very least. 

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.