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Google One apps' backup feature is now free on Android, but who is going to use it?
[Image: google-android-backup.png]

Google revealed yesterday that it unlocked the backup feature of its Google One for Android application so that all Google customers may use the backup even if they have no Google One subscription. While the application has not been updated yet, at least not on the devices that I tried, it is becoming an option for all users.

Google users get 15 Gigabytes of storage with their accounts; the storage is shared across Google services such as Gmail or Google Drive, and Google One uses that storage as well for the backups.

A core question that may come to the mind of Google users who are not subscribed to Google One is whether they should use the service, and how it differs from using Android's native backup system.

Android's native backup functionality, as of Android 9, backs up the following data:
  • Contacts
  • Google Calendar events and settings
  • SMS text messages (not MMS)
  • Wi-Fi networks and passwords
  • Wallpapers
  • Gmail settings
  • Apps
  • Display settings (brightness and sleep)
  • Language and input settings
  • Date and time
  • Settings and data for apps not made by Google (varies by app)
Google is vague when it comes to the backup functionality of its Google One app on Android:
Quote:On Android, Google One can automatically back up your photos, videos, contacts, messages, notes and more.

Photos and videos are not backed up by default by the Android backup feature, but users may enable it under Settings > System > Backup > Google Photos, at least on Android devices that keep the default options. Mileage may vary on devices from manufacturers as these may integrate their backup systems instead.
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