Google Cloud Services

Google’s brand for their Cloud Services is Google One.

Google’s approach to their consumer services is different from Microsoft and Apple. Google started as a web company mostly interested in owning your data and using it to sell advertising to other businesses. This is why to use any of Google’s services AND Android devices, you NEED to have a Gmail account (that Google can use to harvest data about you). In short, Microsoft and Apple don’t force you to use one of their addresses but Google does, for advertising purposes.

When you sign up for a Gmail account, you receive 15GB of free storage across Gmail, Google Drive and Google Photos.

Google offers a huge range of products, free and paid. The whole offering is very confusing and shows how much Google is lagging behind Apple and Microsoft in marketing its products to the general public. In this section we will focus only on two main products: Google Drive and Google Photos

Google drive is a direct competitor to OneDrive and iCloud but has not succeeded in becoming a de facto cloud storage solution for documents as Microsoft does with OneDrive on Windows and Apple does the same with iCloud on Macs and iPhones/iPads. For the majority of users it is simply easier to use the service that is offered by the provider of their device. Google owns 70% of the mobile devices market with Android but at the exception of Google Pixel these devices are not branded as Google and large device manufacturers like Samsung will be pushing their own cloud storage solutions, thus diluting Google drive adoption.

Google Photos is a much more successful product as it allows mobile users on Apple and Android devices to automatically backup all their photos and videos in Google Photos and share them easily with friends and family through shared albums. In addition, Google photos do not get deleted when original photos are removed from the device. It is a much safer solution than iCloud. Google photos use a lot of storage and will quickly require an upgrade to a paid version of Google One.

Upgrading your basic Google Drive service to Google One

Google offers three plans for Google One. All can be shared with five other family members. Google One mostly stores Gmail and Photos, no large device backups like iCloud so you might want to start at 100GB at only A$2.49/month and increase it as required.

You can check your Google storage usage here.

How to backup your photos to Google Photos on your mobile device

Install the Google Photos app on your phone, make sure you are logged in, then go to Google Photos settings.

Turn on the Backup & Sync button. That’s it.

There is an option to upload photos at the original quality or slightly reduced to save on storage.

Note: for some reason, sometimes the sync doesn’t always happen in the background. If it happens just opening the app fixes it.

Other Google Services

Quite frankly apart from YouTube, Google Maps and Google Docs that provide an alternative to Microsoft Office online, Google doesn’t offer any other service really worth mentioning at the exception maybe of Google Assistant which competes with Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri.

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