Adding Smartphone Storage, Part 2: Cloud Storage

In the first part of this series, I told you about some of the advantages of using a physical SD card to increase storage options for your smartphone or flip phone. While this option is really convenient, it’s simply not for everybody—iPhone users, for instance, can’t use these at all. So here in Part 2, I’ll take a look at another terrific option, which is available to anyone with an Internet connection: cloud storage.

With cloud storage, your photos, music, videos and other personal files are uploaded to remote online servers. There is no physical component to it; instead, files are saved in “virtual warehouses.” Once your files are saved to the cloud, you can open them on any of your devices and in any location as long as you have Internet access.

The cloud offers virtually unlimited storage, and using it means you’ll always have a backup solution in case something goes wrong with your cellphone or tablet. There’s no need to worry if you accidentally delete a photo, for instance; if something happens to any of your files, you can access the cloud to retrieve data that may have been deleted or damaged on your device.

To get started storing files to the cloud, you’ll need to choose an app. Every iPhone includes iCloud for free, which provides up to 5GB of storage for contacts, photos, or messages. Once it’s enabled iCloud will automatically backup your files, and update regularly to add new ones.

Millions of Android and iPhone users have come to rely on Google Photos as a handy, free way to store pictures. It offers unlimited storage of photos and videos under 16MP each, and can also be set to automatically backup your files. Best of all, with both of these apps, once files have been saved to the cloud, they can be deleted from your device, freeing up space for more things.

There are plenty of other free options to choose from. Google Drive lets you store and easily share documents; Dropbox also offers easy storage and sharing of documents and photos, plus it allows you to edit files right from your phone or tablet. Amazon Prime members receive access to 5GB of free cloud photo storage using Prime Photos as part of their annual membership.

Both of the options we’ve examined in our series offer unique ways to conveniently store your personal files, and give you more flexibility with your device. I find both of them simple, secure, and easy to use—and you’ll love the way they give you a little extra “closet space” for all your important information!

23 Thoughts on "Adding Smartphone Storage, Part 2: Cloud Storage"

  1. P. Rose says

    How do I get more storage on my Android?

    reply to P.

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      There are a few different options for you, P. First, you may be able to add an SD card to your device, which can provide you with more storage for photos, music and more. We detail that in Part 1 of our storage blog series here. You can also use cloud storage options such as Google Photos, Google Drive or the other options mentioned here in the blog. If you use your phone to take a lot of photos or videos, storing them on an SD card or with a photo storage app can make a big difference. We’re happy to discuss these options with you over the phone if you like at 888-345-5509. Thank you for taking the time to post, and we hope you find that some of these suggestions work well for your needs!

      reply to Ashley

  2. Al says

    Does cloud storage cost extra?

    reply to Al

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      It depends on the type of cloud storage, Al. Google Drive and Google Photos are both free options available to anyone. You may also have more options available if you have an iPhone, or if you have Amazon Prime. If you need a great deal of cloud storage, you may find that a subscription option is the best fit. Thanks for posting!

      reply to Ashley

  3. Isabel Rojas says

    How can I add an icloud email to my android cell?

    reply to Isabel

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Great question, Isabel. You can add an additional email address to Gmail at any time. Just open the Gmail app, then select the menu in the top left corner. Tap the drop down arrow, then tap “Add account”. Then just follow the steps to add your iCloud email. We’re happy to walk you through it if you like at 888-345-5509. Thanks for posting today, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  4. Wanda White says

    I understand iCloud backs up my phone, but how to I sign into iCloud on my computer and get rid of say photos so I don’t have to upgrade my storage amount.

    reply to Wanda

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Great question, Wanda. If you have an Apple computer, you’ll want to make sure you’ve turned on iCloud. Then, when you connect your iPhone to your computer, you’ll be able to backup your photos, videos and more. If you have a PC, you’ll need to take a few additional steps. You can visit the iCloud site here for step-by-step instructions. Once you’ve setup iCloud, you should be able to archive items or delete anything as needed. If we can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-345-5509. Thank you for posting, and we hope you have a wonderful day!

      reply to Ashley

  5. Donna Duncan says

    How can I transfer my email contacts and data to my new iPhone 5s when my contract with Verizon ends next month?

    reply to Donna

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Great question, Donna. First, if you’re using an iPhone already, you should be able to login to your new iPhone 5s with your Apple ID, and all of your contacts, messages and settings will automatically transfer over. If you’re using a different type of phone, you can transfer your contacts using the SIM card from your old device. You’ll need to insert it into your iPhone, and then import your contacts. You can view our Support page here for more information, or we can assist you over the phone at 888-345-5509. Thank you for taking the time to post!

      reply to Ashley

  6. Ray says

    I have installed an SD card in my Motorola Moto G (3rd generation) but I cannot figure out how to transfer all of my photos on this phone to that card. Is there some magic button somewhere that I can push, or even some extremely complicated method, that will get this done?

    reply to Ray

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for asking, Ray. We’re happy to help you with that. You should be able to go to your Settings apps, then select Storage & USB. Tap Internal Storage, then select the folder with the photos. Press and hold the photos you’d like to move, or tap the menu in the upper right corner (it should look like three dots), and choose the option to Select All. Once the photos have been selected, tap the menu again and choose Copy to, and then select the option for the SD card. Tap Copy, and that should be it! If you need any help, we will be happy to walk you through it over the phone at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you taking the time to post!

      reply to Ashley

  7. DOUGLAS says

    How do I get consumer cellular service to my straight talk lg phone


    reply to DOUGLAS

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for asking, Douglas. If your LG phone is an unlocked GSM version, you should only need our SIM card to get started. You’ll want to verify with your previous carrier that the device has been unlocked first, as we aren’t able to help you with that. Then you’ll just need to order one of our SIM cards online here, pick one up from your local Target store or call us at 888-345-5509 and you’ll be on your way to better service and savings each month. Please note that we can’t guarantee that all features will work with a device we don’t offer. If we can answer any questions or if you would like to make the switch today, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you. We appreciate you taking the time to post, and we hope you have a great day!

      reply to Ashley

  8. Luis says

    If you have a Yahoo account, you also have access to a Flicker account which allows a whopping TERRABYTE of FREE STORAGE! You’ll never run out of space. There are 1,000 gigabytes in a terrabyte.

    reply to Luis

  9. Jayne says

    That is great for iCloud, but my iPhone keeps telling me there is no more memory left. I cannot even check my email I keep getting the same message. My husbands phone is older than mine and he has more apps on his and he has more memory than I do. I am so disappointed. I bought more memory with iCloud n that didn’t solve my problem with my phone.

    reply to Jayne

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thanks for posting, Jayne. If you’ve backed your phone up with iCloud, you may need to remove photos, videos or other items from the iPhone itself to gain more storage. Keep in mind that email messages saved to your phone or even text message conversations require storage, so you may be able to remove older email strings or conversations as well. We’re happy to help you troubleshoot this issue if you like at 888-345-5509. We appreciate you posting today!

      reply to Ashley

  10. Thomas m Lemond says

    My MOTO G 3rd gen is very slow to respond to taps,sometimes i have to tap 2,3 times to get a response .

    reply to Thomas

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      Thank you for posting, Thomas. First, we recommend turning your device off, then back on again to see if that helps resolve the problem. You may also want to go to your Settings app, and see how much storage space you have. If most of your storage is being used by photos, videos and movies, your device may slow down a bit. We’re happy to help you troubleshoot it further over the phone at 888-345-5509 at your convenience. We appreciate you posting, and we look forward to assisting you!

      reply to Ashley

  11. John C Greco says

    I just left Verizon after years of service. I went to get a replacement phone and they were going to charge me an unreal amount for a long time customer.
    As of today I switched to Consumer Cellar and worked with Matthew to get my service started. He was professional, kind, and knowledgeable.

    I’m now getting better service for my area, a customer service group that cares, at a much lower cost. Why would anyone not switch

    reply to John

    • Ashley at Consumer Cellular says

      That’s wonderful to hear, John. We’re so glad to have you as a Consumer Cellular customer, and we really appreciate you sharing your experience. We hope you have a wonderful day!

      reply to Ashley

  12. Mistral says

    People don’t switch because Consumer Cellular has inferior phones and a slower network. I have Verizon and a few of my friends have Consumer Cellular and we have all noticed that my service is far superior.

    That being said, if you are retired, watching your money and are not worried about service issues with photo’s, videos and lag time on other functions, then Consumer Cellular is certainly better than those free phone services.

    reply to Mistral

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