Welcome back to another episode of Ask Us Anything, where we gather your questions from the internet and answer them.
Cloud storage solutions for Android devices
First, you have Google’s own built-in cloud service for media and file storage, and data backup called Google One. To back up your phone’s data, head on over to settings on any modern Android phone and look for the Google tab. Here, you’ll find the Backup option using Google One. Turn it on and hit backup now.
If you want to store your photos and videos, you will need to download the Google Photos app separately, but you can access the upload settings from the Backup page. In Google Photos, you can choose what quality you would like your media to be saved. Original quality will save the full res version while Storage Saver will compress the files. If you want to store anything other than photos and videos, you will need to download Google Drive, Google’s cloud storage service.
As for storage, you get 15GB of space for free with your Google account which is shared with all of Google’s services. This is more than the 5GB of free storage you get with iCloud. Of course, you can always pay for more storage. Google offers 100GB for RM8.49 per month, 200GB for RM11.99 per month, and 2TB for RM42.99 per month. But with the annual subscription option, you can get up to 16% off across all three plans.
Something to note here is that since the features and operating systems of Android devices differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, the type of data that can be backed up by Google One is limited. So for example, not all of your phone settings will be backed up. However, you can carry the essential data across Android phones from different manufacturers.
Now, on top of Google’s solution, you also have cloud services from the phone manufacturer themselves which are more integrated with their respective operating system.
Samsung for example has Samsung Cloud, which is used to backup your phone’s data. However, it does not specify the storage limit for these backups. You can find it by going to settings, clicking on your account profile at the top, and looking under Apps and Features. Since both the operating system and backup solution are made by Samsung, the type of data from the phone that can be backed up is more extensive. This makes setting up a new Samsung phone faster, but this also means you cannot move the data to a non-Samsung phone.
As for photos and videos, Samsung now uses Microsoft OneDrive cloud storage, which you can access and set up directly from the Gallery app. Microsoft only offers 5GB of storage on OneDrive for the free tier so you will have to pay for extra storage if you want to backup your photos and videos. So, 100GB costs RM9 per month, 1TB cost RM22 per month and 6TB cost RM29 per month, with the latter two plans also including Microsoft Office 365. If you choose the annual subscription option, there’s a discount on the price.
Samsung used to support file storage with Samsung Cloud Drive, but not anymore.
In stark contrast, Oppo allows you to backup your phone’s data and store files, photos, and videos on its cloud service platform, HeyTap Cloud. This makes it more streamlined compared to Samsung’s implementation and more similar to what you get with iCloud on an iPhone.
However, unlike Apple, Google, and Samsung, you don’t get any amount of free storage with Oppo’s HeyTap Cloud, not even to backup your phone’s basic data. It used to offer 5GB of storage for free but that stopped after August 2022. So, you will need to pay for a subscription to use the service. Your options are 50GB for RM51 per year, 120GB for RM102 per year, and 1TB for RM411 per year.
You can find HeyTap Cloud by following the same steps to find Samsung Cloud on a Samsung device.
Netflix’s new account-sharing restrictions in Malaysia
In case you missed it, Netflix is cracking down on account sharing by only allowing you to share your Netflix account with people living in the same household. To implement this restriction, Netflix is introducing Netflix Household.
When you log into Netflix on your home smart TV or streaming box, this location will be automatically set as the primary device of the Netflix Household. But you can go into your account settings and change the primary device in case you move to a new home or change the TV. When other devices connect to the same Wi-Fi network as your primary device, these devices will automatically be part of the Netflix Household.
Can I watch Netflix on the go?
But what if you plan to watch Netflix on the go or during your daily commute? Well, the devices under your Netflix Household can be used for up to one month away from the primary device. To reset this quota, you will need to connect to the Wi-Fi network of your primary device at least once within the month.
Should you fail to do so, your device will be blocked from accessing Netflix. And based on previous reports, the streaming provider will also block devices that sign in for the first time or repeatedly sign in outside of the Netflix Household. It was also reported that if you were to connect back to the Wi-Fi network of the primary device after your device gets blocked, it should get tagged as a trusted device again.
I don’t have a TV at home
Now, what if you don’t have a TV or watch Netflix on mobile devices at home? Well, Netflix has yet to outline a system for these cases, other than saying you do not need to set a Netflix Household for your account.
However, Netflix did say besides using a Wi-Fi network, it also uses IP addresses, device IDs, and account activity to determine whether the device is part of the Netflix Household.
Have family living outside of your household?
But say, for example, you have family living outside of your household and want to access your account. Well, Netflix’s solution is to introduce the Extra Member account to the Standard and Premium plans for an additional fee. You can add 1 Extra Member to the Standard plan while the premium plan allows for 2 Extra Members.
The Extra Member account is treated as a standalone account with its own separate login credentials. However, the additional fee of RM13 per Extra Member account will be paid for by the primary account owner.
There are a couple of caveats that come with the Extra Member account worth mentioning though. Firstly, you cannot take advantage of the Extra Member account if your Netflix account is handled by a third-party platform, like Astro. Moreover, you can only watch and download titles on one device at a time.
Create an Extra Member account
To create an Extra Member account, you can do it on a web browser, TV, or streaming device, but the easiest way is to use a web browser. Log on to netflix.com and go to your account page to find the option.
When setting up an Extra Member account, Netflix allows you to copy your existing profile along will all your recommendations, watch history, and watchlist data over to the Extra Member account or create a fresh profile. Do note that copying over your existing profile will delete that profile from the previous account. Also, you will need to sign into a dedicated section on Netflix which will be displayed as “Are you an extra member?” and not on the main login page.
Speaking about copying an existing profile, you can even create a new Netflix account with an existing profile. Strangely, this process does not automatically delete that profile from the previous account.
And if you are wondering the same thing as I was, the answer is no, you cannot copy profiles over to an existing account.