The storage service iCloud integrated in Apple devices offers very interesting features to synchronize contacts, photos and documents. Unfortunately the free storage limit is 5GB and with the use of high resolution images and videos, this capacity may not be enough for many Apple users. If you don't want to extend iCloud storage and pay an additional fee, but still want to keep all your contacts, photos and files synchronized in the cloud, there are several free third-party alternatives.
However, these third-party services require configuration and are not well integrated into iOS and MacOS. Continued vedremole main features of the iCloud functions and which are the best alternatives of the Apple filing system without paying a euro.
Free iCloud features overview
Before proposing alternative solutions to the iCloud features, I want to give an overview of the functions managed by iCloud of what we will discuss in this article.
- Pages, Numbers, Keynote
Many of these functions synchronized by iCloud can easily be replaced by Google products that you can use very well even on your iPhone. But replace or supplement the official iPhone services only if you are not a huge fan of Apple products and with the solutions we offer you will seem to betray the Cupertino style.
E-Mail, Contacts and Calendar
The best free alternative is to synchronize emails, contacts and calendar Google Mail. Not only does it work perfectly with iPhone or iPad, but it also integrates very well into Windows or MacOS. If you use Gmail on your iOS device, you don't need to download or install a different application – all features work well with standard iOS applications. If you are switching from Android to iOS this will find it particularly useful, because all your contacts, e-mails and calendar entries will be automatically synchronized on the new iOS device. To use Gmail on your iPhone, follow these steps:
- Create a Google account (skip this step if you already have a Google account).
- On your iPhone – go inSettings> Mail, contacts, calendars> Add account.
- Select Google and for illog-in enter your registration data to Google.
- Choose the services you want to synchronize (SelectMail, contacts and calendars) and confirmation.
- Open yours Contacts and click Groups top left.
- Select the contacts to synchronize from here.
This all. Now you can keep your contacts using the Google web interface. You can also synchronize the Notes via Google Mail, although for this I personally recommend using Google Keep, (see below). Here are the most important links to manage email, calendar and contacts via your PC or Mac browser:
There are several ways to synchronize and backup photos from your iPhone – it all depends on what is most important to you. Want to create a photo and video backup in the cloud? I would suggest usingDropbox. Do you also want to share them with friends and relatives, modify them and have them easily accessible from the browser? Then choose Google Photos.
Configure Dropbox to synchronize Photos
Synchronize photos and videos via Dropbox easy enough and requires only a few steps. You must be aware of the fact that Dropbox only has 2 GB of cloud storage with its free basic level, however, there are possibilities to bring it to 40 GB for free. Follow the steps below after logging in to yours Dropbox account.
- Download the application Dropboxfor iOS
- When you open the application for the first time, the program asks the user to upload photos of the camera roll. Activate it and make sure you only allow uploading when you are under a WiFi connection, otherwise the application may run out of your mobile data traffic. I also recommend activating background uploads, otherwise you will have to manually open the application to upload photos.
After the initial configuration, Dropbox loads all the photos and videos automatically on the cloud. If you have a desktop client installed, the images will be automatically downloaded to your computer.
Configure Google Photos sync
Google introduced the application Photowhich allows simple sharing of files, image backups and some impressive features, such as auto-improvement and face recognition. need a Google account, so make sure you create one if you haven't already.
- Download the app Google Photos
- When you start the application for the first time, you will be asked to log in to the camera. You must authorize this access so that the application can properly back up all your images in the cloud.
- Just like with Dropbox, I would recommend you to activate the upload only under Wi-Fi network.
Google Photos offers two types of plans to upload images: 15 GB for full resolution files and unlimited space for high resolution images. In the second case, Google will resize the images to 16 megapixels. If you want more storage, Google offers different plans starting from 1.99 / month for 100 GB of storage.
iCloud Drive a special case, because you can't download any type of file, unlike Dropbox where you can store everything you want. Using the DropBox iOS application, you will be able to access these files even when on the move. If you don't know how iCloud Drive works, we have discussed it in more detail in another article of which I propose the link below.
Notes and Reminders
To synchronizeNote is Reminders I highly recommend it Google Keep. It includes many useful features and the perfect tool to keep the sync Note. In fact, not limited to the Notes and Reminders, but can also do other things advanced. You can, for example, take photos of text documents and the application can transcribe the text of the photo. If instead you are writing the shopping list – you can ask Google to remind you of the list when you are near a supermarket. To use Google Keep you still need a Google account. can download the application from App Store and access your notes via the browser on keep.google.com.
Pages, Numbers and Keynote
Pages, Numbers is Keynote are applications that come from Mac OS and basically offer a great alternative to Office. While I personally prefer Microsoft Office, I have to suggest (yet another) Google app as a free alternative. The Google alternative automatically saves the files on your Google Drive, making them accessible from anywhere. You can, of course, also download the relevant app on the App Store:
This all. As you can see, Google applications can cope very well with the storage limits of iOS apps and replace free iCloud features. It is possible to integrate third-party services into the Apple system thanks to the third-party app opening policy that has been running for some time.
Given that space is never enough, we have written other articles on cloud storage, selecting the best services that offer more space without spending anything. Try reading this guide.