[Update: For Nokia 6.2 & 7.2] Google One 1.42 suggests an upcoming phone may get 100GB free for 3 months
At Google I/O last year, Google announced an all-in-one cloud storage service that incorporates Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos under a single roof. Called Google One, the subscription service is now available in dozens of regions around the world, including Europe, North America, and India. I’m personally on the $20/year plan which nets me 100GB of cloud storage, all so I can continue uploading as many original quality photos as I want to Google Photos. Apart from the cloud storage benefits, Google also occasionally gifts its subscribers free access to its other services like YouTube Premium, discounts on hardware like the Pixel 3, or free devices. If you’re looking for a new smartphone and you aren’t yet a subscriber to Google One, then you may want to hold off on buying a subscription because it looks like Google is preparing to bundle its cloud storage service with an upcoming smartphone.
Version 1.42 of the app rolled out earlier today on the Google Play Store, and it added the two strings shown below. These strings say that “your phone comes with” a 3-month membership plan which grants you “access to 100GB of storage, premium support, and more.” The description string strangely tells the user to open the app on their phone to start their membership even though these strings are a part of the app itself.
<string name="three_months_eft_description">You get access to 100GB of storage, premium support, and more. Open the Google One app on your phone to start your membership.</string>\n<string name="three_months_eft_title">Your phone comes with a 3 month Google One membership</string>
We examined the latest versions of Google Photos, Google Drive, and Gmail – the 3 services that are part of a subscription – to see if we could find references to this string. Sadly, we came up short. We also checked to see where this string would appear in the app itself; we only found a single (new) layout file called g1_education_fragment that references these two strings.
There wasn’t any code to link these strings to any particular devices, so we’re not sure which smartphone will grant you access to a free 3-month subscription. I’m hoping it’s the upcoming Google Pixel 4, though. I’m speculating that if EFT stands for “Early Field Trial,” then it’s possible that this 3-month membership will be offered as a pre-order bonus. Google has previously offered a free 3 month plan to Local Guides, but these strings don’t explicitly mention anything about Local Guides.
Update: Given the recent announcement of the Nokia 6.2 and Nokia 7.2 with this promotion, these strings are likely for these two Nokia smartphones.
Thanks to PNF Software for providing us a license to use JEB Decompiler, a professional-grade reverse engineering tool for Android applications.