Google is preparing to launch a new cloud storage service that will compete directly with popular start up Dropbox and similar services. The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday evening reported that Google is almost ready to announce the new service, which will be called Google Drive. Similar to Dropbox, which creates a virtual drive containing files that are mirrored on a user’s local hard drive and on cloud servers, Google Drive will allow users to store photos, videos, documents and other files in the cloud, and it will be accessible from computers as well as Android tablets and smartphones. The service will launch in the coming weeks according to the report, and it will be free to most users, though the report does not elaborate on the amount of free storage Google will provide or which customers might be charged. More →
The founders of popular file sharing service Dropbox turned down a multimillion dollar acquisition offer from Apple, Forbes reported in a recent article. Several rumors have suggested the offer was as high as $800 million. Reportedly, founders Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi met with Steve Jobs in Cupertino in 2009. During the meeting, Steve Jobs made an offer to acquire Dropbox, noting that the company was “a feature, not a product,” and that Apple was going to enter the same market, Houston explained. In June, Apple flipped the tables on Dropbox and announced its own file sync service called iCloud, which replaced MobileMe and provides 5GB of free storage and syncs contacts, calendar entries and media across iOS devices. According to Forbes, Dropbox hopes to grow in the future with ongoing deals and it is currently poised to provide software on every HTC smartphone moving forward. More →
Ever since Apple released Mac OS X Lion 10.7 to developers to test, new features have started to become uncovered. 9to5Mac has been doing a great job compiling a list of some new (and pretty lust-worthy) features that are available in the next version of Apple’s operating system for the PC, and here’s a brief recap of what you can expect to see come summer:
- TRIM support for super-fast SSD writing
- Recovery partition to your startup hard drive removing the need for the OS X installer disc in case something goes wrong
- Possible Dropbox-like functionality for MobileMe storage
- Find my Mac functionality in Apple’s MobileMe service
- Removed support for PowerPC applications
- Removed Front Row (possible it’s only in the seeded development OS, however)
- Podcast Producer, a true podcast production tool letting you create various shows, episodes, and effortless edit, upload, and share your podcasts
- Yahoo IM! support in iChat including video and audio conferencing, iOS-style symbol keys (hold down a key on your keyboard and an onscreen symbol list appears like in iOS), and live URL previews when you hover over a URL link
There are many more findings in Mac OS X 10.7, but these are some of the exciting smaller ones that haven’t yet been announced. More →
Could all the recent hoopla stirred up by Apple’s decision to enforce its existing App Store subscription policies be much ado about nothing? Earlier this month, Apple announced that its new App Store subscription service became available to all publishers. In a related note prior to that announcement, Apple noted that it would begin cracking down on content providers who had been skirting a rule stipulating all apps providing links to Web-based content purchases must also make the same content available using Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism — therefor forcing them to cough up Apple’s 30% cut. As a result, developers were enraged. Apple’s typically unclear wording left each developer guessing as to whether or not it might be affected by the policy. Some publicly jumped to conclusions while others went further still and announced that they would abandon iOS all together. One developer recently decided to email Apple CEO Steve Jobs and inquire about the matter, however, and claims to have received a response. Both emails are found after the break. More →
Dropbox, a fairly awesome internet syncing service, has announced updates to their official mobile applications for the iPhone and iPad, as well as Android and BlackBerry devices. The company notes that over two million mobile users are now leveraging Dropbox on their mobile devices and there are over 100 mobile applications utilizing Dropbox’s open API. Here is a taste of what’s new in the mobile applications:
New Dropbox for BlackBerry: The company has announced the general availability of Dropbox for BlackBerry, bringing file access and viewing directly to the popular line of smart phones. Available for free via http://dropbox.com/blackberry.
New release of Dropbox for iPhone and iPad: Available for immediate download are new versions of the popular Dropbox apps for iPad and iPhone. With new iOS release of Dropbox, users will have new features and performance enhancements, including automatic offline caching for frequently accessed files, support for HD video and high-resolution photo capture, numerous user interface enhancements including a new home screen and process display, full screen landscape document viewing on iPad and the support for multitasking to allow files to upload in the background. This update is available for free via Apple’s App Store.
New release of Dropbox for Android: Available for download via Google’s App Market, Dropbox for Android has been enhanced with support for photo galleries and multi-photo upload, ability to automatically send file to Dropbox from other apps, progress bar and notifications for file transfers, the ability to place a shortcut to a folder on the Android home screen, and other new features and fixes.
New Dropbox App Directory: To make it easier to find and evaluate the over 60 partner applications that are built with the Dropbox API, there is a new Dropbox partner app directory now available at http://dropbox.com/apps. This directory features app information, screenshots and reviews from some of the most popular productivity app providers.
“Dropbox offers a common thread that ties all of these systems together, making important files and data immediately available regardless of device. Not only does this make the individual devices more useful, but this helps enable the broader industry transition towards mobile phones and tablets,” said Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox. The new code is in your platforms respective store as we type. Enjoy. More →