Headlines

2 years ago

Gmail free storage upped to 10GB, 25GB for paying Google Drive customers

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Google has marked the launch of Google Drive by giving Gmail users an extra 2.3GB or so of storage. The company announced that it'll bump the free allowance up to 10GB (and counting) for free users, and 25GB for paying Google Drive customers, a substantial increase from the previous 7.7GB or so previously offered.

We're not seeing the changes reflected in our own accounts just yet. But considering the fact that Gmail updates are usually rolled out over the course of a few days, it shouldn't be too long before we start to see our extra storage space.

Google says it'll continue to slowly add to the new 10GB free allowance every day, just as it's been doing since Gmail launched with 1GB of space back in 2004.

Source: Gmail blog

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2 years ago

Google Drive cloud storage service launches, 5GB free space for all

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Google's worst kept secret in recent years is finally official -- Google Drive, the company's cloud storage service, has been announced. The service offers 5GB of storage for free, with paid storage also available offering up to 16TB of space. Being a Google service, much of the focus of Google Drive is on its web interface, available now at drive.google.com. Like cloud storage incumbents Dropbox, this provides users with a way to manage existing synced content (including Google Docs), as well as uploading new files and sharing between other Drive users.

There's also a fully-featured Android app, which replaces the old Google Docs app and offers the ability to upload content from Android phones directly to the cloud. And there's even a Google+ style camera upload feature to facilitate easy sharing of photos and videos. The app's available right now on the Google Play Store (and as an update if you've already got Docs installed), and we've got it linked after the break.

On the desktop side, Google Drive takes the form of a synchronization app, similar to Dropbox. Your Google Drive appears as a special folder on your computer, from which you can manage through your favorite file manager. Like Dropbox, the Drive desktop app integrates pretty seamlessly into Windows.

In the announcement on its official blog, Google focused on Drive's collaborative capabilities -- something Docs users will be familiar with -- as well as the ability to search more than just text in a document or spreadsheet. Drive apparently incorporates OCR (optical character recognition) in addition to image recognition, similar to Google Goggles and Google Image Search, meaning a photo of a particular landmark would be recognized as such.

Here's how the pricing works out for Google Drive --

  • Everyone gets 5GB for free
  • 25GB for $2.49 per month
  • 100GB for $4.99 per month
  • 1TB for $49.99 per month
  • Enterprise-focused data allowances are also available, offering up to 16TB of space.
  • Upgrading to a paid plan will automatically boost you up to 25GB of Gmail storage, too.
     

Check the source link to get started with Google Drive. We'll have a full hands-on feature up later today, so keep watching! Head past the break for Google's official introductory video.

Source: Google Drive; More: Google Blog

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2 years ago

Google preparing to launch Google Drive this week with up to 100GB of paid storage?

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By now, Google Drive is no longer a secret. It has appeared enough times now to not only say it exists and is in development but to say that it's coming soon. The exact details behind its offerings haven't fully made their way to the internet but some information coming from Reuters may give further insight into what is already known:

Consumers will get 5 Gigabytes of storage for free with Google Drive, while various versions with incrementally more storage capacity, topping out at about 100 Gibabytes, will be available for monthly fees

Google will be looking to target both consumers and businesses with Google Drive so keeping up with competitors such as Dropbox, Box and Evernote will be vital for them. If the information we've heard thus far is accurate, they'll be well positioned to do so by taking advantage of some of their already existing products such as Google Images, Google Docs, Gmail and even Google+. When will it arrive to masses? No one is certain as of yet but it could be as early as this week, with some saying Tuesday will be the day.

Source: Reuters, Image Credit: Life at Google

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2 years ago

Paid apps back from brief hiatus from Google Play

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Update 2: And they're back. Crisis is averted!

Update: Google's now telling developers that it's aware of the issue. Help is on the way!

Everybody panic! Paid applications have disappeared from Google Play! Well, that's half true. They're still visible in the Android app, but trying to purchase just leads to an error. But the web portal (at least anything that's not on the front page) has been wiped of anything that costs anything.

It should go without saying (but we're about to say it anyway) that this certainly is a temporary thing. But we imagine there are a few developers of paid applications who are none too happy about this.

In the meantime, free apps are available for download, and books and music appear to be unaffected.

We've got an e-mail into Google to see what's going on.

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2 years ago

Samsung Unpacked 2012 app now available from Google Play, offers usual slim pickings ahead of event

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It's definitely getting close to that time again. Another Samsung event is almost upon us, and as always theres a Samsung Unpacked Android application to participate in the buzz. Simply titled Samsung Mobile Unpacked 2012, the app is free to download right now from the Google Play Store. An initial word of warning though -- it's buggy. It won't open on my HTC One X, so at least for now some of you won't be getting any joy from trying to open it. It could be an ICS thing, as theres already a comment that it also doesn't work on a Verizon Galaxy Nexus. Hopefully come the big day though, it'll be fixed. 

Anyone who has used these apps before will be right at home, it's pretty much business as usual. Naturally at the moment it's pretty useless, unless you're actually going to the event. The address for the venue and travel details from the major hubs in and around London are about all that's present right now. The teaser is also there, just in case you haven't seen it yet.

The important feature -- mobile streaming of the event. If you can't be there, or more to the point, if you're at work, this could prove key to keeping up with events. That and following Android Central of course, as we'll be there come May 3 to keep you guys fully up to speed. You'll find the download links after the break.

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2 years ago

Dropbox for Android updates, folder linking now available

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The Dropbox app for Android (and the related web service and desktop apps) has been updated today with "performance improvements and bug fixes", along with the option to share links to specific files or folders. The idea is to make it easier to make stuff you've uploaded directly accessible by providing a button next to them on the web site and mobile app. If you recognize these new features, it's because they've been in beta testing for a while, but from today they're accessible to all Dropbox users.

The timing of the update is interesting, with Google rumored to be unveiling its competing "Google Drive" service sometime this week. If it's to succeed in taking users away from Dropbox, Google will have to offer a compelling sharing solution of its own, particularly in light of today's new additions.

We've got the usual Google Play Store linkage waiting for you after the break, along with today's press release.

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2 years ago

Samsung announces Galaxy Note S Pen App Challenge winners!

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The Samsung Galaxy Note S Pen App Challenge of which our very own Phil Nickinson was a judge, has now concluded, and the winners have been announced. The grand prize winner has scored $100,000 with second place pulling in $50,00 and third taking home $20,000. The goal was to create apps that make use of the Samsung Galaxy Note's S Pen in unique ways and according to Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile the results exceeded expectations both in terms of quantity and quality. So who won? Check out the list below:

  • Best Overall App – Grand Prize - $100,000 “Monkey Write * Learn Chinese” by Chiu-ki Chan (Square Island LLC): Learn to write Chinese with Monkey Write – a game that makes it fun to learn. Chinese characters are written in a specific order to give them structure. Follow the stroke numbers to learn to write each character.
  • Best Overall App – Second Prize - $50,000 “Maze Racer” by Roger Peters (SmartyPantsGaming) and David McCanless: Maze Racer is a simple maze inspired game where you draw a line from start to finish. In Maze Racer, you get rewarded stars based on how quickly you reach the finish. Maze Racer is optimized for precision from the S-Pen over traditional finger input.
  • Best Overall App – Third Prize - $25,000 “Drawing Pad” by Christopher Lott and Daren Murtha (Murtha Design): Drawing Pad is a mobile art studio with a beautiful user interface that puts the fun into creating art. Drawing Pad provides amazing realistic textured brushes with the pressure sensitivity data of the S Pen.
  • Popular Choice - $2,000 and a Galaxy Note - “SignDoc Mobile” by Softpro North America: Professionally capture user handwritten signature using pressure sensitivity of the S Pen

In addition to the top three winners and the popular choice award, Samsung also opened up a segment for honorable mentions where the winners took home $2,000 and a brand new Samsung Galaxy Note. Congrats to winners! You can check out the full press release beyond the break.

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2 years ago

Android Central Editors' App Picks for April 21, 2012

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Each week we like to bring you some of the favorite applications we use regularly, and here we are again. Let's hit the break and check out what your favorite Android writers are using regularly, and be sure to let us know in the comments some of your favorites!

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2 years ago

Hands on with the Spotify for Android update preview

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For me, Spotify is how I listen to probably 75% of any music at the moment. While the service -- and for that matter price -- is superb, the Android application has definitely been lacking. There have been rumblings for a while about an update, and then just like that it dropped. The preview of the newest version is only available as a direct download from Spotify at present, and isn't the finished article. What is there though is pretty special, and a significant upgrade from the previous offering. We've had a couple of days to play around with it now, so if you haven't tried it out yet, stick around. A full hands on plus some tasty screenshots await you after the break. 

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2 years ago

Facebook for Android updated to v1.9 with improved performance, new messaging features, and shortcuts

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A freshly updated version of Facebook for Android has now landed in the Google Play Store and is ready for download. Getting bumped to v1.9, this release fixes some old bugs and introduces some new features to the app as a whole:

  • Messenger and Camera - Shortcuts will now appear in your app tray after you update.
  • Messaging Features - Taking from the standalone app, v1.9 now offers Mobile/online status, contact sorting by frequency, adding to group chat on the fly.

Keep in mind the new features are not standalone apps, they're now integrated right into Facebook. Not sure what exactly that means for the Facebook Messenger app itself, but integration with the main app is nice and makes sense. You can hit the break for the download link.

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2 years ago

About those mobile graphics predictions - games like The Dark Meadow can't come soon enough

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Earlier, Phil talked a bit about the way mobile graphics are inching their way up towards full-blown console performance. NVIDIA, who is entrenched in gaming and graphic performance on all fronts, at their a little shin-dig in Seattle really wanted to wow us with numbers and slides and predictions. That's all well and good, but if you're like me, the talking only makes you want to see the product and evaluate it against all the hype.

I'll let others hash out the strengths and weaknesses of mobile gaming in relation to PC and console gaming. I'm that guy who bought Skyrim for the PC, but never had a chance to install it and play it yet. I also won't have time to fool with the Diablo III open beta this weekend. But I do have time to play games on my tablet, and I don't want to waste it playing crappy ones. Make it better, do it as fast as you can, and keep folks like me, who would rather play great games on a small screen while kicked back in a La-Z-Boy, all happy inside. That's why the thing I found most exciting about yesterday's little get together was the mention of two new Tegra Games -- Bounty Arms by Kerosene Games and The Dark Meadow from Phosphor studios. Seeing new titles optimized for the Tegra 3 gets me a little tingly, so I poked around the Internet a bit and found that Bounty Arms comes from the same developers who brought us BladeSlinger (which kicks a serious amount of ass), and a short preview of the THD optimized version of The Dark Meadow. These can't come soon enough. Hit the break to see the trailer and I think you'll agree.

Source: NVIDIA; The TegraZone

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2 years ago

Google+ SMS connectivity extended to 41 new countries

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When Google+ launched last summer, users in India and the United States were able to interact with their circles via SMS, however other territories have so far been left out of the text-based fun. That changes today, as Google+'s SMS features are rolled out to 41 new countries, mostly in the developing world --

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, Benin, Cambodia, Cameroon, Congo (DRC), Cote D'Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.

The idea is to allow G+ members to interact in places where standard voice and SMS coverage is available, but mobile data is not. By texting a particular number on a supported carrier, users can post to their stream, either publicly, or to a specific circle. Likewise, any responses are fed back by text message.

A list of networks supporting these new SMS features can be found over on the Google+ support page.

Source: Google India Blog

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2 years ago

Samsung S-Cloud rumored to be unveiled alongside new flagship phone

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With the May 3 Samsung Mobile Unpacked event less than two weeks away, we're starting to hear more about what the manufacturer may be unveiling alongside its next flagship. The latest rumor to hit is that Samsung is planning to launch its own cloud storage service, dubbed "S-Cloud" in tandem with the Galaxy S III in London on May 3.

According to Korean news site MK.co.kr, the "S-Cloud" service will offer upwards of 5GB of storage, with no restrictions on the types of content that can be uploaded. "Free and paid" entertainment content is also reported, including TV shows, movies and music. The move could put Samsung into competition with the rumored Google Drive service, expected to be launching soon, as well as more established players like Apple and Dropbox.

Whether Samsung announces a new cloud storage service, or just that other thing we're expecting to see on May 3, we'll be on the ground in London to bring you full coverage.

Source: MK, via: The Verge

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2 years ago

Wordpress for Android v2.1 enters public beta

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Wordpress for Android has been steadily improving over time, and the latest attempt has just been released into public beta. V2.1 promises some "totally radical stuff" -- their words, not ours. 

What is this totally radical stuff? To save us hunting for it, the developers have posted a handy changelog, which looks like this --

  • Autosave timer while editing posts. Every 60 seconds the post will be autosaved.
  • Edit comments! You can edit comments while on the go now.
  • You can now set the width for linked images.
  • All new WordPress.com reader. Navigating posts is much faster and you can add comments to posts that you are reading. You can also share the post to other Android apps!
  • Small improvements to the UI, most notably that the delete post button has been moved to a less prominent spot to prevent accidental taps on it.
  • Reliability improvements
  • Translation updates

The developers are really keen for people to test this out, and run those new features through the mill a bit. If you run a Wordpress blog, then hit up the source link below to get your hands on a copy.

Source: Wordpress

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2 years ago

500px arrives for Android - Enjoy some of the world's best photos

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Sure, Instragram is fun for casual photo taking and sharing but for those who seek out higher quality photos there is a new site that offers up some of the world's best photos. 500px. Now finally, 500px has released their Android app to the Google Play Store for all. No, it's not for snapping a pic on your device and sharing it with others but it does however; allow you to elegantly showcase your already uploaded photos, create slideshows, browse your friends' photos and your favourites all from within the app itself.

  • Browse Popular, Editors Choice, Upcoming and Fresh. Photos change in real-time, so come back often for a fresh dose of inspiration
  • Filter by categories (tap and hold the icons on the left)
  • Full search
  • View beautiful, full size photos without distractions
  • Login or sign up for a 500px account to see your photos, friends' photos and your favorites
  • Vote for photos, add to favorites, read and leave comments
  • View photo descriptions, EXIF information, and location
  • Share photos on Twitter, Facebook, or see them in browser
  • Create a slideshow for every photo stream

The app is full of features and especially looks great on tablets where you can set it up view photos like a photoframe. If you're into photography or just love to look at great photos, this is indeed one app you'll not want to miss. You'll find the download link past the break, if you're interested in learning more about 500px the site, you can hit the source link below.

Source: 500px, Thanks, stbxxl!

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