Headlines

2 years ago

Google Docs is now Google Drive - we take it for a spin

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Welcome to the Google Drive era. Google Docs has been folded into GDrive, but it's still the same productivity suite you've come to know and love. And now it's got some pretty serious cloud sync (even more so than previous) behind it in the form of Google Drive.

The idea is that you can collaborate on anything. Everything. Someone share a PDF? You can comment on it, and the OP will get a notification that you did so. 

There's a desktop client for all this, too, and, yes, it's basically Google's version of Dropbox. All your former GDocs files show there, and opening them opens them either in Google Docs, or in a respective native app (for instance, I use Foxit for PDFs.) 

We've got a slew of screenies after the break. 

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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

Virgin Mobile Canada launches signup page for upcoming HTC One S release

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The HTC One S is "coming soon" to Virgin Mobile Canada, and in exchange for your email address, the carrier will notify you as soon as the device launches.  In addition to news as it happens, submitting your email address between now and May 17 will earn you a chance to win one of two S smartphones. As per contest rules, the retail value of the prize is set at Cdn $600, a possible hint at what Virgin will be charging.

Officially speaking, the carrier hasn’t gone official with a release date or pricing, though we’ll keep our ears tuned to the great white north for more information. Virgin Mobile’s signup page can be found at the source link.

Source: Virgin Mobile Canada; via mobilesyrup

 

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2 years ago

Google gets back into the phone sales business, offering Galaxy Nexus for $399

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The rumors were true -- Google once again is selling unlocked smartphones on its own, with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus going for $399 in the Google Play Store.

The phone Google's offering is an unlocked pentaband GSM device, same as what many of us had imported previously. The "pentaband" part means that it'll work on AT&T and T-Mobile 3G/4G networks. And because it's unlocked, you can take it out of the country and pop in another carrier's SIM card without needing an unlock code.

Google's tried selling phones before, starting with the original Nexus One in early 2010. That ended poorly, with customer support issues dogging Google, HTC and T-Mobile (which at launch was the only carrier to officially support the N1). Google finally shut down the phone store in May 2010 and said the Nexus One would come to retail stores. That didn't happen. Later, the remaining Nexus One stock was offered as a developer device.

So what happened? Google's Mario Queiroz told us at Google IO in May 2010 that "The web store as a direct distribution model is really a very small part of the overall Android strategy. With the Nexus One we had the objective of bringing to market a very technologically sophisticated phone, which we did, which really set a new bar for quality. And I think you've seen a lot of the phones in the market today, that have come to market in the past few months, have been influencing, in many ways ... by what the Nexus One was able to do."

Sweetening the deal is that Google Wallet -- which for some time has been official only on the Sprint Nexus S, and now on the Sprint Galaxy Nexus -- is preloaded on this GSM device.

For our part, this is the way Google should sell Nexus devices. Unlocked GSM versions, able to work on networks worldwide. And, of course, it's what some are calling the one "true" Nexus because you're able to build for it directly from the Android Open Source Project, with no pesky CDMA licensing restrictions  keeping that from happening. (We don't quite subscribe to that "True Nexus" theory ourselves, though.)

Devices in Google Play right now is open only in the U.S. But Andy Rubin, in a blog post this morning, says it'll be coming to more countries. The obvious follow-up question is this, though: Google won't be stopping at selling phones at Google Play, will it?

Buy now: Galaxy Nexus at Google Play
More: Google Mobile Blog

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2 years ago

Samsung reveals U.S. Ice Cream Sandwich update list

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For the past several months we've had a general idea of which U.S. Samsung phones and tablets are slated to receive an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. But today the manufacturer has stepped in with a full carrier-by-carrier breakdown of which devices are set to get the latest version of Google's OS.

The big picture is that if you've got a Galaxy Tab or Galaxy S II-class phone, chances are you're in line for an ICS update later in the year. The only real surprise comes from T-Mobile, which doesn't have any confirmed devices, though Samsung promises a list in the "coming months." There's also no mention of the original Galaxy S, but then that stopped being news a few months ago.

Unfortunately there are no specifics offered about exactly when these updates will begin rolling out (except for the Nexus S, of course, which already has its ICS update). Though with ICS for the international Galaxy S II already rolling out to handsets in Europe and Asia, we're hopeful S II owners in the U.S won't have too much longer to wait.

Source: Samsung Support; via: Samsung Mobile USA

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2 years ago

AT&T breaks own smartphone sales record in Q1, iPhone still dominates

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AT&T this morning announced its first-quarter 2012 earnings. The carrier sold a Q1 record 5.5 million smartphones -- 78 percent of them iPhones. That leaves 1.2 million Android and BlackBerry smartphones to make up the difference. AT&T didn't give a breakdown of non-iPhone sales, but it is worth noting that the heavily marketed Samsung Galaxy Note wasn't available until Feb. 19, so it missed half the quarter.

AT&T added 726,000 subscribers for the three months ending March 31, and saw its lowest churn in seven quarters.

Source: AT&T

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2 years ago

O2 confirms it'll stock 'next Galaxy', references to 'Galaxy S3' in official app keep us guessing

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Following yesterday's 'next Galaxy' revelations from Vodafone, O2 UK has confirmed that it'll also be carrying Samsung's upcoming (and as yet unnamed) flagship smartphone for 2012. Again, we're not too surprised, as in the UK it's the norm that major handsets like the 'next Galaxy' appear on all major networks.

In related news, references to a "Galaxy S3" have been spotted within the listing for the Samsung Mobile Unpacked app that was released last night. The name is tucked away in a list of keywords at the bottom of the description in the Google Play Store. This is far from confirmation of the official name, but it's yet another piece of the puzzle, and it wouldn't be the first time an "Unpacked" app has provided hints about future Samsung products. In any case, we can bet Samsung will keep us guessing over the next week, as the May 3 announcement approaches.

Source: Google Play, @O2

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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

Motorola Droid RAZR/MAXX update rolling out now

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For you night owls with the Motorola Droid RAZR and RAZR MAXX, know this: A decent little update, which we first told you about a few days ago, is now available. No, it's not Ice Cream Sandwich (not yet, anyway). But here's what you can expect in software version 6.12.181:

Device Features:

  • Improved device stability.
  • Optimized device performance to extend battery life.
  • Added easy access to preloaded VZW bookmarks through quick key access.
  • Corrected loud call end and connect tones over Bluetooth.®
  • Enhanced device security preventing unauthorized access of telephony database by third parties.
  • Device is now updated with IPv6. - As new Internet addresses are introduced, you will be able to continue to browse and view web pages with this latest Internet enhancement.

Network Connectivity:

  • 4G coverage indicator accurately displays data connectivity.
  • Improved Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity when utilizing WPS security.

Email, Messaging & Data:

  • Improved text message delivery.

Applications & Widgets:

  • Improved Visual Voice Mail performance with data disabled and visual voicemail notification delivery.
  • Enhanced security in Verizon Apps.

MotoCast Updates:

  • Included a new MotoCast widget to enable easier access and discoverability of MotoCast services.
  • Modified the storage settings screen to make it easier to understand total storage versus available storage.
  • Implemented a number of MotoCast performance improvements.

That's quite the changelog, actually. To download the update, you can either wait for it to push, or go to Menu>Settings>About Phone>System updates to get your download on. And if you need a little extra help, hit the forums links below.

Source: Verizon; More: Droid RAZR forums; RAZR MAXX forums
Thanks. @Fusedgutz24, for the tip!

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