Dropbox dramatically cuts pricing to compete, 1TB now just $9.99/month

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Dropbox has today slashed its pricing and doubled the maximum storage space from 500GB to 1TB. Up until yesterday, you’d have been paying $500/year for 500GB; today you can pay just $120/year (or $99/year when paying annually) for a terabyte.

The new deal finally brings Dropbox into line with Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, with Apple’s new iCloud pricing – which includes iCloud Drive – also looking to be broadly similar …  Read more

Liberio launches new Google Drive-based eBook publishing platform

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Liberio, an online eBook publishing platform the based on Google Drive went from beta to official today. Designed to connect to Drive, this new tool lets you import just about any text-based document and convert it into an eBook that is compliant with industry standards, making it compatible with most major online stores like Amazon, Google Play Books or the iBooks Store.

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Google Sheets receives massive update w/ formula support, auto-fill, Excel compatibility, more

Hot on the heels of updating the Docs app for Android, Google has just started rolling out an update to Sheets on Android, as well. The update is packed full of changes, both feature-wise and in terms of design. The update comes just days after Google announced it was shutting down Quickoffice on iOS and Android and introduces several features formerly available in the mobile editing app.

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Google announces plans to discontinue Quickoffice on iOS and Android

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Way back in 2012, Google announced that it was acquiring the mobile document editing company Quickoffice. At the time, Google said that it had no intentions on shutting the service down, but would also work to integrate the unique features of QuickOffice into its own suite of editing apps. Following the announcements of new features for Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets at I/O, the company has announced that Quickoffice will soon be shutting down (via The Google Operating System Blog).

“With the integration of Quickoffice into the Google Docs, Sheets and Slides apps, the Quickoffice app will be unpublished from Google Play and the App Store in the coming weeks. Existing users with the app can continue to use it, but no features will be added and new users will not be able to install the app.”

Quickoffice for Android was last updated on February 14th of this year, while the iOS client hasn’t seen an update since January 6th. We knew that eventually, Google would be forced to shut down Quickoffice to focus exclusively on the Google Drive suite of apps. Google never promised to keep Quickoffice running forever.

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Google announces new enterprise features, “Drive for Work” program, Slides app for Android and iOS

During its annual developer conference today, Google announced several new enterprise features that are coming to Android with its “L” update and a new “Android for Work” program. Thanks to a plethora of new APIs, the “L” version of Android will be able to seamlessly unify personal and business apps and data. Google claims that currently, many employees are required to carry two phones: one for work and one for personal use.

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Microsoft’s OneDrive now matches Google Drive with 15GB of free storage

 

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Microsoft is making notable improvements to its storage offerings for its OneDrive cloud-based service. The company is announcing today that OneDrive storage at the free tier will be more than doubled, Office 365 storage will see a major increase, and that there will be storage price drops across the board. Here are the three main announcements in more detail:

  • Currently, OneDrive’s free tier includes 7GB of storage. This storage is accessible via the OneDrive apps on iOS, Android, Windows, and on the web, and much like Dropbox and the upcoming iCloud Drive, it can store files of all kinds. Now, this 7GB is moving to 15GB. Microsoft says it is making the switch to 15GB now that people store more files in the cloud and now that images and videos taken on smartphones consume much more space.
  • A bigger shift is occurring on the Office 365 storage side. That service is moving from 20GB of storage to 1TB of storage per user. This 1TB tier costs the same $6.99 per month for an individual user or $9.99 for a 5 person family plan (which still provides 1TB per family member). This move from 20GB to 1TB is a significant boost, but it’s unlikely that most people even have ~1000GB worth of Office files to store. Office 365 keeps Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents in sync between the iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, and web Office apps.
  • For those customers who do not want an Office 365 subscription at the aforementioned prices, users can now tack on additional storage to a OneDrive account in increments of 100GB or 200GB. 100GB is $1.99/month and 200GB is $3.99/month. The change here is price decreases: 100GB used to cost $7.49 per month and 200GB previously was $11.49 each month.

These price changes automatically go into effect today for current users. The shift is notable because OneDrive’s free storage tier now matches Google’s 15GB Google Drive and other cloud services. OneDrive’s 100GB storage plan also now matches Google’s at $1.99 per month. Google also offers much larger storage plans than Microsoft, which can be seen below:

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Gmail for Android updated with interface tweaks, ability to save attachments directly to Google Drive

Ahead of its tradition “update Wednesday” regiment, Google has pushed out a minor update to the Gmail app on Android today. The update bumps the app to version 4.8 and includes some various interface tweaks, most notably in the slide-out navigation menu (via +Gmail)

One of the changes includes profile images next to individual profiles on the slide-out navigation menu, and should you have more than one account, there’s also now a checkmark to better indicate which account you’re currently using. The Settings and “Send Feedback” options have also been crammed into the slide-out panel, whereas they previously were located in the action overflow button in the upper right corner.

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AT&T rolling out fix for HTC One M8 Google Drive bug

 

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Last month, HTC acknowledged a bug that blocked its Advantage customers from redeeming 50GB of Google Drive storage space. The Taiwanese manufacturer advised that it was working on a fix for the matter and said that it expected a patch to be ready a few weeks later. Today, the company announced that AT&T had approved an update for the HTC One M8 and that users could download the update and claim their cloud storage. 

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Google announces Docs, Sheets and Slides mobile apps

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Google’s mobile office suite isn’t the most refined experience, but it’s there if you need to compose a document or edit a spreadsheet while on the go. Aware of its shortcomings (and competition), the company has released three new mobile apps today that aim to improve the way you handle projects when out and about. First up is Docs, a full-blown word processing application that lets users compose, edit and share documents directly from their mobile devices. The second new piece of software in Google’s big release is Sheets, which focuses specifically on spreadsheets. With similar functionality to Docs, this app lets you edit and manage rows and columns on a spreadsheet from the comfort of your smartphone or tablet.

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Google Drive can now stream presentations to Chromecast

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You were all set to wow the boardroom with that new presentation you worked on over the weekend, but before you walked out the door to head to the office, you received a call telling you that the conference room’s projector was on the fritz. What do you do now? Pull that Chromecast out of your TV, that’s what! Google has quietly updated its desktop version of Drive, giving it the ability to stream presentations to its mighty media dongle.

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AllCast updated with ability to Cast content from Google Drive to Chromecast

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Since its release back in December, AllCast has become one of the most useful apps for owners of Google’s $35 Chromecast. This afternoon, the app, developed by Koushik Dutta, was updated with support for yet another source to beaming content from your Android device to your Chromecast. With this update, you can now stream content from your Google Drive account to your Chromecast, via the AllCast app.

The feature is still in an early beta, but it actually works quite well. The interface within the app still needs work, though, For instance, you simply see a list of all your videos and images, which can be rather cluttered for people with a lot of files stored in Drive. Folder support is in the works for the next update, however, according to Dutta.

In addition to Google Drive support, the update also includes various bug fixes, including a fix for those whose Chromecast and Android device were disconnecting after 30 minutes. The full changelog is below:

  • BETA: Google Drive
  • Potential fix for disconnecting after 30+ minutes
  • Various bug fixes

The update is available on Google Play now, for both the free and premium versions of the app. 

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Review: HTC One (M8): Excellent hardware improves, confusing software worsens

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If hardware quality was the only factor in buying a phone, you could stop reading right here and go out and buy the HTC One M8 – it is the best looking, best built (AFAICT after 3 days) phone out there, bar none.

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The front will look familiar, if elongated, to current One owners. It still has separated stereo speakers which incidentally are again the best you’ll hear in a phone by a long shot, but the screen is bigger and unfortunately so is the bezel around the screens.

That extra length tallies to a centimeter taller than its predecessor making an already big phone now almost phablet-like in stature. Add to that HTC’s insistence of putting a power button on top of the phone which you must shimmy up and down to reach and you’ve got yourself some usability experience issues before you even turn on the phone.

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The back of my gray “stainless steel” unit matches up nicely with my fridge in the kitchen. I mean that in the nicest possible way. It looks gorgeous, though I’m not sure I’d say the same for other color variations offered, particularly the gold model. The improved curves are super nice in the hand and also look the part. You’d almost forgive how long this thing is…almost.

The M8 may not be terribly repairable by iFixit standards, but HTC has your back with a pretty impressive repair plan called HTC Customer Advantage. In it, you get a free screen repair within 6 months, a somewhat vague promise to keep Android updated to the most recent version (the website says “We are committed to keeping you current” but at the show they said 2 years of upgrades), and 25-50GB of extra Google Drive space.

Besides the length coupled with the power button, I’m still a huge fan of the exterior. But then there is the interior with HTC’s insistence on Sense 6.0 and this new 3-camera system… Read more