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As we all await the Google Drive announcement from Google, its competitors are getting ready to stand their ground and keep their customers. They are planning to do this by adding some new notable features. Dropbox and Microsoft' SkyDrive are the two competitors we are seeing update their services.
Dropbox has been great for storage and syncing, but they haven't been very share-friendly. Dropbox has now introduced link sharing which will allow you to share files via a link and open pictures up in your browser. "This means that people who follow your link can see pictures, look at presentations, and watch home videos without having to download and open them separately," Dropbox explains.
Microsoft's SkyDrive has also received some polishing and updates in anticipation of Google Drive. A whole bunch of new apps will be getting better desktop syncing and improved remote access. Interestingly enough, with these updates, SkyDrive users are getting less free storage: 25GB has been reduced to just 7GB.
Google Drive starts its engine, launches next week for Mac, Windows, Android and iOS and offers 5GB storage for free
Google on their quest for world domination are releasing Google Drive next week, according to The Next Web. The service is expected to launch next week, include 5GB of storage, and should be available at http://drive.google.com.
Google will roll out Drive for free, and everyone starts with 5GB of storage. You can purchase more if you want, that is up to you. Google Drive is said to work "in desktop folders" on both Windows- and Mac-based machines, but there's still a few question unanswered with how it all works.
Then we have some information from TechCrunch, where they've got a teaser pic of the Google Drive app for OS X. The version they were given is 1.0.2891 and they've said it works without any problems. John from TC was able to log in to his Gmail account, but other than that there's not much he could do, he was prompted with "Google Drive is not yet enabled for your account".
There's a new website that is offering 10GB of free cloud storage. Trouble is, the website is only in Russian, at least right now. The service launched today as a beta and is the latest in a growing number of cloud storage services providers. It is a system similar to DropBox where files can be stored locally and remotely.
The file then updates among the versions when you save it on your desktop, for instance. The files are accessible from the web, a native Windows or Mac client, or through the Yandex.Mail app on iOS and Android devices. "Yandex.Disk is a cloud service, a virtual folder that can be safely used for file storage," Anton Zabannykh, Yandex's head of Personalized Services, said in a statement. "If your personal computer or laptop catches a virus or breaks down, your files will be safely stored on Yandex.Disk. Currently, Yandex.Disk is integrated with Yandex.Mail, and we have plans to link it with other services offered by Yandex."
The service is currently available by invitation only, so users have to e-mail the site to grab an account. They say that the English version is coming soon, but there is no set date. We will have to wait and see if there is anything that distinguishes these guys from the other service providers that are already established. If you speak Russian, you can head on over to their site and sign up. It is available here.
The incredibly popular file synchronization and cloud storage service Dropbox has increased the amount of free space you get for referrals from 250MB to 500MB with the total amount of free space available to free users topping out at 16GB. 16GB of free space is pretty much enough for anyone's uses, unless they are uploading their entire hard drive.
The person who accepts the referral will also see the increase and will receive 500MB as well. Pro users see a similar bump in data space acquired by referrals. They will now get 1GB of free space with the max amount of free space topping out at 32GB. Dropbox has decided to do this after seeing that the majority of their growth was through word of mouth.
They have also retroactively applied this change, so people will get fully credited for previous referrals:
How much space is that, exactly? For every friend you invite that installs Dropbox, you'll both get 500 MB. If you've got a free account, you can invite up to 32 people for a whopping total of 16 GB of extra space.
Pro accounts now earn 1 GB per referral, for a total of 32 GB of extra space. Have you already invited a bunch of people? Don't worry! Within a few days, you'll get full credit for every referral that's already been completed. Boom!
Some more details regarding the rumored soon to be launching Google Drive platform. As with all rumors, until it is officially announced, take all of this with a grain of sand. I do, however, feel that this is a pretty solid rumor. A screenshot, pictured below, has been leaked and it details a few interesting things.
First, the screenshot indicates that the service should be launching with 5GB of free storage. This rivals the 2GB provided by other services such as Dropbox because they often give more storage for referrals and other social activities. Google's tagline is: "All your files - everywhere." Google says "Put files in Google Drive and you can access them on your desktop, mobile phone or tablet, and drive.google.com."
It is said that the Android App will allow you to edit your documents right in the App. Google warns that this may increase your data usage:
Editing documents in the Google Drive Android app requires ongoing syncs to update your documents, which can increase your bandwidth usage. Keep this in mind if you have a limited data plan with your mobile provider.
Hopefully this service will launch in April as detailed by the last rumor posted claimed. It's unclear whether Drive will replace Docs since they seem to have the same functionality, or if they will coexist peacefully.
HTC have warned users that HTCSense.com was undergoing some pretty big changes, and part of these changes is a major upgrade, which will put all precious services in shut down mode. This means all calendars, call histories, contacts, Footprints travel info, as well as messages, will all be wiped.
Users have until April 30th to do something about it - so we would recommend a very strong word here for anyone using HTCSense.com - back. up. now.
Those who want phone finding and cloud-based backup apps have been told to try third-party apps, as HTC don't have any time frame on when the HTCSense site would boast its new services. Why the sudden change and removal of a website they pushed as competition to Google's cloud services for Android, or Apple's MobileMe service?
Well, HTC are launching Sense 4.0-powered devices in the coming months, with the One X, One S and One V being released into the wild. These handsets have been considerably stripped back and polished, removing clutter and should improve the overall experience of these handsets. This speed increase and spring cleaning does come at a price though, HTCSense being dropped for a while.
A series of tests were conducted by storage vendor Nasuni. What they found is quite shocking. The results of the tests indicate that both rival cloud services, MS Azure and Rackspace, are slow to accept data. Whether this is a limitation of the network or a limitation of the hardware, we can not be sure.
Nasuni conducted five series of tests. The results are, again, quite shocking. Since all of these systems are cloud storage, you would expect similar performance, but you would be wrong. For example, moving 12TB from Amazon to Azure takes 40 hours, whereas moving the same data back took only four. 12TB from Rackspace to Amazon took five hours, yet Amazon to Rackspace took almost an entire week! Amazon "bucket" to Amazon "bucket" took only four hours.
Once again, it's not clear if this is just a limitation of the network, or if there is a massive difference in technology that is leading to these poor write speeds. Nasuni said the cloud providers were not "forthcoming about why their performance would vary so greatly." However, "Nasuni did not experience the same behavior with Amazon S3, and this measurement probably further indicates limitations in Azure's architecture or bandwidth, as other customers using the system appear to be affecting our results to a large degree."
Cloud-based storage company, Box, has just updated their Android app and have baked in a bunch of new features. In order to celebrate this new start, Box are giving away 50GB of free storage to any Android-based user who logs into their service in the next 30 days.
Box's new Android update introduces an overhauled user interface, new features, and includes compatibility for Google's latest OS, Ice Cream Sandwich. Box worked with Google to help redesign the UI with ICS in mind, and even users of previous Android-based OS's will benefit from. New features include the ability to comment on files, add teammates to individual folders, and batch uploads for uploading multiple files at once.
Box are also adding new support for languages, with French, Italian, German, and Spanish being added to the Android app. On top of the free 50GB of storage, Box are also giving away 20 Samsung Android-based tablets to a single company who can compellingly explain how it plans to use Box to improve its daily routines. Two runners-up in the contests will win a Samsung Galaxy Tab.
The new Box Android app is available right now in the Android Market, and will pop its head up shortly in the Amazon Appstore, Barnes & Noble Nook Store, LG World, and the Verizon Store.
It seems as though Google are inching closer to launching a cloud-based storage solution that should go head-to-head with other cloud-based solutions like Dropbox and Microsoft's SkyDrive. Wall Street have cited people "familiar with the matter" who say that the service would be simply known as 'Drive', and should be here within a few months.
It will reportedly include a free option that should suit most customers, but Google will also have a premium model which should feature more storage space. At the moment, there's no information on just how much space will be included in the free option, but considering Dropbox offer 2GB for free, with additional space given for referrals and promoting them on social networks, it should be similar.
Dropbox also charge just $9.99 for 50GB and $19.99 for 100GB. Google have the power to offer just as much, if not more, for less than Dropbox's offerings. Google are already offering 20GB of shared data for its Picasa, Gmail and Google Docs services for just $5 per year. Microsoft on the other hand, offer 25GB through SkyDrive for free. Google will most likely match, if not beat, SkyDrive's pricing.
Dropbox has been kind enough to offer 5GB of free space for its cloud-based storage service. Free users receive 2GB of space, and this 5GB additional space bumps it up to a nice 7GB.
It's 'free' which means it comes with some restrictions such as users must download and install the 'experimental' Dropbox client. Users must utilize Dropbox's new automatic photo import feature to upload photos. This feature is the reason behind the promotion, where Dropbox want to iron out the bugs in this new venture.
Once you've completed your first photo import, Dropbox will give you an additional 500MB of space. For every 500MB of photos you upload afterwards, Dropbox will give you an additional 500MB of storage, until it reaches the 5GB additional storage mark. The 5GB of space is permanent, even when the beta ends.