Are you one of those people who has a lot of free space on his or her Gmail account, but is constantly butting up against the 5GB limit on your Drive account? Well, friends, despair no more.
Google has smartly, and graciously, combined the amounts — a disparate 5GB for Drive/Google+ Photos and 10GB for Gmail — into a single 15GB pool. Based on a casual survey of users, I’d say this will benefit the majority of people currently using Google services.
The one downside to this change is the elimination of the $2.49/25GB storage plan, making the next boost from the default a $4.99/100GB plan. Still half the price of Dropbox, it’s disappointing to see the base plan removed.
Do you use Google Drive? Do these changes benefit you?
Source: Google Drive Blog
A long time rumour – dating back to March of 2011 – has finally been realized.
BlackBerry will finally bring their very popular BlackBerry Messager (BBM) to both iOS and Android. During the keynote presentation, CEO Thorsten Heins stated this will be available for free for devices running iOS 6 and Android Ice Cream Sandwich (OS 4.0) or higher.
In addition, BBM for iOS and Android will be available this summer, but are “subject to approval by Google Play and the Apple App Store.” For iOS and Android users, the BBM app will be limited to simply messaging and groups, but will be updated “later on” to have BBM Voice, screen share, and the new BBM Channels that was introduced today.
BBM currently has over 60 million active users who send and receive over 10 billion daily messages.
Thorten Heins just announced a new BlackBerry device, set to launch in emerging markets in the summer. The Q5 is a mid-range device that we’ve seen leaked before, combining a QWERTY keyboard with a chiclet design, similar to the Curve series that was so popular a few years ago.
The device will come in multiple colours, including red, white, black and pink. The 3.1-inch touchscreen, with its 720×720 resolution, is identical in density to the Q10, but we’d imagine the cost savings come from the materials used, a different camera sensor and internal storage. Expect a microSD card slot as well for expandable storage.
According to the press release the Q5 will be available “in selected markets in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia (including the Asia Pacific region), and Latin America, with expected availability beginning in July.” While we’re not certain whether the device will come to Canada, we could definitely see it sitting on the shelf at Fido, Koodo, Virgin, or WIND, Mobilicity, Videotron for $350 or $400.
We’re all about to find out ‘what’s next’ for BlackBerry. Today, May 14th, in Orlando is where all the festivities will be unveiled. Rumours are that there will be a plethora of announcements, possibly new BB10 devices (like the entry-level R10), tablet updates and deeper BBM integration. Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of BlackBerry, will take the stage at 9:00am EST and we’ll update you as the event unfold:
With Nokia’s Windows Phone 8 Lumia 925 announcement today, the company also declared that the new Smart Camera app would come to all Lumia smartphones. This update is known as “Amber” and is part of the upcoming GDR2 update that will be available starting in July. This will also bring double-tap to wake support, plus FM radio support to every Lumia, but not the recently release TELUS and Koodo Lumia 620 as it doesn’t have an FM radio.
The Lumia 925 is the latest flagship smartphone to join Nokia’s lineup. After extensive leaks online, Nokia has shed the polycarbonate design from previous devices and has come to market with an all-aluminum gem.
Much of the specs are the same as the Nokia Lumia 920, namely the 4.5-inch (1280 x 768 resolution) display, 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, 2,000mAh battery, 8.7MP camera and a 1.2MP front-facing camera, but there are some notable differences. The aluminum makes Lumia 925 much lighter, coming in at 139 grams and only 8.5mm thin (Lumia 920 was 185 grams and 10.7mm thin).
Nokia says the Lumia 925 differs from any other previous Windows Phone 8 devices because it has “the most advanced lens technology and next generation imaging software.” The camera is an 8.7MP Pure View and they’ve included “Nokia Smart Camera mode” – something they say will come to all Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphones – and allows users to “capture ten images at once and edit the pictures with options like Best Shot, Action Shot, and Motion Focus for creating the perfect high quality image.” This is tech from their purchase of Scalado (same company that powers the BlackBerry 10 camera features).
The LTE-enabled Lumia 925 also has wireless charging, but you’ll need to purchase a separate cover that attaches to the back – this is available in white, black, yellow, and red. As for a Canadian release – no word yet. The Lumia 925 will launch in June in UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and China for 469 EUR ($600), then in the US at T-Mobile, followed by “a number of other markets.”
The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini has not shied away from the camera since its first turn, emerging several times to show off the diminishing size of its GS4 legacy.
Here it is again, posing with a ruler this time. At first glance, without scale, the Galaxy S4 Mini looks remarkably like its larger sibling, but its feature set belies a handset that is slightly less high-end. First, there is a bit more space above and below the 4.3-inch screen than on the GS4, which has a most minimal of bezels. Second, it appears the type of plastic used is slightly different, with a slightly altered textured pattern.
The rumours specs of the Galaxy S4 Mini also put it squarely in the mid-range: a 4.3-inch qHD display, a 1.6Ghz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 8-16GB internal storage, and a camera of between 5- and 8MP.
Facebook updated its iOS app today to make saving and sharing photos easier. The app recently saw a significant performance boost alongside the addition of Chat Heads, so this release is more of an iterative move than a splash maker.
Also on board are performance improvements, especially when it comes to loading events. Facebook has become the de facto social event planner, so it’s good news to see a previously-slow feature significantly quickened. You can also make edits to Places check-ins, a little-used feature that Facebook is trying to grow out.
The main improvements here, however, are to do with photos. When clicking on a photo, users will not see three dots at the bottom of the screen. This lets you share, save or report the photo, a much-requested addition.
Facebook also changed the app’s icon on iPad and iPhone, with a chrome ring around it, though we’ve heard it was altered by mistake and will be reverted to the old version in due time.
Download Facebook for iOS.
Recently, Google transferred its Play Store app review credentials to Google+, ensuring that so-called “real people” were providing feedback to apps. Google’s real name policy ostensibly improved the quality of Google+ posts, but potentially limited the amount of discourse, due to lack of anonymity, the community engendered.
Now, after rolling out the ability for a small number of developers to respond to reviews, Google has opened up the floor to everyone. Devs can post public responses to specific problems or compliments, and can continue the discourse through email if the issue persists.
This is a great way to provide feedback to consumers concerned about a specific feature or bug, and can take a 1-star rating and turn it into a 4- or 5-star.
Have you ever posted a review and had a developer respond to you? Did it encourage you to improve the app’s rating?
Source: Android Developer Blog
BlackBerry Live 2013 is a day away and the company will be announcing “what’s next.” If you can’t make the physical event, BlackBerry has you covered in several angles. First, they’ll be live streaming the keynote starting at 9:00am via blackberrylive.com. It’s expected that Thorsten Heins, CEO of BlackBerry, will talk about “the power of true mobile platforms and how BlackBerry innovations in mobile computing, platform management and BlackBerry 10 are empowering the future of mobile,” plus announce tablet plans, and possibly new BlackBerry 10 devices.
If the live stream is not your thing, but checking out the party is, then BlackBerry will also be live streaming the Alicia Keys – their new Creative Director – “Keep Moving Experience” that will feature Alabama Shakes, Miguel, Maria Gadú, and Cedric Gervais. In addition, there’s the official BlackBerry Live Conference App that can keep you up to date with all the session breakouts and keynote agenda.
Hopefully we’ll get an update on sales numbers for BlackBerry 10, with the inclusion of Q10 results. At last count there were just over 1 million units shipped, plus the company recently passed the 100,000 available app milestone.
We’ll bring you all the details as they happen.
Source: BlackBerry Live 2013