Google is busy handing out free storage to its users today, first with the launch of Google Drive, and now with a Gmail storage bump. Yep, when Gmail launched back in 2004, everyone got 1 GB of email storage for free. Today, eight years later, that figure is 10x larger. Prior to the storage increase, users had about 7.5 GB of Gmail storage for free, so this adds another 2.5 GB gratis.
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Google Drive, the long-awaited cloud storage service from Google, has just launched. Everyone gets 5 GB of storage for free with their Google account, with more storage available for purchase at surprisingly cheap rates (for example, you can upgrade to 25 GB storage for $2.49 per month.) Google Drive is currently available on the web, PC, Mac, and Android devices. iOS apps for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad are coming soon.
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We recently covered the release of Western Digital’s My Passport 2 TB hard drive, and now the company has released a Mac-specific professional series external drive for all your mass storage needs.
The Western Digital My Passport Studio 2 TB maintains a classic metal finish, matching colors nicely with recent Mac models. The My Passport Studio can be used as a Time Machine destination as well, allowing users to automatically back up their system. WIth 2 TB of storage space, it can hold about 400,000 photos, 240 hours of video, or 500,000 songs. We’d say that’s plenty. The other main feature of the drive is the dual FireWire 800 ports, allowing you to daisy chain additional devices.
The price of the My Passport Studio 2 TB is set to be at $299.99, and you'll be able to get it later this month.
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Dropbox just upped the ante for its users who want to share the goodness of the service with friends. Now, when you refer friends to sign up for a free Dropbox cloud storage account, you get 500 MB of extra space added to your account, with a maximum 16 GB of space up for grabs if you refer 32 new users. If you're a Dropbox Pro user, you'll get 1 GB for each referral, up to 32 GB. If you don't already have a Dropbox account, you can sign up for free, starting out with 2 GB of storage.
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This is a good look at how far companies like Western Digital have come in the storage game. The small, black device is a new 2TB My Passport portable hard drive. The larger silver device behind it is a 1TB MyBook that's probably about 4-years old. Yep, the new My Passport is probably 90% smaller than the older MyBook, and holds twice as much data.
Western Digital has announced the availability of its new My Passport line, which tops out at 2 TB of storage. Yup, you read right, 2TB. WD VP Jim Welsh went on the record saying, "It's the perfect blend of monstrous capacity, reliability and user-friendly technology in a sleek form factor." Also, the storage devices come in five colors, so you can have your storage device color coordinate with your shoes, if that’s a selling factor for you. The hard-drives are priced at $250 and feature USB 3.0 for quick transfers. There are other sizes as well, if 2TB is overkill. Pricing is as follows: $129.99 for 500 GB, $149.99 for 750 GB, $179.99 for 1 TB, $199.99 for 1.5 TB, and $249.99 for the new 2 TB edition. Check out the entire line on Amazon. You can read more from the press release after the jump.
TiVo has just announced that its replacing the 320 GB TiVo Premiere with a newer 500 GB model, netting buyers an additional 65% more storage. The new units start shipping on March 25th. In addition, the company has also lowered prices on the rest of its hardware lineup, as well as on the service plans as well. Here's the new pricing for the Premiere, Premiere XL, and Premiere Elite:
- TiVo Premiere $149.99: Records two shows at once and up to 75 hours of HD content
- TiVo Premiere XL $249.99 (reduced $50): Records two shows at once and up to 150 hours of HD content
- TiVo Premiere Elite $399.99 (reduced $100): Records four shows at once and up to 300 hours of HD content
As for the service plans, here are the new, lower costs:
- The TiVo monthly service fee is now $14.99 per month, with a one-year commitment, making it lower on a monthly basis than most cable offerings
- Multi-service discount pricing is now $12.99 per month
The new 500 GB TiVo Premiere can be purchased in stores, or directly from TiVo.com.
Apple has just announced that it's closing down the iWork.com beta in light of the fact that iCloud has become the company's de facto standard for cloud storage and sharing. It's certainly interesting, since iCloud doesn't yet have all the features that iWork.com has, namely talking about document storage and sharing, as well as the ability to download the stored document in a variety of formats on the fly. Maybe that'll be changing soon? iWork.com users have until July 31, 2012 before the service is shuttered. Full text of the email that Apple sent to iWork.com users after the break.
The move, Microsoft said in a blog post, comes as people increasingly need access to files on-the-go.
"As devices proliferate, having a great experience on the Web is only one piece of a pretty complex puzzle," Microsoft's Mike Torres wrote. "People are choosing where to put their files based on how portable and accessible they are across the various devices they use; therefore, it's critical that we continue to extend the SkyDrive experience to the devices you use every day."
To that end, the most recent version of Windows Phone, known as Mango, included deep integration with SkyDrive via the Pictures and Office hubs, allowing for the sharing of photos via text, email, or IM, for example.
But users wanted more, Torres said. "Many still want the full SkyDrive experience from Windows Phone, including tasks like browsing their entire SkyDrive, sharing links to folders or files, deleting files, and creating folders." As a result, phones running Windows Phone 7.5 can now download the SkyDrive app from the Windows Phone Marketplace and do just that.
For those on iOS, the same app was also released in the App Store. See the video above for more.
The drive, which combines solid-state storage with a traditional rotating hard disk, holds 750GB of data and caches 8GB of data on the built-in SSD. It builds on the original Momentus XT, which was awarded with an Editors' Choice, adding the 6 Gbps SATA interface that was one of the original's weak points.
Seagate claimed that the new Momentus XT drive is nearly 70 percent faster than the prior Momentus drive version. It uses adaptive memory—moving frequently used data to the SSD cache—and a related technology that Seagate calls FAST Factor.
Consumers can buy the 2.5-inch drive for $102 at Amazon, Canada Computers, CDW, Memory Express, NCIX, Newegg, and TigerDirect, or buy an OEM notebook with a built-in drive. Seagate said it had six OEM partners, but didn't name them. It's also difficult to say whether the drive's availability and price will be affected by the Thai floods, which has caused evidence of price gouging, even as Seagate's outlook has slightly improved.