Tag Archives: Google

Cloud Storage Race – Dropbox, Google Drive, Box

Even though cloud storage market is almost completely populated at this moment, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box seem to be the biggest players in the race. Different providers might offer various features but these three remain synonyms for cloud storage.

dropbox vs Google drive vs boxFeatures that all cloud storage services have in common are: folder syncing across multiple devices, file sharing and online backup. Pricing plans and storage space differ from provider to provider and it becomes increasingly difficult to choose only one of them. However, these three big names seem to constantly be in the race. I’m not including Skydrive from Microsoft for now and will be covering it at later stage, when Windows 8 will officially launched the final version. For now, lets quickly look into some of the features of Dropbox, box and Google drive.

Dropbox Vs. Google Drive vs Box cloud storage:

Dropbox:

Dropbox is the leading consumer-oriented cloud storage with 50 million registered users. This number is mostly reached through its referral program – 500 MB bonus storage in free account and 1 GB in premium accounts for each new user that accepts your invite. This was basically the word of mouth marketing for Dropbox. Its simple interface and intuitive features were enough to gain users’ attention, especially among those that are not particularly tech savvy. The simplicity is probably the most notable feature of Dropbox, but this doesn’t mean it’s poor in functions.

The best thing about Skydrive is their huge user base and it supports multiple platform. Being one of the popular and oldest cloud storage here, they have a huge advantage but now with launch of Google drive and skydrive, and leaked Dropbox password, we can expect other free cloud storage services to take a leap.

Sign up for Dropbox

Google Drive:

Google Drive’s adoption was very smooth among Gmail users. It somehow came as the missing piece of a puzzle for those who were using Gmail and Google Docs for years. Though it entered cloud storage race quite late, Google Drive was able to gain plenty of faithful users. In the first 48h after launch it reached 5 million downloads.

By the end of June that number doubled. Even though it was long rumored that GDrive would be Dropbox killer, it actually didn’t take over many Dropbox users. Rather, it remained the choice of faithful Google fans because of its excellent integration with G Docs and Gmail. If you are an iPad user, you will love to use Google drive on it. It might take little time to get use to Google drive, but by converting docs.google.com to Google drive, Google got their initial user base without any sweat.  If you have not yet started with Google drive, you can quickly grab a free account from here using your existing Google login.

BOX:

Box cannot actually be compared to these two because its focus is mostly enterprise market. Box is a big name with more than 11 million users and 120,000 businesses and this number continues to grow. Box constantly improves its services and seeks new ways to penetrate different markets. Recently they announced opening the offices in Europe and enhanced collaboration with the partners – they introduced free storage on HP desktops and assigned free Box accounts to LG Android device buyers. But what exactly makes Box enterprise market favorite? Though their free account is obviously poor with features, the premium accounts allow creating online workspaces by syncing any folder with contents, comments and discussions, task assignment and many others. Besides this they have a great pro pricing plan.

You can also check out Pingdom comparison of Dropbox vs Google drive vs box vs Skydrive here.

All three big companies have different weapons to conquer particular segments of the market. It is expected that Gmail users would prefer Google Drive, but the real battle is for the platform agnostic ones. As more users start moving to the cloud their expectations from the services grow. Even though all providers give their best to improve their services it is still hard to announce a single winner.

This is a guest post by Bojana from Encrypted file storage, if you would like to write for CallingAllGeeks, check our guest posting guidelines.

Google Apps for Education : Bringing the Cloud to the Classroom

Google seems to be poised to take over the world, and this is not limited to the Internet. Google applications and functions are now coming to schools and universities. Google’s Apps for Education is streamlining education around the world, making it easier for teachers and administrators to connect with each other, their students and their peers; and, it is all offered all for free.

Google Apps for Education

What Google Apps for Education Offers

When designing Google Apps for Education, the team at Google looked at the increasing productivity and satisfaction that personal users had with the technological innovations at their disposal, and compared that to the technology being implemented in schools. What they found was that, while individual consumers were increasingly happy with the technology at their fingertips, schools were not reporting the same level of satisfaction. With Apps for Education, Google is changing all of that.

Google’s Apps for Education offers schools free use of collaborative programming, such as Google Docs, a personalized start page and Google Sites, as well as communication tools, like Google Talk, Google Mail and Google Calendar. This combination of programs provides numerous benefits to educators.

Benefits of Google Apps for Education:

Real Time Collaboration through the Cloud

What Google Apps for Education provides that few other services have is a way for students and faculty to interact in real-time. Real time collaboration makes working as a group more efficient. This is seen particularly well in online classes, where teachers and students do not meet face to face.

In this scenario, a professor can assign a project to a group of students and place the file within the system for all to access. Students, regardless of their geographic location, make changes to the file in real-time, and when the group is finished, they submit the final draft to the professor via the Google App. The professor can oversee and make suggestions throughout the process, if necessary, because he or she will maintain real-time access to the file.

Greater Accessibility

Schools and universities that have implemented Google Apps for Education give their educators greater accessibility to stored data. With the program, which is entirely secure, educators can access their data and documents with any Internet-ready device. If a teacher wants to check on a project or have a conversation with a student while on a laptop at the local coffee shop, no problem. The Google Apps for Education platform can be accessed anywhere, at any time, as long as the individual has an Internet connection.

Better Communication with Students and Colleagues

One of the foundational features of all Google Apps is communication. The Apps for Education program fosters faster, more efficient communication between teachers and their colleagues and students. A teacher can instantly message the entire class to alert them to a change in an assignment, and colleagues can make plans for school events through instant messaging and email technology.

Google estimates that 14 million students and teachers around the globe are currently using Apps for Education. By providing greater collaboration opportunities through the cloud, better communication and improved accessibility, Google is becoming an integral part of the modern education system, and today’s teachers are thankful for the changes it has brought to their classrooms. How many of you feel that modern education system should be out of School and should happen in real world. Here is an interesting video by a student against schooling. You can find full text here:

This is a guest post by MelCrossMan. If you would like to write for CallingAllGeeks, check our guest posting guidelines.

Google Currents: Feed Reader App for Android and iOS

We recently reviewed the amazing magazine styled news reader app for iPhone called Flipboard. And now here’s a new one for both Android and iPhone and it’s by none other than Google. There are a lot of news reader apps out there, but there aren’t many that are fun to read. Google Currents, as this new app is called, has a magazine styled theme just like Flipboard. But, unlike the latter, this app is available both for Android devices and for iOS devices as well.

Google has no native feed reading app for any mobile device, but it’s Google Reader is quite famous and used by many on the internet. This is their first feed reader app for the iPhone and Android phones, but, it isn’t as great as it looks. Like all Google products, this one is quite buggy as well. The current version doesn’t load all the feeds from a Google Reader account after you sync with the app. Plus, it hasn’t got any interesting or different feature that sets it apart from other magazine styled apps.

When you fire up the app for the first time, you’ll be asked to log-in with your Google credentials. If you have Google reader, then it should automatically sync all the feeds with the app. But, since there’s a bug, it probably won’t. You can share the articles, as usual, with various social media websites and also on Instapaper, Pinboard etc.


Check out more on Google Currents over here. Also, watch the video after the break, to better understand how Google Currents can help you.


That’s pretty much everything that you can do with Google Currents. Read your favorite Google reader feeds on iPhone and Android devices.

Google Currents is available for download from the Android Market and the App Store. It’s also free. So, try it out now. Although, if you already happen to have a good RSS feed reader app installed, then it’s alright to skip this app entirely.

Google Music Brings Free Music Streaming, Cloud Storage and Sharing

Google has been playing it’s game from some time now, from Android to the all new Google Music. Yes, the music service that was announced at Google I/O earlier this year, has now gone from beta to final. Google’s music service, simply called Google Music, is now live for everyone in the U.S and they can use it to upload their songs, purchase music and even share them with friends.

Apple has iTunes Match and Amazon has it’s own cloud player, and now Google Music is a direct competition to all these services. The service was made live at an Android event in Los Angeles today and is now available for everyone in the United States prior to the previous beta only/invitation based access that it had.

A quick look at the service shows you the different aspects of this new service, and even though it’s nothing new, it works. With Google Music, you can upload your favorite music to the cloud and then download it on to your mobile device, using the app. There is a limit, and is about 5000 songs lesser than that of iTunes Match, i.e, 20,000. But, then again, that’s a lot of songs to listen to and certainly you can’t keep so many on your mobile device.

You can download the uploaded or purchased tracks on to your mobile or tablet device for offline listening or you could just stream all your music. There’s a completely new Music store in the Android market, that allows you to purchase new songs or albums and even provides certain singles for free. Since this is a Google product, it’s automatically integrated with Google +, which means that you can share your purchased music with all your friends.

They can even stream the complete song from the social network, whereas you only get to preview 90 seconds of any song before purchasing it. This means that you can actually use Google + to listen to music. And, if you happen to have a band or are starting one, then you can even start your own page to sell your music for a one time fee of $25. The artists will get 70 percent of the price for each song sold.

Well, that’s all you have to know about the new Google Music and its services. You can download the Google Music app from the Android Market and start uploading your favorite music, if you’re in the U.S that is. This is Google’s answer to the iTunes Music Store, the Amazon Music Store and the Zune Store, but only time will tell if they’ll actually succeed. Personally, I think it’s a little too late to enter the arena, since Apple’s iTunes has been leading this game and continue doing so after the standards it’s set. What do you think?

Samsung Galaxy Nexus Price and Availability Revealed

The much awaited Ice Cream Sandwich(Android 4.0) phone was announced very recently on 19th October 2011 and created a huge amount of appreciation as well as excitement throughout the world especially to the techies. The only news on availability of Samsung Galaxy Nexus on its launch was that it would be hitting the stores in the next month, November.

There was no word on the pricing of this Android 4.0 phone and that’s why the top sites came up with huge guesses and many of them failed, as usual. Making things easier and better for all, Samsung has revealed all the pricing and availability details that were required. Read on to find out.

As already told above, Samsung Galaxy Nexus would be coming to market in November. It will firstly come to United States, Norway, Japan, Canada and United Kingdom. The carriers which will are used for this phone are Verizon(for United States), NTT Docomo(for Japan), Three, Vodafone and O2(for United Kingdom).

  • The price range in United Kingdom for Samsung Galaxy Nexus is from £429 to about £515.
  • In United States, the cost will be around $800.
  • In Denmark, the cost will be around 4400 DKK.
  • In Finland, the cost will be around €649.
  • In Sweden, the cost will be around 5500 SEK.
  • In Netherlands, the cost will be around €649.

Sadly, the price and availability for India hasn’t been revealed but if we convert the United States price to Indian Rupee, it shows Rs. 39,840 which may be the real cost but we cannot be sure yet for that. We have to wait some more for Indian pricing details.

If you want to know about the phone, click on the link. If you see the specifications, you will know that this phone is great and quite worth of your money. As a techie, even I was looking out for this phone for a long time and the announcement really made me excited and the specs, especially the Android 4.0 has made it a desire for a lot of people out there which may include you as well. Try to wait if you can, otherwise you may try ordering it from US in November itself.

Share your views and opinions in the comments.

After Ice Cream Sandwich, It Could be Android Jelly Bean

Recently, Google announced that the successor to Gingerbread was going to be a universal operating system called Ice Cream Sandwich. They did not provide any details as to what version it’ll be or what it’s main features will be other than that they’ll unify Gingerbread and Honeycomb and will be an OS for all Android devices. There have been many rumors about certain phones coming with the Ice treat, but many have turned out to be false. Also, Google’s Eric Schmidt let out some details that mentioned a Q4 2011 release date for Ice Cream sandwich, but forgot to mention the version number again.

Google has this weird tradition of naming things based on sweets and delicacies, such as Banana Bread, Cupcake, Donut, Eclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, HoneyComb and then Ice Cream Sandwich. They’re all in the alphabetical order, which means that the next release of Android will be something from ‘J’. My friend and I were discussing potential names for the next release and we did think of Jelly. Behold, now there’s some information stating that the next version of Android, after Ice Cream Sandwich of course, could be known as Jelly Bean.

According to This Is My Next, they’ve received credible information about the next major release of Android. But, the name Jelly Bean could well be a wild guess since Google doesn’t have many options to go with and this sounds like them. An expert from the report by This is my next;

We’re hearing from another well-regarded source that Jelly Bean is in the running for the name, but that the choice hasn’t yet been finalized by Google; for what it’s worth, the pickings are fairly slim for desserts with “J” names, so Jelly Bean seems like a solid choice. The source goes on to say that there are some fairly major architectural, functional, and design changes in Ice Cream Sandwich, so by all appearances, this is still going to be a big-time release. Of course, that doesn’t mean Jelly Bean (or whatever Google ultimately calls it) won’t have a big outing in its own right, but the indication is that ICS won’t just be a warmed-over Gingerbread or Honeycomb.

Android is growing and thus everyone will be interested in knowing what the next version after Ice Cream Sandwich will be called as. We’ll leave Google’s geniuses to work on that.

Meanwhile give us some potential Android names beginning with the letter ‘J’ that you think might work. 

Google Maps Now Displays a Weather Layer

Weather is an important part of our day to day lives and we rely on forecast to plan our days, specially if you’re going somewhere. Of course for bloggers its not much roaming, however we do at times step out and go for a stroll if the weather is pleasant. Normally you’d have to use a different weather application and another Maps application if you want both at the same time. Well, things have changed. Google has integrated a really nice weather layer to Google Maps, which gives you forecasts of places with temperatures and conditions.

As you can see in the above screenshot, a new Weather layer has been added to Google Maps. This provides good weather information with appropriate icons for Sunny, Rainy, Cloudy etc and also shows cloud cover, which is quite cool. Cloud cover is only visible if you zoom, if it’s zoomed in, you can only get reports on current weather conditions. If you click on a weather icon of a certain place, you’ll be presented with the forecast for the next four days with temperature, humidity and wind conditions.

To change the units of the readings, you can use the Left side panel. It has options to change the speed unit, temperature units and also the option to enable or disable clouds. All this will come in really handy if you’re planning a road trip to your hometown or some place that you want to visit. It’s always advisable to keep an eye out for the weather, which now has become easier thanks to Google Maps. To learn more on this new feature, you can watch the video after the break.

Got everything you need? To enjoy the new weather layer on Google Maps go here.

What do you think about this new feature? Do you think you’ll be using the weather layer when making holiday plans? 

Google plus app for iPhone Updated for iPad: Not really

Google plus which created lots of buzz in last couple of months and so far people are loving it. With the evolution of Smartphone’s, no social networking website can ignore the need of a dedicated app for different OS. As it is, Google+ app on Android and iPhone is awesome and yesterday Google updated the plus app to make it compatible with iPad. Though no doubt this iPad compatible app sucks to the core.

So far I have used Google+ app on my iPhone and I’ loved it. Specially huddle feature is awesome. Though when I installed Google+ app on my iPad yesterday I was shocked to see it’s not truly compatible with iPad. Probably Google never thought of targeting all iOS device. More over when I compare Facebook app for iPad with Google+ for iPad, Google+ stands no where. Facebook app for iPad is probably my first choice of place to use Facebook. Though it has not been launched officially but here is how you can get Facebook on your iPad. More over, by launching an iPad compatible version, I believe Google+ have done more damage than good.

Here are couple of screenshots of Google+ for iPad and I suggest you to better not install Google+ app on your iPad until Google releases a fully compatible iPad version of Google+.

Google-plus-iPad

Gogole=Plus-iPad=Compatible

You can download Google+ for iPad here. If you already using Google+ app on iPhone, I suggest you to update to latest version as new updated version is more faster and come with settings for Huddle. Do let us know your feedback and review of Google+ for iPad.

How-to Make RSS Feeds for Google+ Posts Profile

You could create an RSS for one of many reasons, such as, know about the latest news from a website, follow someone’s updates, or something else. RSS feeds are really useful as they are the easiest way to keep yourself updated with all that’s new. You can also learn a lot if you’re following someone who likes to update about interesting things happening around, hence here’s a method to create an RSS Feeds for Google+ Posts for profiles.

RSS Feeds for Google+ Posts

People have already begun using Google+ to share things with others, so it’s high time that you start following someone who posts good updates. RSS is the best way to go, because you can then add it to your favorite Feed reader and get updates along with all your other feeds. To make RSS feeds for Google+ profile is fairly simple and requires only a few minutes and a web app known as Google Plus Feed.

Create RSS Feeds for Google+ Posts

  • Firstly, you’ll need to get the profile ID of the person whose RSS feed you want to make. The profile ID is a long string of numbers, for example, for Profile “plus.google.com/117420368760274729369/” the profile ID is 117420368760274729369.
  • Now go to http://plusfeed.appspot.com and add the profile ID to it like this http://plusfeed.appspot.com/117420368760274729369.

Google  User Feed

  • Open Google reader or any other feed reader of your choice and add the URL to it. Below you can see that I’ve created an RSS feed and it has been successfully added.

google plus feed

You’re done!! You now have made an RSS feed of a Google+ user. However, if the person has limited all his posts and updates to a certain circle then you cannot see the updates. Only if it’s made Expanded, can you see the updates.

If you’ve been wanting to get someone’s update on your feed reader, then this is the easiest way to make it happen.

7 Chrome Extensions To Improve Your Google Plus Experience

Google Plus has been on the news ever since the day it was released. Millions of users flocked to check out this new social networking service by the search giant within just a few days of it’s release. Some people really liked the way Google designed this new networking service, whereas some claimed it to be a clone of Facebook. No matter what people have to say, Google Plus has become a really good competitor to it’s counterparts Facebook and Twitter.

In this post, I present to you 7 Google Chrome extensions that can completely enhance your Google Plus experience.

1. Extended Share for Google Plus

Extended Share for Google Plus

Extended Share for Google Plus is a perfect chrome extension for those who use other social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, in addition to Google+. It provides a quick way to share your posts on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Basically, it adds a “Share on..” link to each of your posts, which on clicking will bring up an internal bubble letting you share your posts directly on other social networks.

Download

2. Usability Boost for Google Plus

Usability Boost For Google Plus

This chrome extension makes small CSS changes in Google+, so as to improve the readability and make the page more pleasing. It basically puts more focus on the content and enables you to easily distinguish between the posts and comments. It also pins the notification bar at the top, so that is always accessible.

Download

3. Notification Count for Google Plus

Notification Count for Google Plus

This extension checks for any unread notifications on your Google+ account and displays the notification count on your browser notification toolbar. It can be really useful if you want to stay up to date with what’s happening in your Circles, without keeping an open tab to do so.

Download

4. GTools+

GTools

GTools+ is a really nifty Google Chrome extension that adds various useful features to Google+. It lets you stick the notifications bar always on top when scrolling, translate posts, customize notifications color, add notifications for Gmail and Google Reader, and much more.

Download

5. Google+Tweet

Google Tweet

Google+Tweet is a chrome extension that completely integrates Twitter inside Google+. It is a fully featured Twitter client for Google+. It lets you tweet, view your timeline, re-tweet, check your inbox, share your photos and much more.

Download

6. Google+ Tweaks

Google  Tweaks

This chrome extension lets you tweak the layout and features of Google+. You can preview images when you mouse over them, make Google+ use your full browser’s width, hide various elements that you don’t use, pin the notification bar and much more.

Download

7. Native Gmail for Google Plus

Native Gmail for Google Plus

This chrome extension lets you integrate Gmail into your Google+ page. It adds unread mail count in the notification bar and also lets you view your mails right within Google+. It also provides you options to set the refresh interval and the interval rate.

Download

Which among these extensions do you use? Have any other Google Chrome extensions to recommend? Tell us about it via the comments section.

Image Credit : Sean McCabe