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Amazon’s Cloud Drive Takes on Dropbox With File Syncing (Original)

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Is Amazon gunning to replace Dropbox and Google Drive? Its latest file-syncing feature for its Cloud Drive service may indicate so.

The online retailer announced on Monday users of its Cloud Drive Desktop app will now be able to access files such as music, movies and documents across multiple computers and mobile devices.

Although the app launched for Windows and Mac in May 2012, the lack of file-syncing prevented it from becoming a true Dropbox killer in the past.

With the app, files automatically stored and can be accessed on other computers with Cloud Drive installed

Read more...More about Google, Mobile, Amazon, Dropbox, and Cloud Drive

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Xbox Music update adds volume control, cloud syncing and performance boost (Original)

DNP  Xbox Music update adds volume control,

Several Windows 8 apps, including Calendar, Mail and People, received updates just yesterday, and today Microsoft's Xbox Music is getting a refresh of its own. The music app's update brings both performance improvements to Windows RT devices and some new functionality. Among the new features is a volume control that sets the app's volume independent of the system's volume. The update also brings the ability to automatically sync your music collection to the cloud and add songs from your collection to other devices running Xbox music. Finally, as you can see in the screen grab above, there's a new playing UI that displays all tracks from an album in addition to the song currently playing. You can check out the update yourself by clicking through to the Windows Store via the source link.

Filed under: Software, Microsoft

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Via: The Verge

Source: Windows Store

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Insync, A Google Drive Client For Power Users & Businesses, Exits Beta With Pro Features & Pricing Plans (Original)

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Insync, a startup offering an advanced, business-focused alternative to the Google Drive desktop client, is today taking the service out of a beta with a 1.0 release for Mac and Windows users. The updated client application includes a number of features not found in the earlier build (or in Google Drive itself, for that matter), including support for multiple Google accounts, selective sync, desktop notifications, support for external and network drives, built-in sharing, and more.

The company, based in Singapore and the Philippines, actually got its start as “Dropbox for Google users” – a sort of proto-Google Drive back at a time when Drive was still just known as Google Docs. But when Google moved to launch its own Dropbox-like client with the Google Drive desktop app, Insync reincarnated itself by adding the missing features which the official client lacks.

“In the course of building this thing, what we discovered was that there was this huge group of users who wanted advanced features,” says co-founder and CEO Terence Pua, who previously ran Friendster’s Philippines operations, before starting Insync back in 2008.

“We started asking users what they needed, and things that kept popping up were multiple account support, and being able to watch any folder outside of the Insync folder’s location.…

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Dropbox Hits Another Hiring Homerun With Rasmus Andersson, Facebook’s Mobile Design Guru (Original)

Rasmus Andersson

Dropbox has scored another big win on the staffing front.

Rasmus Andersson, the Swedish designer and technologist who for the past two years has worked at Facebook leading the design of mobile products and working on product infrastructure, is leaving the social networking giant to join Dropbox. He’ll be working on both the design and engineering teams at the cloud storage and sharing company. We’re hearing that his last day at Facebook was this week, and Dropbox is set to announce his hiring later today.

Prior to working at Facebook, Andersson spent four years as the chief designer at Spotify. There he essentially steered all aspects of Spotify’s creative direction at a formative time for the music streaming service, developing its logo and branding and designing the interface of its flagship Mac app.

This is just latest in a series of recent coups Dropbox has made on the tech staffing side. Last week, the company beat out several established bidders to acquire Orchestra, the 13-person startup behind the much buzzed-about email organization app Mailbox. In December, the famed creator of the Python programming language Guido Van Rossum joined Dropbox as a software engineer after a seven year career at Google; also that month Dropbox snapped up Soleio Cuervo, the designer responsible for Facebook’s “Like” button, and acqui-hired photo-sharing startup Snapjoy and cloud music startup Audiogalaxy, bringing on solid new engineering talent.…

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Private Photo And Video Sharing Service For Families, Famil.io, Is Like A Dropbox For Memories (Original)

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Famil.io, a new service for privately sharing photos and videos with your family across web and mobile, is today officially launching to the public. The sharing platform can serve as a complement to Facebook, where most families network today, though in a more restrained fashion. Or for those family members who aren’t even active on Facebook, Famil.io can, to some extent, serve as a replacement.

The service works online, or as a web browser extension (initially for Chrome), and on iOS or Android. This cross-platform support was critical for Famil.io, CEO Iftach Yair explains.

Yair joined Famil.io, which is being incubated within Israel’s lool.vc, around six months ago to help co-founder Iftach (yes, also!) Orr bring the product to the market. Lool.vc operates in a similar manner to Betaworks here in the U.S., in that it funds and incubates startups, providing them with office space, resources and support.

“I took the basic project that was running and made a lot of changes in it,” explains Yair. “The major one was to take Famil.io from a destination site and an app, into a cross-platform, cross-generation product,” he says. “In order to make this product work, you have to make it agnostic of the platform or devices that your family is using.…

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Apple Updates Podcasts App, Adds Custom Stations With iCloud Sync And Fixes Playback Resume Bug (Original)

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Apple has just issued Podcasts version 1.2, which brings a long list of improvements to the iOS app. Among the changes are a new feature that lets users generate their own custom playlists with any podcasts they choose, with auto-updating of new episodes for each. Stations are stored in iCloud and synced across devices, and users can choose to start with either the most recent episode or oldest unplayed one.

The update also adds on-the-go playlist creation and syncing of playlists back to iTunes, and fixes a problem users were reporting with playback not resuming correctly when jumping back into the app from another or the home screen. The interface has also been changed, notably doing away with skeuomorphic elements in favor of something cleaner and more in line with the native iTunes music player.

The playback issues and interface were both resulting in some pretty negative reviews from users on the App Store. Now, the app looks to be much improved, and the new Stations feature actually adds a lot of value versus the old instantiation where podcasts were simply rolled in as part of the Music app on iOS.

Apple has a lot of competition in the App Store for its own podcasts app, including Casts, Podcaster, iCatcher and PodCruncher to name a few.…

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Apple Finally Adds Two-Step Verification to iCloud and Apple ID (Original)

Apple begins rolling out two-step authentication for Apple ID and iCloud users, highlighting the growing importance of security as our digital lives move to cloud-based services. Here's how to set it up (and why it's important).

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Uppidy For Android Now Backs Up SMS, Photos & Video To The Cloud, Raises $600K In Seed Funding (Original)

uppidy

Uppidy, a D.C. area startup which last year launched a consumer-facing app allowing users to back up their text messages to the cloud, has just introduced a paid version of its service that now supports pictures and videos, too. The company has also closed an additional round of seed funding, bringing its total raise to date to $600,000.

Investors in the startup include Band of Angels, CIT (Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology), New Vantage Group, Harvest Group Holdings, LLC, Fortify Ventures, and Paul Silber of Blu Venture Investors. Except for Silber, the company decided not to take on individual angel investments, but is in the process of raising additional funding now.

The service is primarily focused on the Android platform for the time being, as the Android operating system allows apps to more deeply integrate with its various components, like messaging. Uppidy does offer a version of its SMS backup solution for iOS users, but it requires a desktop download that works with the iTunes software – it can’t backup the SMS messages using a mobile app alone, as it can on Android.

For that reason, according to CEO Joshua Konowe, the majority of Uppidy’s current user base are Android users.…

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Amazon Cloud Storage Clone Goes Open Source (Original)

Riak CS is a file system designed to be fully compatible with Amazon's popular cloud storage service, S3. It can be used to create private Amazon-style storage systems in your own data center, to build public services that compete with Amazon, or to power web applications of your own creation. And as of Wednesday, it's open source.

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Dropbox to offer email and cloud collaboration through Mailbox acquisition

After only a month since the launch of Mailbox's iOS email client, Dropbox has reportedly snapped them up.  At this point we can only speculate what Dropbox might have in mind but clearly leveraging Dropbox's "connected" storage seems logical. For more info check here.

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