A long time ago (read: about 4 years), in a galaxy far, far away (read: Silicon Valley), a guy named Drew Houston started a little company called Dropbox. After securing seed funding from Y Combinator, Dropbox officially launched in 2008 at the TechCrunch50. To say nothing of the complexities of implementation, the idea was simple: put your files in one place, access them anywhere. And apparently, the idea was also a really good one: as of October last year, Dropbox had over 50 million users, doubling from a figure of 25 million in April.
This morning, Google Drive finally launched, and for about 30 minutes the pricing structure inconsistencies had me scratching my head. The blog post mentioned a new pricing scheme, with "25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month" and yet the storage upgrade page continued to list old prices - +20GB for $5 a year, and so on, which was much cheaper than the new offerings.
I quickly jumped into the $5 plan to see if it works on Google Drive storage limits, and to my surprise it did (hat tip to @LiamJohnson_95):
Now I was completely confused.
An Android phone is like a Leatherman Tool. It does a lot of things - without a doubt, a triumph of function over form. Android is the world's most versatile mobile operating system, the most tweakable, the most adaptable, and the most fully-featured. It just does more than any other comparable product out there. But if Android is a Leatherman, the iPhone is the basic Swiss Army Knife - compact, simple, iconic, and good enough for the vast majority of people, even if it does do a little less.
Let's be frank: RIM's BlackBerry products are unilaterally, shall we say, unexciting. And RIM's new theme song should probably be this. And by "unexciting," I mean ugly, hopelessly dated, and so boring that a story about them spontaneously bursting into flames might actually give the company some much-needed edginess in their marketing campaigns. Maybe that's a bridge too far.
Anyway, when I read this morning that RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins, speaking to CrackBerry, said Android devices are "all the same," I couldn't help but go slack-jawed in a combination of muted laughter and near disbelief at the irony.
We're onto the second day of official pre-CES activities here in Las Vegas, and this morning we got to spend some time with Huawei's newest smartphone - the Ascend P1 S. While the vast majority of information about the device was leaked sometime last night, we had a chance to take some video of the Ice Cream Sandwich device and share a few insights about it, as well as obtain some relevant info on pricing and availability.
Although we heard rumblings that the Prime would be delayed, some lucky customers have already received their Asus Transformer Primes, and it was briefly available (again) on Amazon before quickly selling out (again). Based on the universally glowing reviews (including my own), you're probably well aware by now that the Prime is a truly excellent piece of tech. But how does it compare to its older brother, the Transformer (TF101)?
In one of the the more recent weekend polls, we asked what is your ideal tablet screen size? - most users went for 9.51" - 10.5", which ended up taking about 50% of the overall votes. This is not much of a surprise since 10.1-inch is the most common size of Android tablet.
For those who don't already own a tablet, though, trying to decide what size to get can be somewhat of a task.
In a recent "Competitive Comparison" graphic, Verizon has labeled Samsung's Galaxy Nexus as having "No OEM Customization," ostensibly as a selling point against the competition.
It's interesting that Verizon would go so far in labeling the Nexus' UI as such, but it may hint that VZW is at least vaguely aware that some consumers prefer a stock experience, and consider it a strong enough selling point that it should be included in a comparison chart.
When the Amazon Kindle Fire was announced, we were all pretty excited about its tablet-meets-e-reader form factor, low price, and powerful hardware. Barnes & Noble has fired back this morning with an equally impressive device (and in some aspects even more so), albeit with a slightly higher price tag. As always, both devices offer features that make them unique from each other -- but, at the end of the day, which one is the better choice?
There's been some discussion of late that, perhaps, Android phone manufacturers are iterating handsets at a pace which is detrimental to product polish and subsequent software support. In fact, a couple of days ago I took a look at the state of Android phones on US carriers with a few simple charts.
I also promised to write another post looking at how quickly, as opposed to how prolifically, Android handsets are moving in the US marketplace.