Thursday, November 29, 2012

Share files on Gmail up to 10GB with Google Drive

Have you ever tried to send an attachment through Gmail and the file was too big? I’m sure many of you have, as their attachment size limit used to be only 25MB. After Microsoft introduced 10GB attachments in Hotmail, Google was behind the curve.

Now Google has integrated its cloud-based service: Google Drive into Gmail, allowing users to transfer files up to 10GB in size.
Google Drive was introduced by Google in April, allowing users to store up to 5GB for free; each additional 25GB costs only $2.49.

After users opt-in for the new “Compose” feature for Gmail, you can select (or even drag and drop) files from your computer up to 10GB in size. Not to mention with the new feature users can navigate throughout Gmail more quickly and easily all while composing a message, with the new compose pop-up window (much like chats only bigger).

Also with the new compose feature, users will now see a contact picture from Google+ of the recipient entered in the “To, Cc, or Bcc” line.

Additionally, your recipient will always have access to the most up-to-date version of your file stored on Google Drive; you or your recipient can now make changes back and forth to the shared document and all of the message recipients will see the changes to the file next time they access the document online.

Much like DropBox or SkyDrive, with Google Drive you can now access all of your stored files anywhere, anytime. But look out DropBox and SkyDrive, Google specializes in integrating all of its services, and with the new Gmail integration, Google Drive should gain further popularity.

Sources: Gmail Blog- Introducing the new compose in Gmail, Gmail and Drive – a new way to send files

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Galaxy Note II, a better "Phablet"?

It's a phone, it's a's a "Phablet". The Samsung Galaxy Note II, the newest "hybrid" smartphone released by Samsung, combines many of the key features of a smartphone and a tablet to create a new and revolutionary product, the phablet.

The Galaxy Note II is the successor to the popular Galaxy Note, a 5.3 in. smartphone that was big success. The new and improved Note contains many upgrades from the original Galaxy Note, including a larger display. At 5.5 inches, the Galaxy Note II has a larger screen than most smartphones on the market and is considered by some to be a "mini tablet". The Galaxy Note II also has 4G LTE (on select networks), an 8 Megapixel camera, a quad-core processor, expandable memory using a micro-SD card, good battery life, and runs on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).

Another feature that gives the Galaxy Note II that tablet "feel" is the inclusion of a stylus with the smartphone. Samsung has done a lot of work to improve the interaction and usability of the stylus and has done a good job. The stylus is a key feature of the Galaxy Note II that allows users to take handwritten notes, write papers, draw, and various other productive tasks that are much harder to accomplish with a human finger. This phone also comes with software exclusive to the Galaxy Note line such as S Note and S Planner. These two applications take advantage of both the large display and the included stylus. They focus on productivity and are great for anyone working on the go.

The Galaxy Note II is an interesting device since it is in that "middle ground" between a smartphone and a tablet. The only true thing that really keeps this device from being classified as a small tablet is the ability to make voice calls over a cellular provider. Having such a large display truly puts this phone into a different category than many other popular smartphones such as the iPhone 5, the HTC One X, and even Samsung's own Galaxy S III. While these phones all have a screen of at least 4 inches, the 5.5 inch screen of the Note truly dwarfs the rest.

While the large display is certainly the selling point and the biggest benefit of the Galaxy Note II, it is also its greatest weakness. Such a large display affects the way that one interacts with the phone. This smartphone is one that cannot be used with one hand, it is simply too big. No matter what you want to do on the device, whether browsing the web or sending a text message, two hands are required. While there are many people who like the immense size of the screen, I for one think it is too big. While I certainly understand the purpose of the screen size, I feel it is too much. Having a phone that cannot be used in one hand and bulges out of any pocket it is put into is something that I feel would be quite annoying.

That being said, I feel that the Galaxy Note II is a great smartphone, especially for anyone that will use it for productivity tasks or work. The included stylus, the great battery life, and the fast processor all come together to form a great phone. While it may not be for everyone, it will be a great phone for many.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Nexus 4 Release, and The State of Android

With the announcement of the Nexus 4 from Google on Monday, the new flagship Nexus smartphone, Google is seeking to expand their dominance into the mobile world. A recently released report now shows that in the third quarter of 2012 Android had 75% of the global smartphone market share. Because of the increase in popularity, Google is increasing their efforts to maintain the customer base they enjoy, along with attracting new customers during the upcoming holiday season.

The new flagship Nexus device has many improvements over the Galaxy Nexus, the previous Nexus smartphone. Some of the new features include an upgraded 8 Megapixel Camera, a 4.7 in. display with 320 ppi, wireless charging capabilities, and Android 4.2, the newest Android OS. The device is expected to be available on November 13 on the Google Play online store. The unlocked version of the phone will be available in both 8 GB and 16 GB storage options starting at $299 for the 8 GB version. There is also an alternative purchasing option available as T-Mobile will offer the 16 GB version for $199, with a two-year contract, starting November 14.

While the features of this phone certainly are great, there is one feature lacking that is a big question mark for many potential buyers, no LTE support. With most of the new "high end" smartphones having LTE, such as the Galaxy S III from Samsung and the iPhone 5 from Apple, it is curious why Google decided to shy away from this new data standard. One reason that Google is giving for this omission is that the goal for the Nexus 4 is to be a "world phone" and one that anyone can use. LTE is not yet available in many parts of the country, and really only available on the three networks of Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. LTE is also not available in many parts of the world, and therefore is not a feature that many people can access. Google also wants to keep their "flagship" smartphone separate from carrier involvement and wants to have the "pure Google experience" no matter what carrier. While the HSPA+ network that Google plans to use works well and is available in most of the country, it is no match for the data speeds that LTE offers.

The interesting thing to watch going forward will be whether or not Google's flagship device will suffer because of a lack of LTE. The Nexus is sure to be an attractive offer based on the "bargain" price for the high end specs, along with the unlocked option to use on any carrier. The ability to be used on any carrier will be a benefit to many businesses as they will have the flexibility to use the carrier of their preference. Also, people who enjoy an unlimited data plan on networks such as T-Mobile or Cricket will be able to use this "high-end" device without fear of data limits that plague Verizon and AT&T customers.

With Android's dominance in the smartphone market expanding, Google's attempt to bring people into the Nexus family is a move that, if successful, can greatly help Google. While the partnership Google has established with their various hardware manufacturers is good, Google places extra emphasis on their Nexus line. If the Nexus 4 is attractive enough to many consumers to sway them away from the iPhone 5, a task that quite honestly will be difficult, then Google will not only have themselves a popular "flagship" device, but will also deal a little blow to their archrival as well.

Source: The Verge - Nexus 4 Review
Tech Army OrganizationFind out what is going on in the Tech Army World.

What are the Top 10 Money Making Missions?
What other companies have joined and what do they do?
How do I join the Tech Army Organization ?