Best 15 Travel Apps for Android and iOS

Below are 15 travel apps for Android and iPhone that my wife and I use when travelling. I use Android as my primary phone while she uses iPhone. From time to time we swap phones because I don\’t get all the apps I want in Android and sometimes it is the other way around.

These apps are all available in both Android and Apple iOS devices. I hope that these can make your travel easier and more fun.

Travel Apps for Android & iPhone

\"Kayak

1. Kayak

When booking deals for hotels, flights and cars, Kayak gives a lot of options even for most remote place that I tried booking. I mainly use this for researching accommodations but it has other features that will delight seasoned travelers.

It can also consolidate your travel plans in \”My Trips\” which can be done easily  by forwarding booking confirmation emails to [email protected]

Kayak also conveniently gives you a ready-made packing list that you can use to track every items you need to pack to make sure you don\’t forget anything.

Other features include flight tracker, price alerts, airline directory, airline fees, airport information (powered by  GateGuru), currency converter and inflight GPS tracking.

Two features that is existing in iOS but lacking in Android are Tours and Attractions, which gives you a list of places of interest to go with tour guides, and Buzz which lists flight search trends.

\"Tripit

2. Tripit

Even before Kayak added \”My Trips\”, TripIt has been parsing airline tickets, hotel reservations, car rentals receipts and other confirmation emails to create your master itinerary. It is better in organizing your itineraries because it makes them available in one place and you can share it with family and friends who uses Tripit too.

When you add people in your Inner Circle, you can automatically share your complete itinerary with other people using Android or iOS — it is a great way to inform anyone in your Inner Circle your whereabouts.

\"Flight

3. Flight Track

If you do a lot of business travel, you need this application. It has real-time status for gates, delays and cancellation. You can also find alternate flights and view seat maps.

\"Hostelworld

4. HostelWorld

If hotels is not your thing and you prefer back-packing then HostelWorld is the perfect app to get a cheap place to stay.

\"XE

5. XE Currency Converter

It was tough choosing the best free currency converter.

Before sticking with XE Currency Converter, I was using Oanda Currency Converter. It was great but it can only show 1 currency at a time and there was no log when was the latest exchange rate update.

So I switched to XE Currency Converter because it has live exchange rate and I can refresh it anytime I want.

\"Expensify

6. Expensify

This app lets you log expenses, scan receipts, log time with an hourly rate and use mileage, odometer or gps as reference to any bill. Scanning receipts is as simple as taking picture of the receipts and letting Expensify process it using Smartscan that  automatically logs properly whatever value found in the receipt using OCR. The free version is limited to 10 free smartscans a month but when you upgrade to pro, each scans is priced at 20 cents each.

\"Lemon

7. Lemon

If you don\’t need to log mileage then Lemon is a simpler alternative to Expensify. It also lets you process receipt using their OCR technology. You get 25 free receipt processing a month. With a pro account, you can even process line item details – i.e. every item on your grocery receipt will be recorded not just the high level expense value.

On top of this, Lemon can also keep a digital copy of your cards — not just credit cards mind you. It works on IDs, loyalty and membership cards. I don\’t know if Apple copied the idea of Lemon but before Apple\’s Passbook for tickets and coupon, there was Lemon for cards.

\"Foodspotting

8. Foodspotting

When you go places, you need to find recommended great local dishes, not just restaurants. What\’s great about this app is that it\’s all about dishes. You can find the best food nearby and get recommendations from people you follow.

\"Foursquare

9. Foursquare

Since Foursquare upgraded their app to more than a check-in app, I started using it to find recommended places using the Explore feature. You can search for specials, trending, food, coffee, nightlife, shops, sights, outdoors, arts and entertainment. Some of the tips are very helpful to get the most out of the scenic spot or trendy places.

For food and beverages, Foursquare is starting to function like Yelp but unlike Yelp, Foursquare is available in many places, mostly generated by users. You also don\’t get a menu; you simply get tips on what to eat from random users who check-in on those places.

\"Triposo

10. Triposo

I only discovered Triposo lately and it is has travel guides for most countries. The best part is that it is free and it works offline. No need to worry about data access on remote places without signal. You don\’t need to worry about roaming charges with this app.

Each travel guide you install presents you a travelpedia where you can learn the basic history, culture, architecture  and music of the country. It also has some phrasebook that can be handy. It has popular destinations with guides on what you can see and don on those places.  It even has \”eat, drink and sleep\” section to find where to hang out at night, drink coffee and get hotels accommodation with all the contact details and address that you can use to get there.

\"Tourist

11.  TouristEye

This is another app that can work without internet connection. When you add a place in your trip, it will download an offline copy of all the information of the city that you have chosen. That includes maps, all the attractions, restaurants, entertainments, tours and transport information.

It doubles as itinerary planner and travel journal too.

\"Google

12. Google Translate

The latest version of Google Translate is now essential to any traveler going to a foreign country with a foreign language. You can take picture of any sign and with Google\’s character recognition it can translate any language to english.

\"Google

13. Google Local

When you install Google+ in Android, you also get Google Local. It replaced Google Places. This app is actually merged with Google Maps, Navigation and Latitude in Android because it is contained in one unified application. However,you need to install Google Local separately in iOS.

Zagat ratings are incorporated in Google Local because Google purchased Zagat, remember? I still find the 30-point scale unusual but at least it gives you an overview on how good a place is. Google Local also aggregates other reviews from sites like TripAdvisor so you can\’t find TripAdvisor in this list as it is redundant already.

Google Local is also linked to Google+ Local Pages so you can use your Google+ circles to get recommendations.

\"Google

14. Google Maps

Too bad iOS replaced Google Maps in iOS6. It is still the most detailed map available for free and it has live traffic information where it is supported.

Indoor maps for selected places are particularly helpful in navigating unfamiliar buildings. In Android you can also cache map area so you can use Google Maps even if there is no network signal. This is very important if you are going to an island or rural places.

I can\’t think of any maps with chock-full of features that is so easy to use. Good news for iPhone users, you can still use the mobile web version of Google Maps.

\"Siri\"

15. Google Now / Siri

We call them personal assistant and knowledge navigator apps. However, these apps can be your travel buddy too.

Google Now is only officially available in Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. It incorporates several features from different apps and made them accessible using voice commands as well location triggers. Some of it features includes traffic guide, public transit information, next appointment notification, flight delay forecast, place recommendations, weather, translation, currency conversion and time conversion.

Siri has almost the same set of features but Google Now is location-aware while Siri is not. For travelling, Google Now gets an edge because it doesn\’t require voice input all the time but when you\’re bored while on the road, Siri could be fun.

Google Now and Siri are applications that can seriously change the way we use information around us.

If data roaming is not an issue then Google Now and Siri is the perfect companion in any place you wish to go. Of course, given the choice I would still travel with my love ones.

So now, it\’s your turn. Let me know what\’s your favorite travel apps for Android or iPhone.

 

 

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10 Android Apps for Better Photo Composition

Android Photo Composition

Last week I decided to take my landscape photography seriously. I planned the shot but even if I have the right mindset, it was still a challenge because I found out that I don\’t have the right tools and the correct preparation.

That experience lead me to take composition more seriously. I know this is a cliché — the only rule in photography is that there are no rules but there are composition techniques that we can use to make more artistic photo.  The popular techniques include rule of thirds, golden mean, deep depth of field, shallow depth of field, color, shapes, framing, leading lines and different kind of lines.

You might already know that Nikon released the first Android based camera recently. The apps listed below should could beef-up that camera with DSLR-like features.

If you have a phone camera, point and shoot camera or an entry-level DSLR, you will find these Android apps will be helpful in your composition as well. These apps are not necessary camera apps. Majority of these apps are utility tools to help you understand the technical side of photography. I haven\’t found the iOS equivalent of these apps but I will cover them next time. For now enjoy these Android apps that can help you make better photo composition.

1. Camera FV-5

This is not just a simple camera that puts fancy effects in your photos. It puts DSLR-like manual controls in your fingertips and it\’s probably one of the most advanced camera app in Android.  You can set exposure compensation, ISO, light metering mode, focus mode, white balance and, [shutter] speed mode and program mode. It even have bracketing options and live RGB histograms.

\"Camera

 

2. Sensor Camera

The rule of thirds is probably the most widely use guideline in creating stunning pictures but there are more composition guidelines built around the divine proportions such as golden mean or the golden ratio. Sensor Camera gives you the basic rule of thirds grid as well as golden sections, golden triangle, golden spiral, golden spiral stretched and face geometry.

One of the improvement area on this app is the zoom feature. You can\’t zoom on the current version of Sensor Camera so you have to move closer or farther to you subject if you want to compose your picture using this app.

\"Sensor

\"Sensor

\"Sensor

And one more thing, this app is proudly made in the Philippines.

3. ProCapture Free

You get real-time histogram too but unlike Camera FV-5, you only get 1 histogram with 3 segments to easily figure the midtones, highlights and shadows.  You can overlay 3 x 3 grid or Fibonacci spiral that you can rotate depending on the orientation.

4. Depth of Field Calculator

Depth of field is the most important aspect in selective focusing. If your camera has depth of field (DOF) preview that\’s great, but if you  don\’t have DOF preview it is hard to guess how deep or shallow the depth of field will be until you take your photo.

As part of the  creative process, knowing the depth of field in advance can help you plan the exposure parameters ahead of time so you will not spend your time playing around with different aperture value. Your time is better spent taking great pictures.

Depth of Field Calculator calculates depth of field (DOF) using the specified camera model, the focus length, f-stop and subject distance to give you the near limit, far limit and hyperfocal distance for your camera.

There are several other DOF calculator in this list but this is the easiest to understand. The diagram feature is  the best way to understand how DOF works.

\"Depth

\"Depth

5. DoF Calc

DoF Calc also considers teleconverter in calculating depth of field.

\"DoF

6. DOF Droid

If the diagram of Depth of Field Calculator is not enough, DoF Droid gives you several diagram to compare depth of field against aperture size and focus distance.

\"DOF

\"DOF

\"DOF

7. Exposure Calculator

This app lets you put in the exposure without filter (shutter speed, aperture and ISO) and then the Exposure Value (EV) adjustment which is equal to adding  neutral density (ND) filter.

If you use ND filters, this is the best app you can get in calculating exposure after adding ND filters. Professional landscape photographers would know this by heart but if you are just starting, this app can be a life saver.

\"Exposure

8. Photo Tools

Photo Tools is a collection of photography tools including focal tools, exposure tools, time tools, weather and location tools, color tools and other miscellaneous tools.

If you are learning how to be a good photographer, you can use these collection of tools to understand how your camera works on different conditions.

\"Photo

9. Golden Hour Calculator

This is very helpful if you want to achieve that special sky color when taking your pictures. Golden and Blue hours are calculated by this app using precise algorithms to get the time at any place on Earth at any date.

I wish I have this app when I was shooting seascapes.

\"Golden

10. PHOforPHO

This is a free app for serious photographers – without ads! It includes several tools such as exposure calculator, DoF calculator, timer, distance meter and more.

\"PHOforPHO\"

During design and planning stage of your composition, you can use these apps to setup how you are going to use your camera and photography equipment so that the next time you go on out to take photos you will get better photo composition and a winning shot. 

 

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OS X Mountain Lion Resources for Apple Newcomers

\"OS

OS X Mountain Lion

It is a great week for Apple. The ninth major release of OS X Mountain Lion (version 10.8) was finally made available in Apple App Store on July 25, 2012. It has many features inspired from iOS including notifications, game center, iMessage, Twitter and Facebook integration,  familiar applications such as Reminders and Notes, and  more than 200 other new features.

Those who recently ditched Windows for an Apple MacBook or iMac should be really excited to experience the best OS X experience Apple can give to date.

I gathered the resources that I think should be of great use to any beginners out there as well as seasoned OS X users who wants to upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion.

\"OS

Upgrading

If you bought a new machine recently pre-installed with OS X 10.7 Lion, you can get Mountain Lion for under $20. I wish every OS upgrade would be as cheap as this. Seriously there\’s no way you can complain for that price.

Make sure you read the pre-requisites from Apple website.

Your Mac must be one of the following models:

  • iMac (Mid 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook (Late 2008 Aluminum, or Early 2009 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Mid/Late 2007 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Late 2008 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Early 2009 or newer)
  • Mac Pro (Early 2008 or newer)
  • Xserve (Early 2009)

Wonder why older machines are not supported? It appears to be the graphics drivers so if you think of getting a second-hand Mac, take note of the hardware limitation.

Make sure you have Lion or the latest version of Snow Leopard before you download OS X Mountain Lion from the Mac App Store.

Free Upgrade

You can save yourself $20 if you purchased your Mac from Apple, an Apple Authorized Reseller or an Apple Certified Refurbished computer after June 11, 2012. Check the details here.

Software Compatibility

You can check App Compatibility Table by RoaringApps for the list of applications that works with OS X Mountain Lion. It is important to check this so that you you won\’t be surprised when some of your old programs do not work properly after the upgrade.

New Installation

If you want a clean fresh install of OS X Mountain Lion, you will need to burn the installer to a DVD or a bootable USB drive.

You can install your copy to as many Macs as you want as long as your machines share the same Apple ID. Now, if you have another Mac that doesn\’t share the same Apple ID you can use a work-around to add a new Admin account on that machine and use it to login using the same Apple ID you use to buy Mountain Lion.

Install Best Mac Apps

\"Mac

There are some good apps that comes pre-installed in OS X but you definitely need more apps. You can find here the best 100+ Mac applications for all your needs. Some of them are linked to Mac App Store.

Setup iMessage, tweak some settings to get the most of the new Mountain Lion featuresget rid of some annoyances, add OS X Server if you wish.

Book Reference

\"OS

OS X Mountain Lion, The Missing Manual covers OS X 10.8 and iCloud. It is perfect for newcomers because you can get crystal-clear, jargon-free introduction to OS X and then you can go in-depth with new key features such as Messages, Reminders, Notification Center, Gatekeeper, AirPlay Mirroring, Share Sheets, and more.

\"OS

OS X Mountain Lion Pocket Guide is a handy guide with all the details you need to know on OS X system preferences, built-in applications, utilities, and other features. It can be a great resource for problem-solving and troubleshooting on the fly.

Further readings

If you wish to read a detailed review, I recommend you read this very long Ars Technica article about OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion review. If you want to read something shorter perhaps this review from The Verge will do. Both articles will give you a taste of what OS X Mountain Lion can do.

For any PC owners out there, you may want to try creating your own Hackintosh. Tech Erra has  a detailed step-by-step instruction on how to run OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on a PC. Of course, nothing beats having your own authentic Mac.

What else are you waiting for? Dive in, read these resources, and let me know if I missed any important resource here.

 

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Windows 8 Release Preview VirtualBox Installation and Error Troubleshooting

I made a guide for Windows 8 Consumer Preview using VirtualBox before. So this is just an update. If you have followed that guide before, it\’s very similar except that I am using an updated Virtual Box and Windows 8 installer.

First, update to the latest version of VirtualBox. At the time I wrote this, version 4.1.16 is the latest. Then download Windows 8 Release Preview.

Now, let\’s start with the creation of virtual machine.

Using the steps below, create your Wondows 8 Release Preview Virtual Machine.

Windows 8 VirtualBox Guide

Install Windows 8 Release Preview

Installation is easy as pie. Just enter your preferred language, time and date format as well as keyboard or input method.

You\’ll be asked to enter serial key. If you are read the instruction on the ISO download page you should be able to find the serial key already. Just look for the Product Key.

Anyway, Windows 8 Release Preview Serial Key is  TK8TP-9JN6P-7X7WW-RFFTV-B7QPF

Further Setup

From here you can customize your settings already. In my example here, I used local account instead of using Microsoft account. I haven\’t warmed up yet with the idea of using it yet.

I noticed that sending info to Microsoft is an opt-in instead of an opt-out. You can see from the Settings configuration that it does not track anything you download from Windows Store nor track your location.  However, location platform is on by default so apps can ask your location if you permit them.

When you first logon you will get this lock screen. Much like the swipe to unlock screen guard in some Android phones.

\"Windows

You can setup the picture password later. I like this idea better than Android\’s pattern lock because it does not force you to make a visible pattern using lines or grids. You just click and point to the area you wish to use. I wish you can setup more than 3 clicks but perhaps it is too much to remember for normal people so 3 clicks should be good enough.

One thing I noticed, when you start typing at the start screen it automatically searches for whatever you are typing. No need to look for the search text box.

The glaring issue that I still find in Windows 8 Release Preview is the invisible start menu. You have to hover the corners to get the start menu from the lower left corner and side bar menu from lower right corner. I am not sure if the experience will be different if you are using tablet but I am still skeptical on hiding the start menu. Yes you can bring it up easily using Windows key on your keyboard but it still does not make sense to me or to any average person I know. I had this opinion even before I saw Chris Pirillo\’s rants about the missing start menu.

Windows 8 Metro Apps

I tested Internet Explorer 10 with Flash 10 support. Nothing fancy about it.

Then there are 3 new apps added like News, Sports and Travel. These 3 apps share common interface and I think they will be the standard reference for Metro apps in terms of design and technical implementation. If you swipe down, you will get a pull down menu at the top. This serves as the menu of the applications. For example, in the Sports app — the default sport is basketball. At first you will think that it only displays basketball news but when you bring up the menu, you have an option to choose from different sports including golf, F1 race and football.

Troubleshooting

If you are installing and you get the error \”Your PC’s CPU isn’t compatible with Windows 8.” — you are not alone. Related issue to this is error code 0x000005d. Specially if you are working on VirtualBox, you will get this error if missed several prerequisites before installing Windows 8. You have to make sure that you enable NX (No eXecute bit) option in your BIOS.

I was able to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview before without this option so it came as a surprise that I could not install Windows 8 Release Preview without enabling this option.

If you enable NX,  Windows 8 VirtualBox error code 0x0000005D will not occur on your installation again.

Related error 0xC0000260 is cause by disabled PAE (or PAE-NX) virtualization option so you must enable PAE (or PAE-NX)  as well.

If you are interested to upgrade from Consumer Preview, it is possible but there is no simple method  to retrieve your data easily. Since I am only testing Windows 8 I do not install this in any live (production) machine. It\’s never wise to use beta products on work environment. However, if you are one of those who are too excited to use the latest version of Windows 8, you can use Easy Transfer to migrate your personal files from an old installation.

Microsoft Answers has a wealth of information about many problems you might encounter with Windows 8. Reporting problems will help Microsoft squash more bugs before the final retail version comes out.

I will not recommend installing the Guest Additions Tools because it makes my Windows 8 Release Preview unstable. Maybe it has something to do with the graphics driver but I will leave it for now until it becomes stable.

Have you experimented with the Windows 8 yet? Let me know your opinion below the comment section.

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Firefox 12 Finally Adds Silent Updates, Mimics Chrome

\"FirefoxFirefox 12 Released

I just upgraded to Firefox 12, and just like that there is another update. I just blogged about Firefox 11 and I described there how Firefox\’s market share is shrinking due to Chrome. Chrome is popular and widely used because it is very easy to use. Once you get used to it, you will stick to it. I still remember reading posts how people find the tab placement of Chrome awkward while ditching the title bar altogether. Now look at the top 10 browsers in the market. Everyone followed the direction of Chrome. I don\’t think Firefox is blatantly copying Chrome. I think Chrome just innovated more and now it\’s one of the leading browsers. Everything is a remix but I just wish Firefox is really doing things better.

Improvements and Hidden Updates

There are several hidden updates here, like when you change the entry browser.newtabpage.enabled to true in about:config, then enter about:newtab you will get what seems like 3 x 3 tiles of your most visited websites. We will see the complete \”speed dial\”  or \”new tab page\” feature in Firefox 13.

You don\’t see much improvement as an end-user but under the hood, there are more than 85 improvements to built-in developer tools.

\"secret

 

Silent Updates

The most important update here is the removal of user account control dialog so this is probably the last time you will see the UAC pop-up after upgrading to Firefox 12. The goal is to simplify the upgrade process and push the updates to all users. Instead of using UAC in Windows, Firefox now uses a background service in Windows to update the program when there is an update available — pretty much what Chrome for a long time already. This feature is now planned in Mac and Linux on version 14.

\"UAC\"

Why did Mozilla only implemented this now? I could only reason add-ons being the major cause of delay.

If you don\’t know, Firefox needed to switch to a new add-on SDK to allow developers to create add-ons with greater compatibility with future releases of Firefox. This way developers do not need to worry that their add-ons will be incompatible to future versions. Switching to the new add-on SDK required convincing the developers to completely switch to the new SDK and it took time. I don\’t know the exact numbers of developers who switched to the new SDK but since I used Firefox 4 I saw more and more add-ons not requiring immediate update every time I upgrade Firefox and since Firefox 10 I don\’t remember having problems with add-ons at all. And because there is no need to worry about add-ons now, Firefox can automatically update the program without the risk of making installed add-ons incompatible. We will see how effective it is when Mozilla rolls out the next security update or major release.

Switch to Date-based Versioning Already

Speaking of major releases, it seems pointless to talk about version numbers now with the case of Firefox and Chrome but for me Firefox is a special case. I am still wondering if the rapid release cycle actually helps Firefox gain more users and made it easier to use. Looking back, Mozilla could have just called the rapid release cycle, rapid updates cycle — delivering noteworthy updates while keeping the major release number and still use the 6-week iterations. What if they just also use a major development wave every 6 iterations to mark a major release milestone just so we don\’t get ridiculous high version number like Chrome? I think Mozilla can do be better than Chrome here. Seriously, just switch to the data-based versioning already. It makes more sense to have Firefox 2012.04.24. They can go the Ubuntu way as well, say Firefox 12.4 which means that the software was released on April 2012. Makes more sense right?

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Enhance Gmail and Fix Common Annoyances with Gmelius

I love Gmail. It is my primary web email client and I use it in Google Apps for Business as well. My only gripe is that you can\’t really control how it looks and there are little options to modify the user interface the way you like it. You get themes and Gmail labs experimental features but there are basic things that Google left out that\’s why I still look for ways to enhance Gmail using userscript and browser add-ons or extensions. Then comes Gmelius!

\"Enhance

Here are the features that I like in Gmelius:

Gmail without Ads

I don\’t hate ads. Some ads fit their purpose but for some people who really don\’t like ads, this is a great feature.

Clickable Gmail logo

For inexplicable reason Google removed this basic navigation practice to put a home link to Gmail logo. Gmelius puts the missing link back to Gmail logo.

Colorize Navigation Icons with Labels

\"colored

Google use monochrome icons for the archive, spam and delete in the latest version of Gmail. This is my number #1 annoyance in Gmail for me because it is easy to confuse yourself with the gray icons even if you know the order already. Gmelius can put the text labels back and also add colored icons to make the navigation more intuitive again. It\’s one of the best feature that really enhances Gmail UX. Great work!

Put Google Reader on the Black Navigation Bar Menu

It is fairly simple option that Google doesn\’t give to users. Finally, there\’s an easy way to put Reader in the top navigation menu. One caveat is that it replaces Google News so if you use both Google News and Google Reader, you have to make a choice. I use Google Reader much more than Google News so it is an easy decision for me to enable this feature.

Toggle Header and Footer to Save Space

\"hidden

With Gmelius you can also remove the header and footer to get more viewing area for your email. The header could be toggled using shortcut (experimental) and with this feature, you can immediately click sign out at the upper-right corner.

More Features

Of course, there are more features available but those are my personal favorites.

See the screenshot below for more available features.

\"Gmelius

You can get Gmelius for Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

There are more Gmail tweaks out there. Let me know what\’s your favorite so far and let me know if you like Gmelius.

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Cloud Storage War Is On, Google Drive Just Arrived

Cloud Storage War

Imagine waging a war on multiple battle fronts. At one end there\’s Apple iCloud on the other end there\’s Dropbox. Not far away, Microsoft SkyDrive, Box, Amazon Cloud Drive and SugarSync are on skirmish like battle royale.  Year after year, rumor has it that Google will finally unveil its own arsenal of cloud service but for many years, it seemed like a vaporware. Then finally, Google Drive came at the center of the battlefield. Is there any chance Google Drive can win this on-going cloud storage war?

Google Drive Advantage

The free storage is 5 GB and the upgrade fee is priced very aggressively. It only cost $30 to get 25Gb more. In addition, when you upgrade you are not only getting storage for files and pictures (through Picasa) but you also get free Gmail storage.

In Dropbox, the smallest upgrade that you can buy is 50Gb and you will pay $.9.99 per month. Box is even more expensive because 25Gb upgrade will cost the same amount but their target market is different. They aim for business.

Skydrive, however, is the cheapest which cost only $10 per year but it only integrates with Office Web Apps and synchronizes with the desktop version of Office suites.

Apple iCloud offers 20Gb for $40 a year so you can say Google is somewhere in the middle of Apple and Microsoft in terms of pricing.

\"Google

Supported OS

Clearly enough, Google Drive is aimed to be Google\’s answer to Apple iCloud and Microsoft SkyDrive but iCloud has a different focus so naturally it will have poor support for Windows and other operating system. We will not see iCloud on Android as well.

Google Drive, on the other hand, is already working on the iOS app to put Google Drive on Apple devices but I will not be disappointed if they change their mind. At this moment there is no word whether Google Drive will be ported to Windows Phone as well.

Not surprising,  SkyDrive is not available on Android but it supports iOS devices. I think you know why.

Of all these services compared, only Sugarsync can sync any local file or folder on Mac and PC for free. You have to pay extra for Box to get this feature and this feature is not possible in other services. Unfortunately Sugarsync is not available in Linux.

In terms of integration, Google Drive is not as deep as Dropbox yet but I think Google will reiterate and improve its software for Windows, Mac and Linux.  This is the reason Dropbox is still the most popular cloud storage service out there, and still the easiest to use. No other cloud storage service offers tighter integration on desktops operating systems but Dropbox.  But who knows? The situation might change sooner than later.

Cloud Storage Comparison Chart

Here is the comparison chart that I got from PCWorld comparing the basic features of popular cloud storage services. Take note that Apple iCloud and Amazon Cloud Drive is not shown in the table.

\"Cloud

Final Thoughts

I think Google\’s direct competitor here is mainly Dropbox and SkyDrive. Apple iCloud is quite different and focus only on iOS devices. I didn\’t compare Amazon Cloud Drive because it has a different market target.

Overall I think Google Drive has potential specially for those people who actively use Google services. Having Google Drive is a great addition to your web workflow but there are topics about Google terms of service that you may like look at in detail.

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