dropbox

Earlier today, Google slashed their cloud storage pricing for Google Drive to some insanely low numbers. How low? For just $1.99 a month you get 100GB of storage. If you want to get 100GB on OneDrive you’ll need to pony up $7.49 per month to do that. The pricing wars are now officially on for cloud storage and hopefully the only winners here will be us, the consumers. Let’s check out how some of the major cloud storage services stack up against one another for pricing.

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A few days ago Rudy Huyn released his new Dropbox client for Windows Phone – CloudSix for Dropbox. It’s the first of many cloud storage apps that Rudy will be working on in the near future. Not only does it bring all the functionality of Dropbox to Windows Phone, but it also offers up new opportunities for developers to add cloud storage to their apps with minimal effort. CloudSix for Dropbox has also just picked up its first update. Let’s see what’s new.

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Most of you are big fans of OneDrive. It integrates nicely into Windows Phone, Windows 8 and the Xbox One. That doesn’t mean you don’t use other cloud storage solutions from time to time. It might work related or a classmate sharing a file that you venture to places like Dropbox, Box, Mega and other cloud storage providers.

Dropbox has official apps on Android, iOS, BlackBerry and the Kindle Fire, but not on Windows Phone. Does that matter now that Rudy Huyn has just released his third-party Dropbox client called CloudSix for Dropbox?

Let’s find out with our hands on video and exclusive screenshots. 

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Videobrary is a simple to use Windows Phone app that lets you catalog your home movie collection. The layout is simple, user interface straight forward and your movie database can be backed up on Dropbox.

If you're looking for an easy way to catalog your movie collection, Videobrary might be worth a look.

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Good news for those who have been waiting and anticipating the arrival of Dropbox for Windows 8, it is now available. The popular cloud storage and sharing service has built a reputation as one of the more ubiquitous ways that folks like to share files and so its arrival on Windows 8 as a metro app is significant for the new platform.

The app is available to download for free and will work on both Windows 8 and Windows RT machines allowing you to download and share files at will.

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Dropbox reads your files...kinda

Well, here's an interesting little tidbit for those that use Dropbox to store or share files.

We have all seen documents getting leaked out of large organisations to the public, and invariably said company usually get's the documents removed for legal reasons from wherever they are being hosted. In fact, after the supposed presentation about the XBOX 720 leaking, we saw it being removed from Scridb.com at the request of Covington & Burling LLP which is a firm known to have dealings with Microsoft.

None of that is surprising, but today Windows Phone Centrals Daniel Rubino sent me a certain document via Dropbox so that I could take a look at it. However, trying to download the file just returns the image you can see above. This was not a link shared publically, but yet, it was removed seemingly automatically.

That begs the question, do storage companies analyze your files' content as you upload them? They no doubt have a clause in their terms that allows them to do just that, but it is another thing actually seeing it used.

Moral of the story? Don't use commercial cloud storage to share secret files.

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BoxFiles, the unofficial DropBox app for Windows Phone, received a minor update today, offering some bug fixes and overall faster launch time. The update also addresses performance issues specific to the Nokia Lumia 610, making it run faster on the lower-memory economy handset.

BoxFiles was recently overhauled in version 3.0, which saw a new look and the addition of auto-uploading from camera to DropBox. BoxFiles is a favorite of ours over at Windows Phone Central, as it offers a ton of functionality. While the ad-supported free version is near fully-functional, it does not include SkyDrive integration, nor does it allow background transfers. These features alone make it worth the $1.29.

Get the full version of BoxFiles here or try it for free first.

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We last wrote about Boxfiles for Dropbox back in December. The app comes into two flavors (a free version and a paid one) and has undergone numerous updates since then.

The latest just hit the Marketplace and it brings a really neat feature that many of you may enjoy: automatic camera uploads to your Dropbox account.

This is very useful and desirable because although Windows Phone can do this for Skydrive, it re-scales images automatically leaving you with a "just good enough for the web" sized memory. That's a problem though if, like us, you want to back up your photos to "the cloud" but at their full resolution. Even more so if you have a device like the Titan II with a 16MP camera and photos averaging around 2MB in size.

Version 3.6 of Boxfiles brings this feature but we should point out that it's not entirely 100% automatic meaning you snap a shot and off it goes. Instead you do need to open the app for a few seconds as it will scan your camera directory on the phone and upload and new pics to your Dropbox account.

But once the queuing takes place (usually just a few seconds) you can close the app as it will upload the photos in the background, so you don't need to babysit the app. It's basically a one-touch app to upload all your latest camera shots.

You can also choose a specific directory (or create a new one) to upload the photos too and pick if you want WiFi-only or both WiFi/Cellular data usage. Our favorite part though is how it allows you to browse your photos via thumbnails in addition to just the obscure files-names. Finally, Boxfiles also integrates with your Skydrive account giving you the choice to manage those files from within the app. A nice bonus.

So far only the paid version has been bumped with this feature though we imagine the free one will get it at some point too. What can we say? Of all the Dropbox apps on the Marketplace, we happen to like this one the most and this new auto-upload features makes backing up and sharing our pics easier.

Pick up Boxfiles for Dropbox here in the Marketplace for $1.29 with a free trial.

Update: For those of you in Europe, the app is currently in certification so you'll have the update within a few days. Sit tight.

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BoxShot, a light Dropbox app for Windows Phone, has been updated to 2.2. In this update we now have pinnable folder functionality, allowing users to pin individual folders from their Dropbox account to the home screen for more convenient access. The app will also now be displayed in the Pictures Hub under the "Applications" pivot, and a few fixes were thrown into the mix.

You can download Boxshot from the Marketplace for just $.99 (79p), with a free (ad-supported) version available. Be sure to check out our full review of the app too.

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Windows Phone App Review: BoxShot

BoxShot, if you haven't guessed already by the name, is a Dropbox client for Windows Phone, which can be found on the Marketplace for just 79p ($0.99) with a free version also available. Should you be a frequent "boxer" then this app will be perfect for your file synchronising needs. It's a simple, light app that gets the job done.

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StreamBox7 for streaming music from your Dropbox

There will always be an ongoing debate about which is better--SkyDrive or Dropbox--to which we really don't care to take sides on. All we know is people like options and DropBox is quite popular, so we're a bit pleased to see StreamBox7 land in the Marketplace today.

The app is simple enough: drop some music into your Dropbox root folder, fire up the app, login and you're music will show up. You can then stream the music to your device, playing it in the background with ease. We could probably do without the "pretty girl pop-star wallpaper" that dynamically changes, but it's a good idea in theory.  Overall, the app delivers as promised and is laid out nicely, so even though we prefer our Zune it is a nice option for those who want it.

The app fetches for $0.99 with a free trial if you want to give it a spin. It supports .WMV and .MP3 files, which should cover most people. Thanks, Ben H., for the tip!

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BoxFiles for Dropbox gets pinnable folders

Couple things about Dropbox: many of you prefer SkyDrive--fair enough. Their mobile website is actually really nice. And there is no "official" app from them for Windows Phone.

So for those of us who do use Dropbox and regularly, there is really only one app out there that has constantly shown itself worthy, in our opinion: BoxFiles for Dropbox. The app recently received a hefty Mango update, which like all Mango apps, resulted in a much faster, smoother experience. In addition it had some graphics re-worked, new options and even a Live Tile which shows your used and remaining space left on your account. Slick.

Now in v2.5, the options continue with the addition of pinnable folders to your Start screen, for quick, easy 1-click access to all of your stuff. From there you can copy, delete, move, email, download, share, rename, etc. any of your files, making this feel quite robust. Finally, it's fairly Metro in design with minimalist graphics and text-focused, giving the app a more native feel.  Oh and did we mention this has SkyDrive built into it? So for all of those who need a more feature-rich SkyDrive app, you may want to take this for a spin too.

The app goes for $1.29 with a free trial, which can be found here and gets our highest recommendation. There's also a free, ad-supported version with no SkyDrive support--that one can be found here.

Update: And we've just been just informed by the developer that v2.5 has a bug for new users looking to login/authenticate--basically you can't do it. If you're upgrading, like us, you're good to go and won't notice anything. The devs let us know that v2.6 will fix this and should be out in the next few days--so stand by for that one!

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Dropbox is conducting a poll to see if there is enough interest to develop a Windows Phone application. Dropbox recently upgraded their mobile website and is now looking into building a Windows Phone app.

Dropbox's mobile website received a hefty facelift in early September that brought new features into the mix such as,

  • Search: You can search your Dropbox for that e-book that was such a pain to browse to.
  • File quick actions: Whether you are browsing or searching for files, now in addition to downloading a file, there is also a quick action menu dropdown that gives you access to additional things you can do to your files. For now, that means sharing and deleting.
  • Share: Dropbox will generate a link that helps you quickly share a file or folder with your friends. Simply copy a link to your device clipboard or email the link on.
  • Delete: There's a new delete functionality and clean up your Dropbox.
  • Account settings: New account settings tab has been added to make it easier to view or modify your account settings.
  • Internationalization: Dropbox now supports 5 different languages: English, Spanish, French, German, and Japanese.

You can visit Dropbox's mobile interface by pointing your Windows Phone to http://www.dropbox.com/m. And if you agree that Dropbox should develop a mobile app, head on over here to Votebox (you have to register with Dropbox to vote).  Last time I checked, the yes voted totaled 5,765.

Thanks goes out to Leonal for the tip!

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We're using cloud services more and more with our Windows Phones, as well as with other devices.  One such service, Dropbox, can't seem to catch a break these days.

First, we have the Dropbox Reader that can drill into your accounts. Then Dropbox left the back door open to their services that essentially removed password protection. Now we see the cloud storage company has updated its Terms of Services claiming "worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty free, sublicenseable rights" to your stuff (yes, they use the word stuff in a legal document).

The TOS agreement may not be alarming to some but we thought you should know how Dropbox considers the content you place in their hands.

To quote from Dropbox's TOS:

"By submitting your stuff to the Services, you grant us (and those we work with to provide the Services) worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicenseable rights to use, copy, distribute, prepare derivative works (such as translations or format conversions) of, perform, or publicly display that stuff to the extent reasonably necessary for the Service. This license is solely to enable us to technically administer, display, and operate the Services. You must ensure you have the rights you need to grant us that permission."

Dropbox does recognize that you retain ownership of your stuff and they clarify how they might use your stuff in their Privacy Policy. Basically they can collect your personal information to be used to contact or identify you in order to improve services and to better understand your needs and interests. They also have provisions to use your geo-location information and logging/cookie data.

Google has similar language (they use "content" instead of "stuff" and ) with their TOS but SkyDrive takes on a different approach. Microsoft doesn't ask for ownership but rather rights to access your content. Here's how Microsoft words things:

"You understand that Microsoft may need, and you hereby grant Microsoft the right, to use, modify, adapt, reproduce, distribute, and display content posted on the service solely to the extent necessary to provide the service."

It may sound as if all three are saying the same thing but a "right to access" and "sublicenseable rights" can be worlds apart. Granted I don't think Dropbox will start exercising their "ownership rights" but the wording of these TOS Agreements should give us pause as to what we put in the cloud as well as what service we choose.

source: Liveside

Update: In an effort to make it clear that Dropbox isn't claiming ownership rights to your "stuff", Dropbox has decided to make some revisions to their updated TOS. On their blog site, Dropbox states that "The language in this clause was more technical than it needed to be." Believing terms like "derivative works" and "sublicensable" could come across overly broad or out of place the revisions states,

"You retain full ownership to your stuff. We don’t claim any ownership to any of it. These Terms do not grant us any rights to your stuff or intellectual property except for the limited rights that are needed to run the Services, as explained below."

The only instances Dropbox will share your stuff is outlined in the Privacy Policy (which hasn't changed). While the TOS could have been worded simpler, it's nice to see Dropbox responding to customer concerns.

Thanks Rene for the tip!

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The other day we mentioned an openly available tool, Dropbox Reader, that is designed to circumvent security measures on your DropBox account. We are now hearing that over the weekend, no tool was needed to access DropBox accounts.

For a brief period of time, users could log into accounts using any password. Just type in an email address and wing it with a password and you were in. DropBox has confirmed this breach and states it left everything vulnerable from 1:54pm PDT to 5:46pm PDT this past Sunday (06/19/2011). The fix only took five minutes to put into place once DropBox became aware of things.

In a statement on DropBox's blog, the cloud storage service reports,

"We’re conducting a thorough investigation of related activity to understand whether any accounts were improperly accessed. If we identify any specific instances of unusual activity, we’ll immediately notify the account owner. If you’re concerned about any activity that has occurred in your account, you can contact us atsecurity@dropbox.com.

This should never have happened. We are scrutinizing our controls and we will be implementing additional safeguards to prevent this from happening again."

If you're a DropBox client, you may want to check your account to see if any files were accessed during the time frame or have gone missing. Changing your password might not be a bad idea either.

Glitches in security happen but it sure does seem like DropBox has been snake bitten here lately. 

source: TechCrunch via: Gizmodo

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The more we come to rely on cloud services with our Windows Phones, the more we need to have assurances that our information is protected from unlawful or unauthorized access. The tie in with SkyDrive is obvious but we are also seeing more apps incorporate Dropbox support to store and share data. Password Manager for example is an app where you can manage all your bank account information, passwords, and PIN numbers. Password Manager supports Dropbox to backup and share that information with your home computer. We expect Dropbox to protect this data from unlawful and unauthorized access.

Dropbox Reader is a new tool that gives us pause. Dropbox Reader is a forensic investigative tool that basically breaks through the security encryption on Dropbox and allows anyone with the tool the ability to view your data and account information. At first we thought this might be a tool limited to law enforcement investigations but in reading the licensing information,

"You may use this software freely for forensic investigation purposes, personal study, or research and development."

I guess identity theft could be twisted to mean "research and development". Such programs should be regulated to prevent the average joe from hacking into your information.

Cloud services such as Dropbox and Skydrive have the customary clauses in the Terms of Service that allow for the lawful access to your information by a third party (e.g. search warrant) which is reasonable. What isn't reasonable is allowing a third party app to access your information without permission or authority.  We'll always have hackers out there trying to by-pass cloud security but it shouldn't be this easy.

Dropbox Reader is another reason to be careful on what your put out in the cloud as well as what service you choose. We hope Dropbox will address this issue to prevent anyone from downloading programs such as Dropbox Reader and accessing our accounts without the proper authorizations.

source: betanews

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