Google Drive for iOS adds Touch ID unlocking, video saving, iPhone 6/Plus support, more

In addition to updating its Maps app with an overhauled design, Google has released a new version of its Drive app for iPhone and iPad users adding support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus as well as some new iOS 8 features.

The Google Drive file storage app can now be secured using Touch ID so users with supported devices (iPhone 5s, iPhone 6, iPhone Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3) can unlock the app using the fingerprint scanner. The new version of Drive also includes an extension to “open form and save to Drive in other apps” for iOS 8 users, and videos can now be saved from Drive to the Photos app (instructions below). Google says the new version of Drive for iPhone and iPad also includes full iOS 8 compatibility, bug fixes, and performance improvements.

Google Drive 3.3 for iPhone and iPad is available for free on the App Store. Full change log below. Read more

Review: Hyper’s iStick, the first USB drive w/ integrated Lightning connector

iStick-Hyper-01

While most of my content goes straight to the cloud these days and is usually easily accessible to move around, download or stream from any of my devices, I still found myself getting a lot of use out of Hyper’s new iStick. It’s one of the first made-for-iPhone USB flash drives that also includes an integrated Lightning connector to easily transfer content to and from the device to others. Hyper’s companion app is what makes the experience more than just storage, however… Read more

Google Drive 3.1 for iOS released with activity stream, sharing enhancements, more

In addition to previewing the next version of Android dubbed “L”, Android Auto, Android TV, new Chromecast features, and more, Google released an updated version of Google Drive for iPhone and iPad. The new version brings enhances to file sharing giving users the ability to allow files or folders to be viewed, commented, or edited by anyone with a link. The update also adds a new incoming view for seeing files that have been shared as well as an activity stream for seeing changes you and others make to files and folders in one place. Read more

How Google wants to own the iPhone and how Apple is trying to stop it

A Google Zombie iPhone?

With Android now on 75 percent of all smartphones sold, and Apple and Samsung battling in and out of court for the top vendor position, the smartphone wars usually come down to units sold. Apple vs. Samsung. Android vs. iOS. Less of a focus has been Google’s steady invasion of iOS, providing users with an alternative universe to most of the core features of Apple’s mobile operating system. The importance of Google’s ecosystem of iOS apps has never been more apparent than following the recent controversy over the removal of YouTube and Google Maps as default features of iOS. Apple realized the necessity of controlling key experiences on iOS, such as Maps, but it is running into a backlash from users in the process. It is not just facing competition from Android vendors; it is also now engaged in a struggle to keep Google from creating its own layer on top of iOS.

Google’s iOS apps are not just driving iPhone and iPad users to use Google services instead of Apple’s; they are increasingly an important aspect of the iOS experience for a large amount of users. Sixty-one percent of iOS users in our own polls said they were hesitant to even update to iOS 6 because of Apple’s new Maps app, many of which are still waiting for a standalone Google Maps app that Apple has yet to approve. Some say the Maps fiasco coupled with Siri might have even led to the departure of long-time iOS chief Scott Forstall, which many think could result in a new direction for iOS. What this means for Google’s presence on iOS going forward remains to be seen, but Apple does not appear to be ignoring the control Google’s apps have over its users.

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Samsung updates MacBook Air class SSDs to 6Gbps SATA 3, 500MB/s reads and 350MB/s writes

Variant of SSD that could go in future MacBooks Pros and Airs

We told you back in April that Apple was upgrading from Toshiba SSDs to Samsung-built drives in the latest MacBook Air lineup. Today a report from Anandtech notes the Samsung PM810 (a customized variant of the same drive currently ships in the 2011 Air) has received some substantial upgrades in its latest refresh.

Samsung has announced the PM830, the latest generation of the PM810, which is slated to pack a 6Gbps SATA 3 that provides up to 500MB/s reads and 350MB/s writes, according to Samsung.  That 150% to double the real world speed of the current Samsung Air SSDs and easily beats Apple’s Pro line options.

The new drive will also be shipping with up to 512GB capacity, a nice bump up from the current 256GB offered in the MacBook Air.

Normally it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to think that Apple might naturally include this upgraded SSD in the next MacBook Air refresh. However, with tension growing between Apple and Samsung due to patent related lawsuits (if you haven’t heard by now), more and more questions are being raised about the sustainability of Samsung being one of their main competitor’s part suppliers.

According to a story from The Economist, Samsung might turn out to be a much more important supplier than you may have thought. While companies like Taiwanese-based Foxconn are known to provide many of the cheaper components that make up Apple devices, the report notes Samsung “provides some of the phone’s (iPhone) most important components” including flash memory, DRAM, and processor components. However, they are also quick to point out Apple is one of “Samsung’s largest customers”.
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