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Google has been a busy little bee this week, finding time to add an activity stream view to Google Drive as well as data compression and Google Translate to the mobile Chrome browser (see below) in between acquiring companies like Nest. But that last move has also raised the threat level for many distrustful of the company whose mantra was once "Don't be evil" — a policy we'll try to stick to with today's recap.
Fans of Droplr's free service are still reeling from the company's abrupt switch to a paid-only service, but Droplr's rivals are wasting no time trying to scoop up those wayward souls. One such competitor is Infinit, who announced in a blog post Wednesday that they'll always have a free option available since their service is less reliant on the cloud. As a result, Infinit has no file-size limits and promises transfer speeds "between 3x and 23x faster than cloud-based services like Droplr." Don't believe them? A beta version is now available for the Mac, and will be released for Windows "in the coming weeks," so go see for yourself.
Cloud storage provider Box announced Wednesday a complete overhaul of their free, universal iOS app with an all-new user interface perfectly suited to iOS 7, faster document rendering and progressive photo loading for fast scrolling and previewing. The Box app can now preview more than 100 file types and also offers full text search within documents. Still not convinced? iOS users who download and sign up within the next 30 days will get 50GB of free cloud storage for their trouble — although fair warning, you'll be limited strictly to 250MB uploads without a paid account. But hey, that's an awful lot of space just the same...
Re/code reported Wednesday that Hewlett-Packard is back in the smartphone game — but no, it hasn't resurrected webOS, which is now powering LG Smart TVs. Instead, HP's new Slate 6 and Slate 7 VoiceTab devices are six and seven-inch "phablets," respectively, powered by Google's Android. The tablets will be available next month, but don't go looking for them in at your favorite retailer — HP is targeting the devices at India, which Senior VP Ron Coughlin calls "a growing market where there's an unmet need." Translation: These products aren't good enough for America or Europe.
Is it really possible to do more with less? Google seems to think so, announcing Wednesday that its Chrome browser for iOS and Android can reduce data usage by up to 50 percent while browsing the web from your smartphone or tablet. The iOS app will also add Google Translate from within Chrome with the next update, allowing users to translate a web page with just a tap. But don't go racing to the App Store quite yet -- Google promises the new version "will be rolling out over the next few days."
The busy beavers over at Cinemaware let slip on their Facebook page Wednesday that another Commodore Amiga classic will be making its way to iOS and Android smartphones and tablets in the near future. "The King of Chicago is coming soon to iOS & Android!" the brief post reads. "Stay tuned and ready to wear a pair of concrete shoes!" Like Rocket Ranger and Defender of the Crown before them, King of Chicago was a landmark game as far as computer graphics went, and if Cinemaware's earlier ports are any indication, it should be a faithful translation from Amiga to mobile.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter