Google has finally unveiled a system under which you can pay them for more storage in Gmail, Picasa Web Albums, and eventually, a bunch of other Google services. For now, if your 2.82 gigabytes of Gmail space and 1 gigabyte of Picasa space aren’t enough, you can pay $20 a year to get an additional 6 gigabytes of space. Previously, $25 a year got you six gigs of Picasa space, so this is not just a discount, but space that can be used accross both Picasa and Gmail accounts.
If you need more space, pay for it. $75 a year gets you 25 gigabytes, $250 a year for 100 gigabytes, and $500 a year for 250 gigabytes. While paying for stuff is never fun, it’s better than running out of space and having to delete emails or photos. When Google expands this to Google Docs and other services, it’ll be even more valuable.
To compare with the competition, Microsoft’s Windows Live Hotmail offers
2 five gigs for free, 4 10 gigs for $20 a year. They also have SkyDrive for storage in the cloud, with 500 megabytes of free storage for sharing files or private file storage, something Google doesn’t offer anywhere. Yahoo has unlimited email inboxes, which is probably the way things should be by now everywhere, and 100 megabytes per month for Flickr, unlimited if you pay $25 a year. Flickr has one of the most unique free/premium feature differences, hiding all but your most recent 200 photos, not letting you create a bunch of sets, and a few other things unless you pay up, but at least not limiting your storage space, ever.
Not sure what’s going to happen if you pay for Google’s expanded storage this year, but not next year. I’d hate to use up all that space over a few years, then stop using Google for the next big thing, and have all my old emails and photos ransomed for more money. If I stop paying, what happens to my stuff?
(via jkOnTheRun and Loose Wire)
UPDATE: Microsoft increased their storage space to 5 free/10 paid gigabytes. Read more here.
Picasa Web Albums, Google’s cumberously-named photo sharing service, has added a new slideshow sharing feature, allowing you to post your slideshows to any place that allows the same type of flash embeds used by YouTube. Here’s an example slideshow:
Move your mouse over the slideshow and you’ll see the control buttons appear. You can use them to view the creator’s photo gallery, enable or disable captions, move backwards or forwards through the slideshow, or just click Play. The Picasa logo in the bottom right-hand corner switches open a description page, giving you the name of the user, slideshow title, and creation date.
Last December, I posted about a user script for Opera that got several Google services to actually work in the wonderful Opera browser, and its a good time for an update. The script is new as of March 14, fixing Spreadsheets, Calendar, Picasa Web Albums, and Docs. You can get it here.
The real shame is that almost every problem in Google’s services results in Google’s stuff being coded specifically for the mistakes other browsers have. Yes, Google needs its stuff to work more importanly in IE and Firefox, but coding for quirks of those browsers means your stuff is always going to have problems with alternative browsers and future browsers, especially if you have zero fallbacks for standards-compliant browsers.
a description of what the script does
warns the user to Mask as IE
simply makes the “browser not compatible” notification to go way
simply overrides bad browser sniffing
many issues related to bad object detection
Apparently, before being acquired by Google, Writely was a model of browser compatibility, and since Google picked it up, not so much. Shame.
As one person puts it in the Opera forums:
In this thread’s case, the severe shortness of a script that fixes all functionality issues with Google docs, Google spreadsheets, Picasa, and Google calendar should be telling. That Google, one of the biggest companies around can’t find the time to test in Opera is shocking; that one man working alone can write an 140 line (including comments) script consisting of a handful of simple fixes should reflect far, far worse on Google than it does on Opera. Especially when you consider that they somehow find the time to work past IE innumerable flaws.
It’s not like Google doesn’t care. According to Opera Watch, some of their teams work hard with Opera to make sure things work. Problem is, then you have Google Page Creator, “which flooded the code with a enormous amount of browser quirks usage, or using Mozilla or IE’s bugs as features”.
(via Download Squad)
Google has added new features to Picasa Web Albums, its online photo storage service, and increased the storage for free accounts to 1 gigabyte (up from 250 megabytes). New features include easy embed codes for sharing your photos through email, instant messages and websites and being able to search for public photos.
Also, Blogger now integrates with Picasa, with all the images you upload to Blogger becoming part of a Picasa account of the same name, enjoying all the features of Picasa, as well as the one gigabyte storage limit. For now, all your photos going back to December are in Picasa, but Google aims to get everything you’ve uploaded into the system. Finally, some useful integration of Google services!
Of course, this means Blogger no longer has vaguely unlimited storage, so be prepared to pay up if one gig isn’t enough for you. Prices start at $25 for 6.25 gigabytes a year, and go up from there.
Haochi Chen noticed that Picasa Web Albums now lets you pay them even more money for more storage. Besides 6.25 gigabytes for 25 bucks, you can now get:
- 25GB ($100 per year)
- 100GB ($300 per year)
- 250GB ($500 per year)
If you’re a serious heavy-duty uploader, this is just great. Flickr places limits on Pro accounts that can’t be increased; there’s no amount of money you can throw at them to get more than two gigs of upload bandwidth per month. At two gigs a month, it’d take over ten years to get 250 gigs of images online, and you’d pay $250 to do it. With Google, you pay $500 per year, and you can throw ‘em all online right now. Having different options is great for everyone.
Mac users should enjoy this: Since you can’t use Picasa, you can now download the Picasa Web Albums Uploaded / Exporter to get your photos easily into Google’s online photo sharing site. The download installs a standalone piece of software, the Picasa Web Albums Uploader, to let you quickly title, describe, and upload your images, as well as an Exporter that lives in iPhoto, letting you click photos in OS X’s photo app and export them instantly to Picasa Web. This software requires OS X 10.4, but works on both Power PC and Intel Macs.
Irvine Googleplex and AdSense Audio
Zachary Applegate of Plumber Surplus posted at SEOmoz a first-person account of his team’s recent visit to the Google offices in Irvine, California. Besides describing the office, which has the typical Google search ticker and a new Google Earth display, he also recounts their description of the in-development AdSense Audio system. Highlights:
- Most radio ad buys start at $20,000. AdSense Audio will let those with $200 to spend get in on audio advertising.
- Timing is everything. If a heat wave starts, AdSense Audio may switch ads from hot foods to colder foods, for example.
- AdSense Audio will target radio, IPTV and podcast markets.
Check out the interface they are currently using. It doesn’t look anything like a typical Google interface, and it looks great. Looks like a pretty cool visit. Digg it.
Google Analytics Gets Blog
There is now a Google Analytics blog, at analytics.blogspot.com (kinda surprised that wasn’t taken). The blog has a pretty cool look to it. Get the feed.
We do not associate any of the information that Toolbar sends with other personal information about you. However, it is possible that a URL or other page information sent to Google may itself contain personal information. For information about how some web sites embed personal information in web requests, click here.
That could be a pretty big deal. I’d like to know if things I do with the Google Toolbar are specifically associated with my Google Account, especially since Google lets you login to your Google Account with the more recent versions of the toolbar. This is the sort of thing a Scoble-type would probably try to answer for us…
Dell Using Google Earth For Tech Support
The Detroit News reports that Dell is enhancing its tech support service by integrating it with Google Earth. Customers will be able to see in Earth the status of their support requests, visualized as to their location on the globe. I hope Google has good imagery in India.
All kidding aside, Dell’s customer service has been crap for a while. First off, I don’t think Google would want to be associated with the next story of a Dell customer getting angry in a very public way. Second, I’m not sure Dell wants its customers to know the extent of their support outsourcing. Third, if Dell wants to improve its service, there are other areas they need to pay attention to first. This is purely a money deal, part of their deal with Google to promote Google products.
German Lawsuit Against Google Book Search Withdrawn
WBG, a German Publisher, dropped their lawsuit against Google Book Search last week, after being told by the judge that they were probably going to lose. The court said it was going to side with Google’s arguement that showing snippets from in-copyright books is no worse than showing snippets from websites in Google web search (an already accepted practice). Google would probably have been better off if the lawsuit had not been withdrawn, since that sort of ruling would have set a very useful legal precedent, one that they will have to prove all over again in the next lawsuit.
Google SketchUp: Now For Macs
Google just released the first Mac version of Google SketchUp. The Mac version is for the older PowerPC systems (no Universal Binary yet) and requires OS X 10.3 and an OpenGL graphics card. It also only works with the latest version of Google Earth (version 4). SketchUp is an excellent 3D modeling program, and will do a great job extending the capabilities of your Mac. Download it here.
Larry’s Pics Left Out There
Philipp found Larry Page’s Picasa Web Album. Turns out there are no real privacy settings for PicWeb, just “public” and “unlisted”, and unlisted just invites you to guess the URL. That’s not the best way of handling online photos, many of which people don’t want to share with the rest of the world.
Maybe I’ll be heading to a few people’s PicWeb collections and try seeing if there is a “xxx” or “nudity” album? Page’s photos were far more innocent, and have been removed, but hopefully this taught the Google founder that, in the future, don’t release products without some real privacy options.