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Sync iCloud to Dropbox

Mac and iOS users are going to be increasingly pushed to choose between storing their documents in iCloud or Dropbox. I expect that Apple will continue to push more and more features to iCloud that will make people want to use it, and I expect that Apple will continue to make iCloud easier and easier for iOS and Mac developers to use, so developers will want to support it.

I like the idea behind iCloud, but I don't really trust iCloud yet. Apple's previous attempts at online services have left me suspicious about iCloud's performance, reliability, and long-term future. I hope I'm wrong and that iCloud turns out to be great, but in the meantime, I know Dropbox, and I trust Dropbox.

One of my favorite features of Dropbox is the ability to go back and see revisions from the previous 30 days. It's my safety net.

The good news is that you can sync iCloud to Dropbox. The bad news is that it's a one-way sync from iCloud to Dropbox. But if all you want to do is backup iCloud files and be able to retrieve previous versions from Dropbox, it's pretty simple to do.

I'm going to use Byword as an example because it's fairly straight-forward, but the process should work roughly the same for any iCloud enabled Mac app.

Step One: Make sure iCloud is enabled. Go to System Preferences » iCloud and make sure that you have "Documents & Data" set to sync.

Step Two: Create an iCloud-based file. The exact process for this differs from app to app. Byword has a File » Move to iCloud menu item.

Step Three: Find the local iCloud folder. Here's where things get a little bit tricky. You have to get into the "Library" folder in your Home directory, but that folder has been hidden in Lion. Fortunately for you there are at least 18 ways to view that folder. My recommendation is to go to the Finder, select the "Go" menu, and press the Option/Alt key. When you do that, you'll see the Library folder appear. Or use ⌘ + Shift + G and type in "~/Library/" if you prefer keyboard shortcuts. Once you are in, look for a folder called Mobile Documents

You'll find something like the list of directories shown here. Inside each one is a "Documents" sub-directory. I bet you can guess what is stored in there.

Step Four: Sync changes via Hazel. Hazel was recently updated to version 3, and one of the new features is a 'sync' option. For those who don't know Hazel, you should, it's one of my irreplaceable apps. It allows you to create rules for all sorts of actions to happen in specific folders if different criteria are met. For example, Hazel can tell if a file has been modified since the last time Hazel checked a specific folder. If it has been modified, you can tell Hazel to do specific things, including "sync" from that folder, so another one.

Click on image for a larger size

I created a 'Byword' folder in my ~/Dropbox/ and then created a Hazel rule which says "If any files have been modified since we last checked (matched) this folder, then sync the 'Documents' folder (located inside ~/Library/Mobile Documents/) with the Byword folder in Dropbox.

Step Five: (Optional) While I was checking around inside ~/Library/Mobile Documents/ I used Default Folder X to set the Byword iCloud folder to be the default folder for all new Byword documents. Now whenever I create new document on my Mac using Byword, I know that it will automatically be saved to iCloud and Dropbox.

This isn't something that I will do for all of my iCloud-enabled apps, but I've been using Byword more and more lately for all sorts of writing projects, and I want to do everything I can to make sure that I am "covered" when it comes to saving my files. Two local copies (one in Mobile Documents, one in Dropbox folder) and two copies in the "cloud" (iCloud and Dropbox sync), plus 30 days worth of "undo"? (Not to mention that each of my Macs will have local copies as well, as iCloud and Dropbox sync across my network.) That's a system I can create and then forget about.

TUAW - The Unofficial Apple WeblogSync iCloud to Dropbox originally appeared on TUAW - The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Tue, 03 Apr 2012 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Android Overload: iPhone Outselling All Android Devices (Combined) on AT&T and Sprint, Sony Replacing Xperia S’s Affected By Yellow Displays and More

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In case you’re new around here, you have just entered into the world famous Android Overload. This is the one place you can always turn, when you have an insatiable appetite for even more things Android. Since not every story that comes our way is published to our front page, we place them here. So, that you guys can give them the final once over before they sink into the abyss of the world wide webs. Find something interesting? Let us know.

  • OfficeSuite Pro 5 now 80% off in the Play Store until April 4th. [Play Store Link]
  • See AT&T’s tower improvements in select cities using their map. [AT&T]
  • This is how Google (and Apple) help police bypass Android (and iOS) lockscreens. [Cnet]
  • Settlement talks fail. Google and Oracle head to court to settle patent dispute. [AllThingsD]
  • Select OnLive games are up to 70% off. Play on computer, tablet or phone. [OnLive]
  • Google Wallet co-founding engineer leaves to join Square. [NFCTimes]
  • iPhone users rely more on WiFi than Android users. [Cnet]
  • Reddit is Fun now back in the Google Play Store. [Play Store Link]
  • Sony claims to have optimized all of ICS to fit it on Xperia devices. [SonyDeveloperWorld]
  • iPhone is outselling all Android smartphones combined on AT&T and Sprint. [AllThingsD]
  • Sony issuing replacements for Xperia S affected by yellow screens. [Cnet]

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Angry Birds animated series coming this fall on all devices

If ever there were a game that begged to be a children’s animated TV show, Angry Birds is it. It’s not quite Saturday morning cartoons, but Rovio Mobile has announced that it intends to launch a new animated series with 52 episodes per year on “all possible devices” this fall. These won’t be half-hour shows, but rather short form two or three-minute episodes.

Rovio’s head of animation Nick Dorra says that episodes will be delivered via a video app, and that they’re looking for partners to enable the episodes to come to all screens. The episodes will come to some smart TVs, including Samsung’s line. Rovio and Samsung are already tied in a partnership. Rovio acquired animation studio Kombo last summer to help develop Angry Birds into more than a gaming brand. Presumably, that studio will do the animation.

There has been talk of an Angry Birds movie, but Rovio has ruled that out until after 2014. I’m not sure why the developer and want to put the movie off any longer than necessary considering how hot Angry Birds is right now and how quickly the popularity of mobile games can wane. However, Dorra did say the movie is in development.

“We’re going to roll out a weekly animation series later this year of shortform content,” said Rovio’s head of animation Nick Dorra, speaking at the MIPTV conference in Cannes.

[via Guardian]

Angry Birds animated series coming this fall on all devices is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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NYC gets new Nissan NV200 prototype taxi

Having never visited New York City, I’m not particularly familiar with the city’s fleet of taxicabs. Judging by the fact that the city’s new traditional taxicab replacement, the Nissan NV200, boasts among it’s interesting features germ fighting seems to cut down on bad odors, the average taxi must be a smelly place. The image here is a shot of the prototype Nissan NV200 being unloaded in New York City.

The new taxes will be hitting the streets of the city next year packed with rider conveniences such as charging ports for smartphones, big skylights for looking at skyscrapers, and more. Nissan got the nod in a competition to replace traditional taxis in the city over two other finalists. The NV200 looks like a small minivan and has a flat floor to make it easy for passengers to slide from one side to the other.

Notable differences of the new taxis include the use of a brighter yellow color, and the taxis will have low-annoyance horns, whatever that means. Other notable features of the Nissan taxi include slide open doors reducing the risk of hitting someone riding or walking by and the doors open wider. The new taxis will be phased in starting in October 2013 and all the cities taxis, including hybrids, will be off the streets by 2018. Each new taxi will sell for about $29,000.

[via NBC New York]

NYC gets new Nissan NV200 prototype taxi is written by Shane McGlaun & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Air Display Retina upgrade turns new iPad into high-res second screen

Air Display for iPad has received a much-anticipated Retina Display upgrade, turning the new iPad into a 2048 x 1536 second screen for your PC or Mac. Available since the first-gen iPad, the app turns the slate into a wireless display and allows users to extend their desktop across it, though you’ll need to make some tweaks to OS X settings first.

If you’re using OS X Lion, you can turn HiDPI on for double-resolution UI element rendering. “It’s absolutely stunning on a Retina display” app developer Avatron says, but “by default, Mac OS X disables HiDPI because until now, there has been no Mac display with high enough resolution.”

If you’ve got an OS X 10.6+ computer, meanwhile, you can use the full 2048 x 1536 resolution of the new iPad but without HiDPI. It’s left as an option, presumably for preserving wireless bandwidth, so you can continue to use the new iPad at 1028 x 768 as before. There are also various bugfixes, along with improved frame rate and quality.

AirDisplay for iPad is available in the App Store [iTunes link] priced at $9.99. Existing owners get the Retina Display upgrade free of charge.

Air Display Retina upgrade turns new iPad into high-res second screen is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Intel StoryBook tablet tipped for sub-$299 Medfield

Intel is pushing a so-called StoryBook tablet PC reference design for developing markets, insiders at manufacturers claim, pairing Intel’s own Medfield processors with dual-OS and a 10-inch touchscreen. The new slate is primarily aimed at markets like China and Brazil, the arch rumor-mongers at DigiTimes claim, but Intel is reportedly also considering a general commercial push with a target sticker-price of sub-$299.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen touch functionality in Classmate PCs. Intel created a touchscreen variant of its Classmate netbook back in 2008, with a rotating display that could fold flat against the keyboard, and a handle that allowed it to be easily held in the crook of the arm. That model used a smaller, 8.9-inch, 1024 x 600 display than the rumored StoryBook slate, and ran a 1.6GHz Atom CPU.

The Intel StoryBook tablet could arrive as early as the second half of 2012, it’s suggested, with ECS and Malata each tipped to be building the notebook for the chip company.

So, given the somewhat shaky reputation of DigiTimes, just how likely is all this? The news site’s sources at notebook vendors tend to be reasonable, and ECS is already an OEM for Intel’s existing Classmate PC, which does indicate there could be some truth here. Intel is also aggressively pushing Medfield as an ARM alternative, inking a phone and tablet deal with Lenovo back in January, and we caught sight of a leaked Intel reference design in December 2011.

Intel StoryBook tablet tipped for sub-$299 Medfield is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Canon EOS 60Da aims for the stars

Hello Spaceboy: Canon has your camera. The Canon EOS 60Da gets starry specific, a camera specifically tweaked to suit astronomical photography: the company uses a modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor “with heightened hydrogen-alpha sensitivity” which, it’s said, makes for “magnificent photographs of “red hydrogen emission” nebulae and other cosmic phenomena.” Replacing the aging 8.2-megapixel EOS 20Da, the EOS 60Da has an 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and, with the right adapter, can be mounted to telescopes.

Canon’s exact changes may not make much sense if you’re not familiar with night sky photography. According to the company, “the improved infrared-blocking filter is a modification suited specifically toward astronomy enthusiasts to achieve a hydrogen-alpha light sensitivity that is approximately three times higher than that of a normal Canon DSLR camera.” The end result is “a 20-percent higher transmittance of Hydrogen Alpha line, or H α wavelength, allowing astronomers to capture crisp, clear images of reddish, diffuse nebulae.”

On the back is a 3-inch, 1,040,000 dot LCD display with a twisting, rotating mount; Canon also bundles its AVC-DC400ST Stereo AV Video Cable, pushing a Live View image to a nearby TV for communal gazing. That Live View mode has been modified to suit the EOS 60Da, too, with a Silent Shooting feature for cutting out shutter-induced vibration.

A new noise reduction system promises to make ISO speeds up to 6400 (expandable to 12800) more usable, and there’s nine-point autofocus, full manual controls, and RAW, JPEG, and RAW+JPEG save options. In the box is the RA-E3 Remote Controller Adapter, for using external timers with longer intervals in addition to consecutive timed exposures for eventual combination. Finally, an AC adapter kit for powering the EOS 60Da from the mains is bundled too.

Canon isn’t expecting the EOS 60Da to show up with every retailer, and in fact the specialized camera will be only on sale at certain locations. It should hit those shelves this month, priced at $1,499.


Canon EOS 60Da aims for the stars is written by Chris Davies & originally posted on SlashGear.
© 2005 - 2012, SlashGear. All right reserved.

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Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Is Now Officially On 2.9 Percent Of Devices

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With all the devices either finding themselves updated, or being released with Ice Cream Sandwich ( Galaxy Nexus, S2 and HTC Ones come to mind), you may have been wondering overall, how much of a market share Google’s latest firmware has been gaining. Well, wonder no more, friends. The Android Developers site has updated the data on their Platform Versions dashboard, and ‘ol ICS has made a sizeable leap, finding itself installed on a whopping 2.9% of current Android devices. Okay, while not all that impressive, it’s a nice improvement from the 1.6% we saw back in January.

The Platform Versions chart is a tool for developers to plan which version of Android to better cater their apps to. Gingerbread is still running strong with many devices today still launching with the now aged OS. This likely wont change until the end of this year when more devices — even lower-end entry level devices — begin launching with ICS. We’re moving on up!

[Android Developers]

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