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Google to Replace Drive with Google One

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It was in 2014 that Google updated its storage plans in response to price drops from rival Dropbox. The company is yet again at it to make the prices even more competitive. It’s adding a new tier and dropping prices as part of its “Google One” rollout. That’s not all, though. Google promises enhanced support and more benefits down the line for One subscribers.

Google storage plans apply to multiple services across Google’s cloud. For example, adding more storage to your account gives you more space for Gmail, Google Photos, and general file storage in Drive. This could be a little confusing as the old storage plans show up as part of Drive. Google One will be marketed as an overall Google subscription, and storage space is just part of the deal.

The base 15GB of free storage remains for all users, as does the $1.99 per month upgrade that comes with 100GB of space in Google’s cloud. There’s a new plan in Google One with 200GB of storage for $2.99 per month. That fills the gap between the 100GB and old 1TB plan. That 1TB tier is going away, though. You now get 2TB for the same $9.99 monthly price. That’s double what Dropbox offers at the same price. The 10, 20, and 30TB plans are still available for the same $100, $200, and $300 monthly fees.

The more generous storage options will be handy for people shooting lots of photos and 4K video who want to save the full-quality versions in Photos. Plus, you might only need a single subscription for your family. You’ll be able to share the space on One plans with up to five family members.

Google says that One subscribers will also have access to “Google experts” for instant one-on-one tech support for all Google products and services. This was already available for the company’s paid G Suite accounts, but this is the first time the general public has been able to access premium Google support.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Google One is what the company might do later. The plan is to offer various perks to One subscribers, but Google is vague on what that will entail. The blog post says you can expect deals on hotels booked through Google search and discounts on Google Play. Other benefits will come to One down the line.

You can’t sign up for Google One quite yet. The company says current Drive subscriptions will migrate to One in the coming months. That process will start in the US before moving out across the globe. For new subscriptions, you’ll have to wait until later this year to sign up for Google One.

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WhatsApp Now Transcribes Voice Messages on Android

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Calling all Android users who dread lengthy voice messages: rejoice! WhatsApp is rolling out voice message transcription to its beta app.

This feature, already available for iOS users since May 2024, is now part of the WhatsApp Beta version 2.24.15.5 for Android. It automatically converts voice messages into text, making it easier and faster to understand conversations.

Currently, transcriptions are supported in five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, and Hindi, with more languages promised in the future. Users opting in will need to download an additional data package to ensure all transcripts are generated directly on their devices, maintaining message privacy.

This update brings Android users closer to iOS users in terms of features and highlights WhatsApp’s commitment to improving the overall user experience.

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WhatsApp Trials AI Image Generator

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Calling all creative minds! WhatsApp is testing a new feature that uses AI to generate personalized avatars. Imagine yourself as a superhero, chilling on a beach, or even exploring space – the possibilities are endless! WABetaInfo discovered this feature in the latest Android beta update.

Here’s the tech behind the magic: a combo of user images, text descriptions, and Meta’s powerful AI, Llama. “Take photos of yourself once, then imagine yourself in any setting from the forest to outer space,” reads the screenshot on WhatsApp. The way it works is in the Meta AI Chat: users can type “Imagine in…” or “@Meta AI imagine me…” as a text prompt. A user’s likeness will then be used to generate the personalized image.

While there’s no official release date yet, this exciting feature is entirely optional. It joins the recently launched in-app custom sticker maker, showcasing WhatsApp’s commitment to fostering creativity within the app. This, alongside their ongoing development of AI chat functionalities, highlights Meta’s focus on making WhatsApp a platform that embraces both technological innovation and user expression.

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YouTube’s New Eraser Tool Now Removes Songs Without Ruining Your Videos

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Good news for creators! YouTube has rolled out a major update to its eraser tool, allowing them to effortlessly remove copyrighted music from their videos without sacrificing other audio elements like dialogue or sound effects.

In a recent video, YouTube acknowledged that the previous version of the tool needed improvement in terms of accuracy. This new iteration addresses that concern by utilizing an AI-powered algorithm that precisely detects and removes unwanted songs while leaving the rest of the audio intact.

However, YouTube’s support page advises creators that the algorithm might not always achieve perfect separation. As an alternative, creators can opt to “Mute all sound in the claimed segments,” effectively silencing any portions potentially containing copyrighted material.

Once the edit is finalized, YouTube automatically removes the content ID claim, a system designed to identify the use of copyrighted material within videos on the platform. This allows creators to proceed with their uploads without copyright concerns.

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