FileBrowser, the – uh – file browser app for iOS, has gotten a slew of new features in a recent update, one of which will make movie-downloading iPad owners very happy: Now the app can not only browse network-attached drives (like the Time Capsule), it can stream movies of any format to other apps on your iPad.
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Launched a few weeks ago, the Pogoplug Series 4 ($100) is Cloud Engines’ latest attempt at making their network-attached storage device as ubiquitous as the microwave oven. Like its predecessors, the S4 allows you to attach a hard drive or flash drive to create your own cloud, which you can use to stream media, share files or create slideshows, all of which can be accessed over the Internet and shared with others. Additionally, it can also be used for remote backup.
Pogoplug has been busy. For a company that focuses really intently on a single concept — namely, putting your stuff in the cloud — it has released a prolific number of products since the original Pogoplug first debuted in early 2009. Today brings their latest offering: The Pogoplug Series 4 ($100).
Cloud Engines, the outfit that makes the Pogoplug, sent us an Series 4 to check out, and we got a little hands-on time with it before the launch today.
Yes, cloud computing is all the rage these days; question is, d’you plonk all your stuff down on a distant server, or keep your digital junk safe and dry inside your own home, with your own personal cloud? If you picked the latter, Akitio’s new NAS device might appeal to you.
They’re running through the entire playbook over at Pogoplug for a touchdown (yeah, guess I’m jonesing for the football season to start). Their latest move is the Pogoplug Mobile ($80), out today.
Review by Kelly Keltner
I have a love/hate relationship with routers. I love what they do and the freedom they give me; hate that they never quite live up to my expectations. I’ve been through numerous routers over the years and have yet to find one that truly impressed me. However, Belkin’s N750 DB Wireless Dual-Band N+ Router ($130) might be the first that I’ve had a good overall experience with right out of the box.
Among a slew of other changes and upgrades in OS X Lion, it has been confirmed that the new version of Time Machine in Lion temporarily kills the option to backup to a third party NAS server.
Apple stresses the importance of the Time Machine mentality in Lion, with the Versions feature working in the same way to keep backups of your documents and other files. Killing the ability to backup to a third party NAS (Network Attached Storage) drive reflects Apple’s desire to, well, have you buy more Apple hardware.
Apple has already revealed that Steve Jobs will talk about iCloud, iOS 5 and OS X Lion during his WWDC keynote on Monday morning.
In addition, it’s rumored that Apple’s wireless Time Capsule backup/router will get a big update.
Here’s how iCloud and the new Time Capsule will work, according to a source close to the company who asked not be identified. It’s pretty surprising:
It’s a little admitted secret, but one of the biggest reasons people like Network Attached Storage drives is for Torrent downloads. They’re the easiest ways to download obscure British TV shows, for example, that can’t be easily had here in the U.S. After downloading a couple of shows, users watch them via WiFi streaming on their MacBooks or iPads.
Trouble is, Torrent downloads slow everything on the home network to a crawl. Everyone complains when the network is clogged with Torrents of Shameless or The Killing. Well, not any more. You can set up one of Iomega’s new Home Media Network Hard Drive, Cloud Edition at work and use the office’s net connection to download Torrents at night. Then you stream them over the net to your home.
I’ve been testing one of the Home Media Drives for several weeks. There’s a been a few glitches, but on the whole, it works well. Now I’ve got my own little Amazon S3 system, with none of the monthly fees.
Just like Pogoplug and ZumoCast (the latter currently MIA from the app store), Tonido is a service that’ll let users stream media and access files on a computer from a mobile device. It sort of combines features from both — it’s completely free, works via a mobile app that connects to server software (free download from Tonido) running the user’s computer and allows access to music, videos, photos and even plain ‘ol documents. In fact, pretty much everything on a connected hard drive is accessable.
The big difference with Tonido though, is that virtually nothing is stored in a cloud — not even your account password (“think of the Tonido server like a giant router” says co-founder Venkat Ramasay). Don’t want to use your computer as the server? Tonido sells a remarkably-Pogoplug-looking NAS device for $99 that you can plug an external HDD or USB stick into. Ramasay says the software footprint is also very small, and that’s it’s also intended to run on home routers. The next version will also support Airplay.
The interface seems a little rough around the edges — I wasn’t able to stream music because I couldn’t figure out a way to simply select music to play, for instance — but it’s free, so worth taking a look at.