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Dropbox adds video upload features to iOS app

Faced with growing competition from new video-centric rivals, Dropbox on Thursday unveiled a revamped iOS app that lets users automatically upload their photos and video to the company's cloud-based storage service.

The update to Dropbox's universal app for iPhone and iPad lets users upload photos and video to the cloud using either a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. The new version gives you a choice of manual or automatic upload. Just turn on the Camera Upload feature in the settings, and the app will upload your video or images automatically. The company has also created a new Gallery view so users can see thumbnails of all the images they store with the service.

Dropbox's move comes just weeks after the unveiling of two new apps--Pixorial and Cloudee--aimed at letting users store their video to the cloud for private use or targeted sharing. While Dropbox is well-established, the proliferation of services indicates there's a growing market for services that let users save and access video from nearly any electronic device they own.

They'll also have to compete on price--and the ability to store heavy-data video files may help all the services attract more paying users.

Dropbox offers users 2GB of storage for free (more if you refer friends to the service). Pro accounts start at $10 a month for 50GB or more of storage. Pixorial, in contrast, offers the first gigabyte for free, after which its premium service begins at $2 a month for 10GB, and $9 a month for 50GB. Cloudee has not yet unveiled its pricing scheme. (Apple's iCloud service offers up to 5GB of storage for free, but currently accommodates only photos--no user-created video.)

But Dropbox is also trying to sweeten the pot for multimedia users--announcing with Thursday's update that clients can earn up to 3GB of free extra storage if they also use the automatic-upload feature for photos.

The Dropbox app is free, and compatible with devices running iOS 4.0 or later.

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