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Tidal gets Mac beta software, Google Drive for iOS switches to Material Design

Music service Tidal on Wednesday announced beta Mac and Windows clients, as well as discounted student tiers, while Google updated the iOS version of Drive with Material Design and other improvements.




Tidal for Mac



The Tidal desktop client is similar to the Web and mobile apps, but adds some extra features. These include gapless playback, support for media keys, and output selection —listeners can for example choose to push music to a digital audio converter, or AirPlay-compatible speakers.

Both the desktop and mobile apps have been given a new interface design. On mobile this means better search, more personalization options, and an easier to find Offline Mode button. Significantly, offline listening is not yet possible on the desktop, but Tidal is promising support "in the near future."

Tidal has meanwhile announced Ticketmaster integration for buying concert tickets, and new student tiers which cut prices in half. That makes a lower-quality subscription just $5 a month, and the full-fidelity tier $10, on par with Spotify or Beats Music. Students must however subscribe using a .edu email address.

While the desktop betas are available immediately, some changes will only roll out over coming weeks.

Google Drive for iOS






The iOS app for Google's cloud file service now employs Material Design, an aesthetic that first debuted with last year's Android Lollipop. That includes not just high-contrast color schemes but animated, tangible-feeling interface elements.

Below the surface Google has improved sync and image-browsing speeds, along with scrolling performance. To make navigation simpler, the company has added a swipe gesture for going back.

Google Drive runs on any device with iOS 7 or later. A default 15 gigabytes of storage is free, but other plans ranging from 100 gigabytes to 30 terabytes cost between $2 and $300 a month.