Apple is set to debut iCloud sometime over the next couple months, their fourth try at cloud-based services after iTools, .Mac and MobileMe. iCloud will feature some pretty major changes to Apple’s software lineup, mainly centring around the syncing of data between devices and iCloud.com. Although the lineup of iCloud services is radically different from MobileMe, the premise is the same: “Exchange, for the rest of us”.
However, I put forward that iCloud is, in fact, a completely different use of the cloud. This isn’t bad, and may actually be a more preferential one for the reasons I’m about to set forward. Change isn’t always bad, and in the realm of cloud data, Apple is pushing an interesting new precedent.
When Dropbox was founded in 2007, many people assumed it would be a flop along with the dozens of other file sync and sharing apps that had cropped up since the internet bubble of the ’90’s. Today, however, more people than ever rely on cloud sync and sharing services to keep their digital lives in order. From making sure you can get to that important file from your smartphone to sending PSDs to your colleague on the other side of the globe, keeping your files synced in the cloud can be very useful.
Dropbox is far from the only syncing service that’s popular today. Some recent security concerns with the service have brought increased focus on SpiderOak, a privately encrypted file sync service. Then, services like Skydrive and Box.net continue to be popular with others. Additionally, computer backup services like Backblaze, Mozy, and Carbonite continue to gain popularity with people who want to make sure they never lose any files.
Syncing individual files and folders may become outdated, however. Apple promises to do more than just sync files with their upcoming iCloud service. Instead of syncing traditional folders, iCloud promises to keep the same data in your apps, automatically. On the other hand, high quality web apps like Google Docs, Lucidchart, and more let us create and store files directly in the cloud, without ever having files on our desktop to sync.
So how about you? Do you keep all of your documents in Dropbox, or do you backup regularly with Backblaze? Or are all of your files in online apps already?
Prior to getting my iPad, I didn’t have much use for notebook apps. After my computing life went mobile, however, I found myself needing to write things down without having a notepad within reach. And so I got Evernote, the same notebook app used by so many of the bloggers I followed. After a few days, however, I wasn’t happy. Evernote could do all the things I wanted it to, but it didn’t…feel right.
My editor suggested I take a look at Memonic, a notebook app developed by a Swiss startup named Nektoon AG. I said to him the same thing I say to everybody else: if something doesn’t feel right, then it can’t hurt to try the Swiss.
For most of us, Dropbox has become one of the one app we can’t imagine living without. Sure, we need to write documents, edit pictures, render movies, keep up with todo lists, email, and more, but if you can’t get to your data, you might as well have not made it. Founder Drew Houston imagined Dropbox as a box to store all of your files, so you wouldn’t have to keep up with flash drives any more. But even better than flash drives, it keeps your files synced between all of your computers and the cloud, so you’ll never lose that important file.
Best of all, you can share folders with others. I’ve shared folders with coleagues around the globe, which lets us send documents and pictures back and forth as easily as if we were in the same room. It’s transformed the way many of us think about files. For me, I keep my Documents, Pictures, and Music folders synced with Dropbox, and it’s the primary place I store most of my files, program settings, and more
So, how important is Dropbox to you? Do you use it enough to upgrade to a Pro account? Do you have your main Documents folders synced with it, and do you share folders with others? Or have you found an even better tool to sync your files that all of us are missing out on? Enter your choice in the poll, then we’d love to have you join the conversation in the comments below! (more…)
The day has finally come; webapps are now treated like real, native OS apps. Thanks to Google’s new Chrome Web Store, it’s easier than ever to discover and install exciting new webapps. Although some of the webapps are simply links to existing webapps, including some we’ve reviewed here on Web.AppStorm, there are also some new apps just for Chrome.
This brings a few new features to the Chrome browser, since you can now install, tweak, and remove webapps from your browser. Let’s dig in and see what you can now do with webapps in Chrome.
Cloud storage products are hot services these days and while there is now an abundance of them, only a handful have really built something versatile and simple enough for the masses. Dropbox is one massively popular example, which we’ve reviewed before and even listed some really creative uses for. I recently asked my Twitter following which they preferred; Dropbox or SugarSync? Without question, the majority of my followers recommended Dropbox.
The two services are very similar, however, I prefer SugarSync. While similar to Dropbox, SugarSync offers a few features not found in Dropbox. Today we’ll take a look at SugarSync and a few of the features it provides, which Dropbox doesn’t.
As we looked at earlier this week, Dropbox is one of the nicer syncing solutions in a long time. And with such tight integration with the operating system and great flexibility, people have come up with some very unique and creative ways to use Dropbox.
Here’s a few for your reading pleasure.
A web tool and a desktop application all rolled into one utility, Dropbox appears to have addressed an issue that has long plagued computer users — synchronization. Developers from many of the big names in this industry have tried and failed at synchronization. In a way, it has been the holy grail of mobile computing, And yet, none of the big names were able to give users an acceptable solution.
Then Dropbox hit the scene.