Finally, after I’ve seen so much buzz about “the cloud”, it made me ask myself, “How can I personally be using the cloud to increase my efficiency and productivity?” Going between an iPhone and a PC isn’t as seamless as iPhone to Mac, so I got discouraged. But, there are still some useful things I can do.
Cloud computing is, in simple terms, using the internet to access everything you need (applications, operating systems, and data) housed on an outside server instead of using your computer’s storage installed/housed on your computer directly.
This technology has been around for more than a decade and is currently offered by a wide range of companies for use with PCs, Macs, corporate networks, iOS devices, and other wireless tablets and Smartphones. Thanks to Apples’ extensive advertising and promotion, cloud-based computing is a more widely-utilized, consumer-oriented feature.
One way I was already using the cloud, and didn’t really think about it is through Google Documents. Whenever I get assigned the dreaded group project, I suggest using it to create a document that everyone can see and edit in real time. After the initial getting group members contact info, it almost eliminates the need to meet in person, which can be very difficult coordinating busy schedules. I believe Google also has an application that allows everyone access to a collective calendar to coordinate dates and times, so you don’t have to contact each person individually and then try to coordinate a meeting time that works for all.
Using the cloud as a backup service is another great feature. As a student, or human being that uses a computer, the loss of critical data could be disastrous. You can definitely still use an external hard drive, but why put all your eggs in one basket? Use both, you never know what’s going to happen to the “intangible cloud we have no control over”.
One thing I do plan on looking into is this free application, Panda Cloud Antivirus, which offers protection from viruses and malicious websites through a process called Collective Intelligence, a system that detects and analyzes computer threats on an ongoing basis to make anyone’s online experience as safe, productive and pleasant as possible.
P.S. – If anyone knows how to have an excel document accessible and editable on both an iPhone and a PC, please share!