What is the Cloud?Background

As the use of mobile computer devices (laptops, tablets, phablets, smartphones, etc) has proliferated, so has the need for ubiquitous access to documents and files between these devices…..

…..Create a document on your laptop computer at home, update it on a desktop computer at work, edit and present the document using your iPad at a meeting, and review the document on your phone over lunch at a cafe.

What is the cloud?

‘The cloud’ refers to services that provide a facility to create files with online software, store those files in a remote location (ie not on the device, but rather ‘in the cloud’), and access those files using a web browser or local app – providing the ability to create, store, edit, and share documents, spreadsheets, drawings, presentations, etc, anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Some cloud services, such as Dropbox, Box and Copy, provide only file storage.

Other services, such as Google Apps and Microsoft OneDrive, provide document creation and editing as well as file storage.

Other services fill specialist needs – Evernote for note-taking, for example. Take notes on your iPad at a meeting, then automatically access them on your laptop or desktop computer. (No thumb-drive required!) Ditto for Pixlr and Canva for graphics activities.

Where do you get it?

Most providers offer a free service, with some limit to functionality or storage capacity compared to their ‘premium’ service. Often though the free option provides more than enough functionality for the average user.

For example, Google Drive / Apps offers 15Gb for free, or 100Gb for $2 per month.

How do I use these apps?


wazmacWhat is ‘The Cloud’?