The Cloud & You; the Consumer1 Jun, 2012 By: Dr. Satwant Kaur, Hewlett-Packard imageSource
A big impact of the cloud for you and/or consumers is that we can carry our own private home or work environment with us no matter where we are, as long as we are connected to the Internet. We can read the same books, listen to the same music, watch the same films and TV, and work on our same documents and images.
More on the Cloud
The Internet, as we know, is a single network of interconnected computing devices. The cloud is a collection of many useful services that is made available from the Internet. That list of services provided by “cloud” keeps growing daily.
What are Cloud Services?
It is a service that is:
- provided by a remote resource in the internet
- has an on demand capacity
- which the users can pick and choose, and
- does not need programs installed on the user’s devices or PC
Kinds of Cloud Services
As discussed, a cloud service is some functionality that provides for you and/or the consumer. These services are delivered from the cloud, as opposed to installing an application on a PC or smartphone
Storage in Cloud: Cloud storage and retrieval solutions can protect your data and give you access to it from anywhere in the world. It can connect entire contents of your home network over the Internet as if you were sitting at home.
Digital Protection in Cloud: We are becoming more and more digital so we need to protect the things we consume digitally. Cloud storage is great for backing up digital files, photos, digital magazines & downloaded films.
Sharing & Collaboration with Cloud: Storing your digital files in the cloud can make accessing your files and sharing them with others easy. Examples include office files but also personal files such as wedding lists, shopping lists, wish lists, holiday cards, etc., that are shared.
Film Entertainment wth Cloud: Storing favorite film files in the cloud allows you to access them, anytime, anywhere via any Internet-ready device. Watch when traveling, vacationing, working off-site.
Read Magazines during Travel: You can purchase digital versions of your favorite magazine or periodical to be accessed anytime, anywhere via your laptop or tablet PC. You can read your preference while waiting at the airport, in a doctor’s office or a railway station.
So you see, use of the cloud services is increasing due to smartphones, and tablet computers now on the rise, and huge amounts of photos and data are being shared.
How Consumers Use Cloud Services
The latest consumer cloud services that can store digital media are from Apple, Google and Amazon.
CloudApp is a cloud services for storage and retrieval. Mac OS and iOS users can drag and drop any object to CloudApp’s icon in the taskbar. CloudApp produces a URI which is copied to the Clipboard. From there, you can paste it into an e-mail, a tweet, or an IM message. When your recipients receive the link, they have instant access to your object.
Audiobox.fm is an audio streaming service that which enables them to store the music they own in the cloud and also play that music from any device using the service’s own media player.
Spotify and Pandora are on demand music (unlike radio) as a subscription to music libraries without having to own costly CDs.
Google and Apple ICloud both have online cloud office applications like the Microsoft Office. Example: Apple Pages and Google Docs, Apple Numbers and Google spreadsheets, and Apple Keynote. All these apps will automatically push out changes made on or from a device to all devices that use it from the cloud.
Amazon’s Cloud: provides consumer cloud for digital media to help store music, videos, photos and documents at Amazon.com. You can access content from the service across multiple devices such as PCs, Android and BlackBerry devices
Google’s Drive: is a data-storage cloud service. Drive lets people store photos, documents & videos on Google’s servers so that they are accessible from any Web-connected device & easily shared with others. If you wanted to e-mail a video shot from a smartphone for instance, you could upload it to the Web through a Drive mobile app and e-mail a link to the video rather than sending a bulky file. Google’s service is available for Macintosh, Windows & Android devices, and iOS.
Joukuu is the “cloud of cloud services”. It is a Web-based console for displaying in a single list all the contents of files stored to Google Docs, Box.net, and Dropbox, as well as other cloud services.
The Effect of Cloud on You/Consumers Today
We now know that the big impact of the cloud is that we can carry our home and work environments with us no matter where we are, as long as we are connected to the Internet. Consumer Clouds allow us to provision web-based applications in place of local software and services by providing unlimited off-site storage and software applications. The consumer does not have to buy the software, but can access it for a relatively small monthly subscription. The consumer can access all that via any web browser from any Internet-connected device. Such services also provide access to the newest upgraded versions of these applications.
Basically, you and/or a consumer never have to worry that a hard drive failure or other catastrophic event will result in irretrievable loss of your digital data. You’re optimally safe and can easily retrieve data at any time; anywhere.