I Got the Cloud for Christmas…Now What?

After months of deliberation, evaluation, comparison, and research, I finally bit the bullet and got myself some new technology for Christmas. I had been holding out, waiting for the next wave of devices, features and lower prices to hit the marketplace.

I did the same thing a decade ago prior to purchasing my first computer. Afraid of investing in something that would soon be obsolete, I waited and waited until I was relatively certain that things were leveling off for a bit and then I made my move. This time, I finally gave in, as it seems nothing will be leveling off anytime soon in terms of mobile devices and the related features, applications and services that goes with them.

Doing some last minute Christmas shopping brought me to the AT&T Wireless store in my local mall where they were advertising the latest Android tablet. If you bought the tablet, the accompanying Android smart phone was free. I had been looking at that tablet anyway – I liked the compact size and 4G capability, the offer for the free phone sealed the deal for me. I frequently travel and wanted an alternative to lugging my laptop around for short duration trips where I primarily need to triage email and view spreadsheets and presentations as they trickle in.

I also liked the promise of being able to reduce the size and weight of my carry on briefcase by offloading the usual novels, documents, magazines and other content to a single device – enter the cloud.

I have been talking with customers for years about the benefit of the cloud for their traveling workforce, but this was my first real experience. I was relieved that it was really as simple and easy to do as I have been telling everyone. I literally had all of my materials uploaded and ready to read on the plane in less than five minutes. From my computer desktop, I downloaded the AT&T Synaptic Storage application, launched it, and then browsed my hard drive for items that I needed to have access to while I was going to be away.

From my mobile devices, I accessed the Android marketplace, downloaded the mobile application and was able to download and view all of my Cloud documents in the time that it would normally take for my computer to boot up. Some pre-installed software even allowed me to make changes to these documents – from both my tablet and my smart phone.

When I was done with my document review and editing, I then opened up the eBook application that I had installed and downloaded the novel that I had been waiting to move to paperback. With my newly-acquired technology I didn’t have to lug around the massive hardcover edition and because it synchs my progress back to the Cloud, I can quickly go to my tablet or smart phone and pick up where I left off. I would have never carried a book around with me in the past, but I always have my phone close at hand. So, while I am waiting for the restaurant to bring my food or the flight attendant to complete the pre-flight check of the cabin, I can unwind a little bit with a few pages of a good book.

I still have a lot to learn – I am finding a ton of productivity tools out there as well as some interesting music and media services – they will likely be my next place of exploration. For now I am just sorry that I waited so long to make the move to the Cloud.

What about you? What technologies have you acquired recently that are helping you in business and/or your personal life?  What particular technologies do you “love” and which do you “despise.”  Your fellow readers would love to hear from you.
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