Get in synch and look to the clouds

So many of us use multiple devices these days. Whether you use a desktop PC, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone, the two most common problems that get mentioned are to do with synchronisation and compatibility.

JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 150713 Alan Stainer. Photo by Derek Martin

Synchronisation is important, because you want to make sure that the file you are editing on one machine is the same as on another, or that the calendar appointment you just created on your PC is the same as the one on your phone.

Compatibility obviously matters, because you do not want to find the content you have carefully created on your laptop either does not open or looks plain rubbish on your tablet. I have lost count of the number of times someone has emailed a document of some description and it doesn’t open, or it does open but the formatting is all over the place.

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Now these issues have been a problem for many years and you don’t even need to be using more than one device yourself. Like when someone emails you a document for a program you don’t have.

One way to resolve this is to install the right software, but that isn’t always possible. Mac programs don’t run on Windows for example. Also you might end up shelling out a ton of cash on software you aren’t going to use very often.

Even when files are compatible with the software you use, there is still the problem of synchronisation.

All of these issues are fixed when you start using cloud services. My personal favourite is Google’s cloud offerings, because they all work together. I can do everything I need right from within a browser, which (because of internet standards) means it all works no matter what machine I am using.

Being entirely browser based, it also means I do not even need to think about installing any other software. For large organisations it gets even better, because there is no time wasted installing separate applications on hundreds of different machines, or ensuring every machine is running the same operating system. Half the organisation could be running Windows, while the other half could be using Macs, or Linux, or something that hasn’t been invented yet. It simply doesn’t matter anymore what you use. Plus sharing and collaborating is as easy as sending someone a link.