The 5 Most Useful Cloud Applications
Cloud computing is all the rage. Now that computers, and particularly mobile devices using iOS and Android, are moving away from file systems and more towards applications with cloud storage to maintain all of their files, it’s becoming much more difficult to justify using a product that isn’t in the cloud. Because we tend to use a wide range of different devices, being able to access information stored in the cloud, regardless of the device, is now more important than ever.
Here are some of our favorite cloud-based applications.
Simply put, Evernote is the best way to keep track of and store notes on the cloud.
And because Evernote is a cloud-based application, when you save a note on one device — your iPad — and open it up on another — your Android phone — you’ll be able to make changes on the fly, add pictures or other content without having to manually update each note. So if you take a photo using your smartphone, you can then add links and other content to that note later using your desktop. Or a sound clip. Or whatever you want.
Yes, the cloud is awesome.
As Do describes it, “do and it’s done.” Do is a great application for keeping track of a wide variety of tasks, from simple ones like reminding yourself to get milk, or more complex ones like tracking individual tasks on a large project across multiple users.
Though Do is positioned as a ‘social productivity app for teams’ — it was recently purchased by Salesforce, the massive CRM-cloudware company — it is also a great tool for individuals and families.
And because it’s free, it’s simple for groups of friends or colleagues to easily communicate basic tasks between one another. Sent someone out shopping but forgot an item? Send the task to them via Do and they’ll get it on their smartphone.
Spotify has quickly become one of the best ways to access music from your Internet-connected device, and those who have signed up for the premium subscription service — $10 a month — have unlimited access Spotify’s massive collection of music from their mobile phone.
And it’s also a great tool for discovering new music, and listening to old classics regardless of where you are. Certainly, it is missing a few significant artists — namely, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin — but for the most part it generally has anything that you’re looking for.
And having all of that music at your fingertips is far more convenient than uploading songs individually to an iPod, and having to update it every so often in order to get new music. Not to mention the fact that the application looks beautiful in all forms — desktop, iOS, Android.
Because of Gmail’s versatility, its cross-platform integration, and the fact that Gmail is integrated with seemingly every application ever developed, this one is easy: Gmail is the all-encompassing mail application that, more often than not, just works.
And regardless of whether you’re reading mail on your desktop, then responding to it from your smartphone, Gmail keeps track of all of those conversations for you seamlessly. (Although that’s pretty standard affair for email these days.)
Managing finances has always been a daunting task, but Mint helps simplify the entire process by allowing individuals to aggregate all of their accounts — checking, savings, investments, etc. — into one easy to manage online portfolio that they can access anywhere. Sure, it might be scary to entrust one single source with that much information, but the amount of time saved managing your different accounts and paying bills is easily worth that initial scare. (Not to mention the fact that Mint’s online database is no less secure than any bank’s online account management alternatives.)
Once you’ve started using Mint to manage your accounts, you’ll wonder how you ever managed your finances without it. The app allows you to easily update budgets, find out where you’re overspending, and to set aside money for savings all with a few clicks of the mouse, or a few taps of your finger.
Cloud computing is quickly becoming an integral part to any successful application that wants to run on a variety of different platforms, and all of these apps are great examples of how that execution should look.
What are your favorite cloud-based apps?
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