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Friday, April 20, 2012

Living In The Cloud - Update

*UPDATED*

When I wrote this, back in August, the BlackBerry PlayBook was getting tough reviews.  However, since the OS was updated to 2.0 at the end of February, I can honestly say those reviews are unfounded.

With native email, calendar and contacts now part and parcel of the device, it now really is possible to live in "The Cloud".

What's more, with the introduction of an Android player, the number of apps available has increased exponentially.  Personally, I'm not too bothered about apps.  I have what I need and don't have a desire to load my PlayBook with everything under the sun.

My device does exactly what I want it to do; and using my phone to connect to the internet, when not in a Wi-Fi area means I'm not restricted in any way.

So - if you haven't already; take a look at the latest version of the BlackBerry PlayBook; like others, you might be pleasantly surprised

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"The Cloud".  It's a phrase we hear about more and more, as our computing lives take place on line.

We are living in an ever connected world. We're sold broadband that is always on; we have a number of devices that are connected to the internet. The laptop, the smartphone, games consoles like the Ninetendo Wii, XBox, Playstation and many more.  Even the fridge!
Can it be possible to do without the full-scale laptop and/or PC, and live within the means of the handheld devices we carry around.
There have been quite a few experiments recently, where people have lived without the use of a normal PC or laptop, for one day; and I thought I'd join the fray!
To 'Live in the Cloud' you not only need the equipment to, but you also need the software. This is how I spent one day, using just my BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry PlayBook

Browser - The whole reason for being in the Cloud.  The BlackBerry PlayBook offers a browser experience that is near the normal browser.


Bluebox - an app that connects to your Dropbox account. This is a great way to store and access documents, and once they've been edited they sync back and the new version is available anywhere. It's also easy to share documents too  When you sign up, you get 2Gb of storage, free.

Documents To Go - Included on BlackBerry (from OS5) it's allows you to edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents whilst out and about. It's also included on the PlayBook.  The one downside is the ability to fully edit spreadsheets, but otherwise, it's ideal for reviewing. *UPDATE - From OS2, it's now possible to edit spreadsheets...

BlackBerry Bridge - One of the negatives bandied about with regards to the PlayBook, is the lack of native applications, such as email.  However, BlackBerry created the Bridge, an app that allows you to access these on your mobile phone, including BlackBerry Messenger, contacts, calendar and documents.  Although not native, it could be argued that, since these are not available when the Bridge is disconnected, then security of the data remains intact.

Google Docs - An alternative to Docs To Go; but you need to be Online to use it.  Google Docs is a solid way to access and share documents, as well as GMail and Calendar.

GeeReader - Keep in touch with your RSS news feeds. It's a great, free app, for the PlayBook, that integrates well; and since the PlayBook can play video, you can also watch the news too.

Connectivity - Of course, living (and working) in the cloud means that you also need to be connected.  There are numerous ways - a wif-fi connection via a hotspot, a personal wi-fi hotspot, or even the use of the BlackBerry Torch as a modem.  If you have an unlimited data plan (or even  a high-use) then this is a great way to keep connected.

Nobody said it would be easy, and this is just a quick look at the possibilities, especially since everything I've mentioned here is free (apart from the network connectivity).

It goes to show what can be achieved whilst out and about.... Including this particular post!
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