I’m still on my quest for my one tool to handle “lifestyle management” online, but I wanted to take a moment to cover a couple of topics that have jumped out at me that I wasn’t necessarily expecting: The Could, and Mobile Devices.Don’t get me wrong. I’m fully aware that these factors are out there. I’ve recently become an Android owner and a while ago I blogged about how the cloud can really be your “digital home” for things. However, as I’ve been looking through various options, I noticed that nearly all of them have a mobile version available. Netvibes has a very responsive and compact mobile version of their site available, no installation required. Google has mobile apps for everything they provide (reader, mail, plus, etc.), but even have mobile optimized versions of their sites to. I was surprised at how much I had been using all of these too! I have a laptop, but even then a “quick” e-mail update called for running into the bedroom, getting the laptop out of sleep mode, firing up the… whoops, commercial break is over. Now I just pull out Whistler (my iPod Touch) or Fiver (my Droid) and I look for notifications and proceed if I want. Afterwards I can start some hot chocolate for me and the Mrs. and be back in plenty of time.
I’ll admit I have more geekish tendencies that a lot of people I know, but to some degree I think I’ve been behind the timeline on the mobile component, so I’m sure this angle has been used by people a lot longer than I have. Aside from the “heavy lifting apps” for compiling code, gaming, or doing heavy graphics work, I don’t think there are many apps out there that don’t have a mobile component if they want to be successful.
The other angle that caught me even more by surprise is the cloud angle. While commiserating with some other folks online about our loss of Threadsy, one person recommended a client based program that seemed to have the same functionality I was looking for. However, my body cringed internally at the thought that I’ve installed another program on my computer. Too many apps installed and uninstalled starts to make the system a little slower, oddly enough. On top of that, I’ve been through enough system reformats that the fewer applications I have to reinstall (not counting simply replacing the system image) the better. Most importantly though is the data backup angle. I’ll admit that I need to have a physical copy of of all my photos/e-mails/etc., but I think to some degree I’ve become accustomed to having them saved online, and being able to reboot between systems (Mac and PC) and having all the same e-mails there without the hassle. Also I can be on the road, want to show a friend a picture (say of the recent snow) and have it right there. Incredibly convenient. To some degree I didn’t realize how dependent I’ve become on the cloud.
These factors are definitely playing a factor in the search of lifestyle management apps, and they weren’t mainstream enough before to consider. Such is the new digital age we live in. What about you? How do mobile devices and the cloud play into your life on a day to day basis?