#iPadOnly book » Section 1 - Why #iPadOnly? » Chapter 5 - Cloud Nine

Chapter 5 - Cloud Nine

Moving your documents to the cloud is key to making #iPadOnly work

Why moving to the ‘cloud’ is important

Moving completely ‘to the cloud’ was something Michael always wanted to do but never got around to completely doing. With the iPad he had no choice. Even though he owns a 64GB iPad, its storage capacity still pales with the comparison of his home office Mac with 500MB disk and Time Capsule with 3TB.

Augusto wasn’t as eager to jump to the cloud as Michael. He was always on the go and didn’t want to depend on an Internet connection in hotels or slow cellular connections of his phone. As he was trying to simplify his setup and reducing the weight of that bag, he understood that the cloud may provide a good solution, so he finally jumped in with both feet.

We believe there are three main reasons to have your data in the cloud - convenience, simplicity and security.

Convenience of the Cloud

Having your data in the cloud means it is stored on a remote server infrastructure. Basically, this means you can access it from anywhere in the world, with any device you want. It works like magic. You can use an iPad, iPhone or any Mac or PC to access this data. You no longer have to worry about ’some file I created once’ because the file is always there, in the cloud, within your reach from anywhere you’re located. With any device. Including your beloved iPad. That also means, if you need to restore your data on the go, all you need is a device and the connection to your data.

Simplification of the Cloud

The process of going to the cloud is like moving to a new home - you have to go through most of your stuff before you put it in the boxes to move to a new place. This means you get to decide if you still need this or that. You will discover there are a lot of things that are not only unnecessary but irrelevant when you really stop to consider them.

First you need to decide which ‘clouds’ (i.e. ‘cloud services’) you want to use - and we’ll talk about this in just a bit.

Second, you have to move your data to the cloud. Our goal was to be able to access everything we needed from the iPad.

Michael deleted 60% of the ‘stuff’ he had on his computer in the process - files he’d never need or that were no longer relevant to anything he did; Augusto went from a set of 500GB hard drives (one for the PC, one for backup on the go, one for backup at home) to less than 10GB of space. Setting up the ‘cloud services’ right, we finally knew exactly which piece of information belonged where. Going #iPadOnly made us go ‘cloud only’ and simplified our entire computer setup even more than we’d anticipated.

Security in the Cloud

Putting your data in the cloud may seem scary for many of you. Michael was more confident about it as he runs a cloud service of sorts himself (Nozbe). He knows how much companies invest in making the infrastructure reliable and safe. How many backups, and backups of backups are actually being performed. Michael knows there’s virtually no way for cloud companies to lose any piece of user data as they have it backed up and duplicated safely in several places in real time. All of the cloud services work like this - they live and breathe with data safety in mind because the users must trust their cloud providers. If the trust is gone, the cloud business is gone. This was Augusto’s biggest concern, mostly because of lack of knowledge, but after he spent some time listening and learning he understood that the cloud was safer than his current setup of carrying everything on external and internal hard drives.

Cloud is where it’s at.

Now that we moved entirely to the cloud and we’ve been working like this for more than a year, we can’t imagine working the old way. Thanks to having our data in the cloud, we know where it is, we can access it from anywhere we want and we feel confident that it is stored in a safe place at all times.

Without a doubt Dropbox played a big role in making the cloud stronger. It was the first service to make the syncing of data files almost invisible, ubiquitous, and accessible to anyone. These days we have a lot of data in the cloud. The iCloud is handling contacts, calendars, and photos and Dropbox is handling our files. You start worrying less and less about backups and more and more about dependency. With iOS8 Apple’s iCloud will become even a bigger player in this space with the introduction of the ‘iCloud Drive’ that will enable us to exchange documents between different Mac and iOS apps.

On the other hand, as the iPad has significant storage, most of the things we use every day are synced with the iPad and we can access them offline - without an Internet connection. Contrary to the ‘Chromebooks’ idea and other online-only devices, the iPad works great without an Internet connection and you can be confident the changes you make will be synced later.

These cloud services allowed us to focus on the work and not on how to reach the different devices and applications. This book it is an example of it. We can start writing this document on the iPhone, continue on the iPad, back to the iPhone and finally, thanks to the cloud, when the time is right to share it or send it to the editor, the cloud will have the last version of the document, like magic. Michael has worked on the book from Spain, Poland and the Netherlands. Augusto has worked from multiple cities in the US. All transparent, all invisible, all ‘in the cloud’.

Next Chapter: Chapter 6 - Multi-tasking or multi-distracting?

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