Articles: Apple & Google: A Match Made in Heaven
Back when I was in grad school, I had a stack of floppy disks on which I'd keep my assignments and essays. I remember when the zip drive came out, enabling us to store a whopping 100MB of data! When CD-ROMs emerged, we suddenly could burn, erase, and reburn media up to an unthinkable 700MB! However, after storing valuable raw and edited video files on them and their buddy, the DVD-ROM, I learned that they're not a particularly stable medium to store long term. Films I made in the early 2000s are lost forever. Still, making “mix tapes” that could play in your car or portable CD player was way cool.
Enter the flash drive, often called "thumb" drive. For the first time, 1GB (!!!) could be securely stored and transported from one computer to another. Those flash drives can now hold more than 1TB of data! Technology's unending march of progress never ceases to amaze me.
However, there have been more times than I can count where I left my flash drive at home when I needed it at work, or worse, left it in a public computer with all my files (never to be seen again).
With the evolution of cloud technology and the continued spread of the internet into everyone's lives, now you never have to worry about leaving your files behind again. Using Apple's iCloud Drive or Google's Google Drive, you can keep all your files on a cloud server and access them with any computer or mobile device connected to the internet.
Sometimes getting online can prove to be a challenge, but more and more places are offering free WiFi. Coffee shops, fast food restaurants, shops, libraries, airports, and even airplanes give people access to the internet. Many mobile plans allow users to turn their cell phones into a mobile hotspot to reduce your connection woes even further. Some cities have WiFi virtually everywhere in the city!
My position before PowerMax was as a server analyst at a college. As we were setting up my workstation, I asked about the industry-standard MS Office suite, so I could use Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. My supervisor said they use Google Docs, not MS Office. I had used Google Docs before in a virtual classroom as a way to share files with my students, but it never occurred to me to use it as my main word processing application. I dove into Google Drive and started using Docs that day, as well as Google Sheets for spreadsheets. (Google Slides for presentations; plus Google Forms, Google Drawings, and Google Maps that you can personalize.)
I love it! I can access my files from wherever I am. At work. At my remote office, which is sometimes at home in Oregon, sometimes at a coffee shop, sometimes abroad, and sometimes in California. Wherever I am, I can work on these informative PowerMax articles for your enjoyment, and all I need is a WiFi connection. Whenever inspiration strikes, I've got Google Docs ready to go.
Even if I'm on a walk or a run, I can pull out my iPhone, use the Google Docs app, and dictate copy to Siri for later revision and editing. It's brilliant. I also have the app on my iPad mini, so I can walk to a coffee shop with a small bluetooth keyboard and write away (without being bogged down with my full 5-lb laptop. A full backbreaking 5lbs! Oh, the horror!). Once in the office, I just pull up Google Docs and everything I wrote (or dictated) is there, ready for editing and revision.
Much like Apple, Google is on the forefront of modern technology. Whereas I prefer Apple’s computers and mobile devices, I only use Safari on my mobile devices. When working via the Internet, I used Google’s Chrome, which merges seamlessly with Google Drive.
Apple’s iCloud Drive is quite similar, and I could’ve just as easily adopted that in my workflow. Like Google Drive, it is accessible anywhere you have WiFi. Plus you have the benefit of having your edits not only populate online, so any terminal on which you access shows the latest version, but it also updates edits on all your devices: Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Use Pages in the iCloud Drive, or on any of your devices, and you can move seamlessly from one device to the next, picking up where you left off.
Apps like these improve our lives by increasing our freedom and our productivity. Simplify your life by adopting one of these into your daily workflow. You can even share documents and work on a single document at the same time as a remote teammember. That’s way cool.
Try them out! They’re free and accessible and will increase your productivity. Apple and Google: a match made in heaven.
Christine is a Technical Support Specialist and Content Writer for PowerMax. Follow her articles as she takes you “Behind the Sasquatch: A Look Inside PowerMax,” an inside look at the day-to-day operations from the perspective of a Woman in Tech. She’ll also post great Tech Tips, helping you get the most of your Mac apps as well as write about some common technical issues and how to fix them. Finally, Christine will periodically post some Tutorials that teach readers how to do things like make podcasts and iPhone apps. Find what you’re looking for in the categories on the right.
If you have a tech question or issue, please don’t hesitate to contact Christine for help.