What is the cloud? Where is the cloud? Are we in the cloud now?
In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the internet instead of your computer's hard drive. The cloud is just a metaphor for the internet.
When you store data on, or run programs from - your hard drive; that is called local storage. Everything you need is physically close to you. Accessing data from the cloud means you need to access your data over the internet. You don't need to know how it works, or what the infrastructure is on the 'other end' inside the cloud. All you need is an online connection and you can access your data at any time and anywhere.
On the iPad, you can use cloud services to store and retrieve files, share files, to synchronise a document between two or more devices and as a backup location for files and to access a document or file from any device with an internet connection.
Sign up for an account and download the mobile apps
You will need an account for each of the following:
You need an email account to sign up.
You need an email account to sign up for cloud services. My suggestion is a new email address just for this purpose. Eg, Gmail. You can use the same email address to sign up for all your accounts. Go to accounts.google.com and Create an Account. Then sign up for each of the accounts below using your new Gmail address.
Dropbox - The goal
In using Dropbox, you want to be able to:
- access the same version of a file over many devices
- make changes to a file and have those changes synchronised across all your devices.
- 1. When you install Dropbox on your computer, it provides a dropbox folder in your Windows Explorer or Finder on the MAC. This is where you drop files that you want to appear in Dropbox to all connected devices.
Sign up for an account (if you haven't already done so) or Sign in. Use your Gmail account.
Download the Dropbox client software for your computer - Windows or MAC
Run the Dropbox installer and when you're finished, there will be a dropbox icon in your menu bar (on a MAC) or the task bar on a Windows PC
Dropbox: using the Dropbox app on the iPad
1. Shows all the files and documents currently stored in your Dropbox account. If you went online to dropbox.com in a browser, you would also see the same files and folder structure.
2. This enables the Camera upload. You can automatically upload any images from your iPad to be stored in your Dropbox account.
3. Settings. Check the space used, account details etc.
4. Download the document / file from dropbox.com to your iPad where you can open it in another app; eg Adobe Reader - depending on the file.
Dropbox on your computer
When you download and install the Dropbox client on your computer, it provides you access to your files stored in the cloud - at Dropbox.com. On the MAC, a Dropbox menu will be avaiable in the menu bar, on Windows, in the Task bar.
1. Access to the dropbox folder on your hard drive
2. Access to dropbox.com
3. Dropbox has been synchronised. In other words, all files stored in dropbox.com also exist in the same version on every device running dropbox; in my case, the iPad and several MAC computers.
Getting files in and out of Dropbox
This is the Finder on a MAC. This is where you access all your files. On a Windows machine, look in the Windows Explorer - your Libraries. All the cloud services - Windows Skydrive, Google Drive and Dropbox will install folders into your file manager.
To get files in / out of Dropbox, locate a folder or file and drag it inot the Dropbox folder.
If your computer is online, the new (or changed) files will be synchronised with Dropbox.com and then those changes pushed down to any other device that is running Dropbox.
Install Dropbox on windows
Using Dropbox with the iPad
Sign up for Google Drive
Go to accounts.google.com. If you have an account, sign in. If not, sign up.
Access your Google Drive online
Once you have a Google account, you can:
1. Upload files and entire folders from your hard drive to your Google Drive online
2. Create a folder, document, presentation, form, drawing and spreadsheet. In other words, this is like having online access to Microsoft Office.
You should also download the Google Drive application for your computer. This makes it easier to upload / download files. You select them from your hard drive and drag the files into the Google Drive folder on your hard drive.
Google Drive on your Computer
1. This is Google Drive for the MAC - installed on the hard drive and available through the Finder. If you have a Windows computer, you download the Google Drive application for Windows where it will be installed in your file manager.
2. The online Google drive. Note that the files on both Google Drive online and on your computer are the same - synchronised.
Google Drive for Mobile Devices
There is an app for iOS and Android devices. Download it from the App store or Google Play store.This image is from Google Drive on the iPad.
From the mobile app, you can download files to your iPad from your Google Drive (online account) and you can upload files from your iPad to your online Google Drive account. All files will then be synchronised across all devices that have Google Drive installed.
1. Tap the + to access further options. For example, create a word processing document, upload a photo or video, use the camera on your iPad.
Use the Camera
An efficient way to get video or photos up to your online Google Drive.
A link to 4 video tutorials on how to use Google Drive and Google Docs. http://ansonalex.com/tutorials/google-docs-and-google-drive-video-tutorial-2013/
Download a file to the app, Goodreader and upload a file from Goodreader to Google Drive. Click here to download the .pdf.
Online course: Over a couple of hours learn about the wide range of Cloud tasks such as email, business functions, social media, store and retrieve documents, and manage photo and video collections. Quizzes keep you on your toes and two workshops give your practical experience of using the Cloud.
You need a Microsoft account
Sign up for a Microsoft account at login.live.com
You can access your Windows Skydrive from skydrive.live.com
1. Download the Skydrive app for your computer. This will allow you to download / upload files from your computer's hard drive.
2. Create a folder, document, spreadsheet, survey, presentastiuon. Microsft Office for free online within Skydrive.
3. Upload files from your computer to Skydrive online.
4. Easily switch between Skydrive, Hotmail, Calendar and Contacts (People)
Download the Skydrive app for mobile devices
There is a mobile app for both iOS and Android devices.
The iPad app allows you to create folders, access your files from the online Skydrive account, share existing files and folders.
You cannot upload any files to Skydrive online from the mobile app.