Cloud Services and You

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In this Blind Vet Tech Quick Guides and Tutorials podcast, we discuss the role of cloud services when syncing across multiple devices. Apple’s iCloud Drive, Microsoft One Drive, Google Drive, and Dropbox represent the most popular cloud services. Each service possesses it own positive and negatives. The range of options and prices enables the individual to either select a single service or mixture of services to meet their needs. Each service, storage amounts, and personal thoughts may be found below.

iCloud Drive
Storage options includes 5GB for free, 50GB for $0.99, 200GB for

  • $2.99, and 1TB for $9.99
  • iCloud Drive comes with all iTunes accounts and is the primary method one may backup their iOS devices. The Storage is used for iCloud email, file storage, Photos, contacts, calendars, and apps using iCloud storage for syncing information. Individuals living in the Apple ecosystem with iOS devices and Apple computers will greatly benefit from the numerous features and integration options from iCloud Drive embedded in iOS and MacOS. However, iCloud Drive is less important if you utilize Windows or Android devices for primary computing or mobile needs.

Microsoft One Drive

  • Storage options includes 5GB for free, 50GB for $1.99, and 1TB for $6.99 to $9.99
  • Microsoft One Drive comes with any Outlook account or subscription to Microsoft 365. Budgetary speaking, one obtains the best savings by subscribing to Microsoft 365, since it bundles 1TB of storage along with Microsoft Office’s Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook, and One Note. Each of these apps are fully accessible on Windows, MacOS, and iOS with most screen readers and magnification programs. Even if you solely use Apple products, you can easily ignore iCloud Drive if you live through Microsoft Office 365 on all of your devices. Microsoft is even packaging some additional accessibility tools into One Drive to create descriptions for pictures in Office Lens to Power Point.

Google Drive

  • Storage options includes 15GB for free, 100GB for $1.99, 1TB for $9.99, 10TB for $99.99
  • Google Drive offers the largest amount of free storage4 at 15GB with every Google account. However, you basically need this amount if you rely on a Gmail account for regular emailing tasks. Google Drive is a natural fit if you rely on Gmail to sync your email, contacts, calendars, Chrome bookmarks, photos, and Google Docs across your computers and mobile devices. Google Drive is a natural fit for Android and Chromebook users, but users of a mixture of Apple, Android, and Windows devices may find Google drive suitable for their needs.

Dropbox

  • Storage options includes 2GB for free and 1TB for $9.99
  • Dropbox differs from the previous cloud services by restricting usage to file storage and synchronization across all of your devices. However, Dropbox remains the leader in cloud storage for individual to business power users alike. This stems from its ease of use and ability to share, collaborate, and host documents and files through a very simple and accessible interface. Many individuals find themselves relying on iCloud, Outlook, and Gmail to sync mail, contacts, calendars, and bookmarks, but turn towards Dropbox for file storage.

Each of the cloud services found a way into my regular workflow. My office centers around a late 2016 MacBook Pro and an iPhone 6, while my family utilizes a pair of 2012 MacBook Pro’s and other iPhones. We rely on iCloud Drive for our primary file storage, calendar, Safari bookmarks, and Photos storage across all of these devices. However my most used cloud service is Google Drive, as I rely on Gmail and Google Docs for various tasks. Dropbox hosts many different projects involving the need share and collaborate on various documents and files. Finally, Microsoft One Drive recently entered this picture after some significant accessibility improvements within Office 365. Switching between any of these, regardless if its on my MacBook Pro, iOS devices, or Windows computer is a breeze, thanks to usable apps, simple integration into Finder or IE, and synchronization reliability. It is up to you to determine whether one or a mixture of these options will suit your cloud storage goals.

Thank you for listening to this Blind Vet Tech tutorial on the different cloud storage options.

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