Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Up in the Cloud

Last night I bought a Samsung Chromebook. It runs Google's Chrome OS, which is basically just the Chrome web browser with a few additional features. The cool thing about the Chromebook is, it's cheap and it's light. It's all plastic, and it cost 249 bucks. 

Why a Chromebook? Well, I've been wanting to try moving as much of my digital stuff (photos, music, documents) as possible to the cloud, and the cloud I want to use is Google's. 

Why the cloud? It's all about ubiquity. I want my stuff available to me when, where and how I want it, with as few restrictions as possible. Google seems to do a better job with ubiquity than Apple does, by the way. Apple's iWork productivity suite has cloud storage, sure, but Google's Docs are cloud-based, meaning you don't need to buy and install anything special to use them. Similarly, iTunes does have an aspect of cloudiness, in that you can pay Apple a yearly fee and they'll slurp up all the songs on your hard drive into their cloud, or else match the tracks so they don't have to upload yours. But you still have to have an iDevice of some kind to get to your tunes. Google's Play music service is all browser based. I can listen to my stuff on any connected device.

So this is an experiment. I'll post a couple of updates about it here. 

I can tell you this much so far:
I haven't found a replacement for Day One, the most excellent, beautiful, simple journaling app I've ever used. It's only on Mac and iOS, not Android or Chrome. So, I can't ditch my Apple toys quite yet.

Also, the Chromebook feels pretty cheap and a little flimsy. Like a $249 laptop. That's a good thing, though. If it gets dropped or smooshed or something, I won't be too devastated. Although I did go ahead and spring for a 3 year accidental damage warranty from Square Trade. That cost me another $50, but if I kill this laptop, I'll get a replacement. And if  (when, really) I decide to sell the Chromebook, having that warranty will sweeten the deal for the buyer.