In 2012 we’ve seen amazing growth in the Consumer Cloud, meaning cloud computing for everyday users. There are three main categories in the Consumer Cloud: storage, sync, and notes. Dropbox, Apple’s iCloud and Evernote have been the most impressive performers in each category so far this year.
The cloud is the backend of many a popular consumer applications. Flickr, Gmail and even Facebook all store the content in the cloud. But what we’re talking about here are services that allow you to store and manage files in the cloud. Online file management is the key feature and consumers are fully aware that the files are being stored on the Web. Cheap hardware and virtualization have been the main drivers of this trend.
In 2012, there are three main types of Consumer Cloud services:
1. Online storage: Dropbox is a free service that offers its users 2GB of space for free that they can use to sync their documents, photos and files across multiple computers as well as mobile devices. Today, more than 50 million people across every continent use Dropbox to always have their stuff at hand, share with family and friends, and work on team projects. Dropbox is the leading brand in this category, despite competing with heavyweights like Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive, Box.net and others.
2. Online sync: iCloud enables Apple users to easily sync their media across devices. So far music is the battleground in this category, although it will eventually extend to other types of media (like videos). iTunes Match allows iTunes users to sync their music collection across devices, using iCloud. Competitors include Google Music and Spotify.
3. Online notes: The main goal of Evernote is to help the world remember everything, communicate effectively and get things done. From saving thoughts and ideas to preserving experiences to working efficiently with others, Evernote’s collection of apps make it easy to stay organized and productive. Evernote is the leading player in this niche; it really has no peers.
The common theme here is that cloud computing has reached the consumer market in a big way now. If you’re not using Dropbox, Evernote and iTunes Match (or any of their competitors), you are missing out on hassle-free online storage, a totally new way to organize your notes, and easy content sync across devices. It’s 2012, welcome to the Consumer Cloud era.
- Who Will Rule The Consumer Cloud In 2012? (viralblog.com)
- Five Cloud Security Trends (blog.softheme.com)
- Using Evernote and Dropbox (512pixels.net)