Mobile devices rely on networks. Knowing a bit about networking can help you understand how they work.
Information about mobile 3G, 4G and LTE networks is found here.
When shopping for digital devices, consumers often look for SD card slots, USB ports, VGA ports, or other means of storing or transferring digital content. These ports can be useful, but I don’t like to become dependent on them. We don't need a device with lots of ports. Our data belongs in the cloud, not on a device. We access it primarily over HTTP, SSH or SFTP. You might want high quality SSH or SFTP tools. You might want a cloud application like DropBox, SkyDrive or Google Drive. Some tools, such as the web based AirDroid, can help you transfer data to a PC without cables or PC side installs. All these tools help you access your data with increasing ease on a variety of platforms.
Your hard drive has been virtualized! You don’t need direct access to the hard drive on your PC from your mobile device. You don’t need direct access to a USB memory stick or to portable hard drive. Your data lives in the cloud. From your PC, you might back data up onto a USB drive or onto a CD, but that is just a wise precaution, it is not a means of creating or maintaining a primary data store.
There are three primary ways to store, access and manipulate data in the cloud:
No matter what kind of data you have, you can store it on one or all of these cloud based tools. Whatever is on your hard drive, you can migrate it to the cloud and store it there.
If you can place all your data in applications like Word and Excel, then you are done. You strategy for moving to the cloud is simple: just take your documents, spreadsheets, presentations, MP3s, pictures and videos and store them in applications such as Google Docs or SkyDrive.
If you have somewhat more complex needs, then you need to use PaaS or IaaS. In that case, you should explore Amazon Web Services or similar tools.
On Mobile devices, Google provides good services for reading documents, but rudimentary services for editing documents. The feature set is always changing, but right now tables aren't supported in text documents, and creating documents is not supported. You can edit text once the document is created.
Multiple accounts only supported in version 2.0. It is not always easy to tell that an application has been updated, yet you usually do want to update. Get the most recent features.
I can see only one of the folders shared with me. This is a real feature loss.
If you want to play in the cloud, it helps to understand networks. This means coming to terms with the following protocols or services:
These tools are important because they are platform neutral. We no longer run on just Windows, or just a Mac, or just on Linux. Our data is in the cloud, and we want to access it from Windows PCs, from Macs, from Android (Linux) devices, and from Apple laptops. These protocols work on all these devices. We also need a single, open source set of tools that work on all these platforms. There are several choices to pick from, but my favorites are:
To sum up: If you want to be good at using mobile devices, you really have two choices:
Store more complex data in the cloud by mastering a set of related tools and protocols that include HTTP, HTML, and Python. Finally, you must learn everything you can about creating and managing virtual machines.
In this section you learned about networking. The focus was on basic protocols.