It’s becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate where computers end and other devices begin. Smartphones are barely cellphones; they’re more like tiny computers that contain phone parts than they are anything else. Tablets are quickly gobbling up market share and may someday replace laptops, and it’s becoming far more common to access the Internet through wireless connections instead of a desktop computer connected to a modem. The trend is clear: Computer technology is becoming much more portable, and files, websites and software are evolving with it.
Mobile Web Surfing
Cellphone usage has grown at an incredible pace. During the early 2000s, there were only a few million mobile phone users across the planet. Today, that number is six billion. Mobile phone subscriptions are set to surpass the world’s population in less than five years, and smartphones comprise a large portion of the market even in developing nations.
This means one thing: A website that can’t be accessed in a mobile-friendly format is doomed to fail. Nearly every kind of blog and website that’s online can benefit from offering a mobile counterpart. Around 75 percent of smartphone users access the Internet through their phones on a daily basis, and that number is climbing. Before long, mobile versions of websites won’t just be an advantage, they may be a necessity.
File Storage, Retrieval, and Sharing
There isn’t much that a standalone computer can do that smartphones and tablets can’t, and as mobile functionality improves, users require the ability to access their files in a variety of ways in order to maintain their busy schedules. Cloud storage services have already begun offering mobile versions of their desktop clients, and they’re just as full-featured and convenient as any desktop application would be. In fact, desktop computers are becoming increasingly unnecessary for business and recreational tasks, and even laptops can often be replaced by a tablet and a USB keyboard. Tablets are also far more portable than even the thinnest and lightest laptops, and cloud storage eliminates the need for large hard drives. It’s more convenient for most people to put everything on the cloud so they can access it regardless of where they are on every device that they own.
Cloud services also make it ridiculously simple to share files. People can allow their friends and colleagues to access their cloud folders by setting the right permissions, and most cloud services will generate a download link upon request. It’s simpler than torrents, it’s simpler than sending e-mail attachments and it crafts a much more organic collaborative environment. The cloud hasn’t merely changed how and when people can access files, it has changed the nature of work itself.
The Mobile Future
Once Steve Jobs unleashed the iPhone on the market, there was no going back. Computers are now ubiquitous and ubiquitously portable, and in the short amount of time that’s been true, the entire computing landscape has molded itself around mobile technology. This isn’t a fad or a gimmick; mobile technology is here to stay, and companies and individuals need to evolve according to the new market.
This is a guest post. Sam Langley is a tech writer for various blogs and often offers advice on how to transfer secure files online.