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Synchronization

In order to help improve password security, Apple just recently introduced iCloud Keychain in OS X Mavericks and iOS 7. The service is designed is to sync passwords, credit card information, wifi passwords, and account login information across devices.

Though it appears to do those tasks relatively well, it is Apple’s first foray into this field, and there are several well-established contenders already. Today, we’ll compare and contrast iCloud Keychain to LastPass.

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Firing up iPhoto just to pull a few pictures off your iPhone is too much trouble. So is emailing a voice recording to yourself. Videos? Well, they’re big enough, you’ll likely have to sync with iPhoto to get them.

There’s a whole market of tools to help people get files off their iOS devices, and Macroplant — the people behind iExplorer — have just made a free Finder for your iPhone: iBrowse. It’s a simple app that lets you get pictures, videos, recordings, and books off any iPhone or iPad just as easily as you could copy a file off a flash drive.

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Cloud storage is anything but a panacea for small SSDs. You might have 25Gb of iCloud storage, or 100Gb in Dropbox, but you’ll need that much space free on your Mac to take advantage of it. Run out of local storage, and cloud storage will stop working for you too. On a mobile device, sure, you can use Dropbox without it taking up tons of local space, but on your Mac or PC, it’s either store everything locally too, or resort to using cloud storage from your browser.

It’s the failure of cloud storage, one that’s surprisingly not talked about that much. Evernote, Dropbox, and iCloud — even your email if you use a native mail app — all take up local storage, something that can become quite an issue if you have a 11″ MacBook Air with a 64Gb SSD, or even the more spacious 128Gb SSD that’s rather standard across the board these days.

The freshly released ExpanDrive 3, though, is at least a partial solution to this problem. It lets you mount Dropbox and other online storage services, and treat them like an external HD. All the cloud storage goodness, without taking up extra local storage on your Mac.

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I need more cloud storage, but I have commitment issues. I always want to try something new, and I’m always looking for more gigabytes. New service Copy has my storage woes covered. Free users are sitting pretty and will do even better with a generous referral program.

We’ll take a look at the Copy app and see if it has the features to match up to all that space they’re tossing around. (more…)

If you need to work with different computers and devices throughout your day, then you are most likely familiar with all the cloud services that are around, like Dropbox, that allow you to keep your documents everywhere, always ready to be downloaded and uploaded again.

But then we’ve all been in those situations where we just forget to switch a file we are working on to our cloud folder so that it gets synced. Wouldn’t it be cool to have an app that automatically uploaded everything recent for you, regardless of its location on your computer? That’s what Quicksand’s all about. Let’s check it out!
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If you want to store your notes in the cloud, but haven’t clicked with Simplenote and are looking for a better solution than a TextEdit file in your Dropbox folder, CloudJot may be the note syncing app you’ve been waiting for. It keeps your notes close at hand, both on your desktop and in your menubar, while always staying synced to Dropbox.

Is CloudJot as robust as the Simplenote apps we’ve reviewed? Or is it a gimmick playing to Dropbox’s popularity? We’ll see how well CloudJot shapes up as a quick note-taking app while testing it’s syncing chops. (more…)

The gradual adoption of ‘cloud computing’ is leading many of us to move our information and data to a virtual space, rather than relying solely on a local disk. This has a whole host of advantages, coupled with the niggling uncertainty of trusting someone else with your files. Several pieces of software for the Mac (Dropbox and Mozy to name a couple) provide excellent integration of remote storage with OS X.

Syncplicity – already a strong player in this area for Windows – have today announced the Mac version of their synchronization and backup software. As a devout Dropbox user, and someone who has seen too many less-than-perfect Windows ports, I approached the Mac client with a level of skepticism. However, after speaking to the people behind Syncplicity and receiving a walkthrough of the app from Ondrej Hrebicek, I’ve had to re-consider my notion that it is very difficult to successfully port an application from Windows. Syncplicity is impressive.

Syncplicity enables easy collaboration and sharing across Macs, PCs, mobile devices, and the cloud. Combined with tools such as versioning and web application integration, Syncplicity provides a great range of features. Through integrating directly with the Finder, it is possible to tell the app to keep any – or every – folder in sync with your online storage space and another computer. I’ll be taking a look at the main features of Syncplicity, the interface, and explaining how it compares to similar applications such as Dropbox.

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