Monday, July 7, 2008

8GB HDD Necessary? Not with SoonR

There's a big push in the mobile arena lately for more and more local storage on devices. With the iPhone (and soon the N95) having up to 8GB of local storage, this blogger often wonders where the tipping point is. At what point will we try to cram so much physical storage on our devices that the batteries and processors required make them unwieldy?soonr home screen I think there's a better solution, and it will become more and more realistic as networks improve. I think that in the next 2-4 years, we won't care how much local storage our mobiles have because we'll be able to access all of our data over the 'cloud'.

I've been doing this already with an application called SoonR. This installs on your home computer and runs 24-7. Right now, there are only versions for Windows and Macs (sorry, Linux, you're left in the cold for now). The application is very small and basically runs in the background. You're able to select which folders are made available, as well as numerous other options. As long as your home computer is on and connected, so is SoonR.

SoonR basically allows you to view, share and download your files from your home computer onto any internet-connected device, including mobile phones. It will also tie into your MS Outlook and .Mac systems, allowing you to send out emails and access your contacts on the go, which is extremely handy. soonr download sample

Another great feature is the ability to use Skype through SoonR. Again, if you have both Skype and SoonR running on your home computer, you're able to view your buddy list and use SkypeOut to initiate a call from your PC to your mobile, and then from your mobile to your buddy, seamlessly. Depending on your mobile, this may not be the best option to use Skype, but it's certainly nice to have in an emergency.

Now I know you're asking, "but what if my host computer gets turned off somehow, is there a way to have certain files available still?" The answer is a resounding YES. SoonR gives you 100MB of online storage that you can sync with your computer. I realize that in this day and age, that's not a lot, but it's still a really cool option to have your most important files available.

It's important to note that SoonR does not stream media to your handset. You can't stream playlists and you can't stream movies. It's not designed for that, it's designed for access to your files. With SoonR, I can access all of my pictures, wherever I'm at. I can access my resume, or a presentation I might need urgently.

The biggest drawback to SoonR over having an 8GB HDD (or bigger) in your device is coverage. We're still not in a time where wireless internet access is ubiquitous. However, with 3G and WiFi becoming more widespread, and WiMax on the way, it may not be too long before you'll truly always be connected.

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