Device Apathy
So many options, but does it fundamentally matter?

Device Apathy

10/11/2011 by Roger Mitchell
With the winter season before us and technology manufacturers pumping out new products, what do we want, and how does the cloud make it possible?

Decisions... Decisions...

Windows 8. iPhone 4S and iOS5. Android Ice Cream Sandwich. As the holiday season rapidly approaches, the technology industry is pumping out new operating systems and devices for us to mull over. The choices are hard because there is so much riding on the right answer; will Aunt Jeannine get the new iPhone? What about that annoying cousin, will he get a speedy laptop? The fun answer: functionally, it doesn't matter.

With all the development that has happened in the past year with the apps and HTML5, almost any device imaginable is capable of handling the tasks that you complete on a daily basis. This is true of people that work for firms with loose mobile device policies and for everyday consumers. All of this is possible because of the cloud and work from developers.

Cloud Equalizers

Don't believe me? Let's start with email. Every device has the capability to check email, from the "dumb" phone's WAP web browser to a smartphone's email client, and the 10 year old struggling XP desktop to the newest quad-core laptop. Almost every widely-used email service has created a mobile version of their site, or has instructions for configuring a standalone email client.

What's the next requirement? Let's say that it is a tie between composing documents and multimedia. Anyone with a Google, Yahoo, or Hotmail/Windows Live account can create, edit, and collaborate using either Google Docs or Microsoft Office 365 (look back to Episode 50 of the podcast to get our take on Office 365).

As for media, there is Google Music, Spotify, Rhapsody, and Zune to satisfy audiophiles, and Hulu+, Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video for movie lovers. I personally use four of these services on multiple devices and I haven't opened iTunes for over three weeks.

Tools Not Toddlers

All of this talk about things working on web browsers and multiple platforms leads me to my long-winded point: it doesn't particularly matter whether you get a PC or Mac, an Android phone or the iPhone. These products are interchangeable for how we use them, and if we pick the right apps or services, they could work on each of these and sync. It is all possible with cloud power, and allows us to be device apathetic.

I know there's at least one reader that's still not convinced, so I'm going to use my Marc Benioff card. At Dreamforce, Benioff demonstrates how Salesforce and Chatter work on every major platform through apps and HTML5. There are tons of options for being cross platform and cloudy for everyday consumers, so if you want to chat more about it or have comments regarding my post, feel free to comment on our Facebook page at or contact me via Twitter @RogerMitchell.