Less is more when choosing digital ecosystems!

Good article to review and ponder how you're organizing your digital life.

How to Survive the Next Wave of Technology Extinction

Here's a couple thoughts:

The author highlights five behemoths, Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft. Nice that he ordered them alphabetically to not show favoritism. Me, I'd drop Amazon and Facebook off the list entirely. Why? One word... Email. Still the killer app to which all else in a real ecosystem must tie without being on the website or running a site-specific app.

What about Yahoo? Interesting that Yahoo isn't on his list and without them having an iCloud, Google Docs, SkyDrive type component, I guess I can't argue for them as a good ecosystem either. Too bad, I remember when Yahoo used to be somebody.

Picking a digital ecosystem is important. Having as few ecosystems as possible is better than more. Why? It is easier to properly secure less points of attack than more. Consequently, those ecosystems that provide the broadest range of utility are better than those that require yet more utilities to satisfy your digital lifestyle needs.

I disagree with the prioritization of iOS over Android if you're going to recommend Google services. iOS is great hardware, obviously, but iOS is no longer superior in any way to Android. More apps? Some apps come out for iOS before Android? Perhaps, but per my first point, fewer ecosystems, hence apps is better for productive and secure use. If you are a hardcore Apple user with a Mac and use Apple specific apps, then you're already disregarding Google services, so iOS at that point makes perfect sense.

I completely agree that Amazon is the way to go for media. Books, movies, TV shows, with these last two tied into Amazon Prime for free shipping. No brainer.

Given how Amazon purposely breaks your ability to fully use Google services on their Kindle Fire line of tablets, steer clear. I've been very disappointed in how many things family members who have the Fire, one of which I bought for them, can't do with their device. Save a little more money and spring for the Nexus 10 or 7 to get ALL the power of Google with pure Android.

DrobBox and Evernote are great apps, but again I'd argue that you can get the same utility of these services without adding them to Apple, Google or Microsoft ecosystems.

I'm very interested in other's thoughts, even fanboys! :-)

Remotely Ring, Lock or Erase your Android Devices

Remotely Ring, Lock or Erase your Android Devices

Did you know that you can remotely locate, lock and erase your Android devices?

Did you know you can do this with free, built-in functionality from Google without an expensive security app service?

Any device to which you’ve added your Google account will show up in a handy Android Device Manager (ADM) interface. You can access ADM from any browser or from the Android Device Manager app on any other of your Android devices

Let’s take a couple straightforward examples in increasing severity:

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Music on my Android since not using iPod anymore?

I got this seemingly trivial question the other day from a prospective client. For those with a large investment in music from other sources such as iTunes, this is fairly important for their digital lives going forward.

Good news, the answer is a resounding, booming Absolutely! ... and not just on Android devices!

Google Play Music is one of the "go to" apps on my phone, tablet, Chromebook and PC. You can get a lot of use out of it for free.

Take for example that you can upload 20,000, yes, you read that right, 20,000 songs, up to your own free, personal music space. All that music is then available to stream to whatever device you log into with your Google account. This means all your 20,000 songs are available to you for free wherever you have an internet connection.

For those music situations where you are away from wifi and don't want to burn up your data plan, you can have downloaded any portion of those 20,000 songs locally to your device for offline listening (limited to how much storage you have on your phone, of course). 

While I still have an iPod for use in air and car travel, increasingly I find myself streaming music from Google Play Music. As I type this I'm listening to it from my PC's browser. I signed up for the All Access plan when it first came out so I got the $7.99 / month promotional price, but I would happily pay the $9.99 price as I enjoy the Radio function included in All Access. You may want to give it a shot free for 30 days and see what you think.

That being said, the free version can easily serve as a replacement for your iPod and general iTunes habit, (unless you find yourself frequently listening to more than 20,000 songs <grin>).

I'll be posting up a how to use Google Play Music video, especially in conjunction with iTunes, in the near future.

Google components form the Superior Ecosystem

Google components form the Superior Ecosystem

Earlier this week, I discussed digital life ecosystems and how to identify which is likely best for you. Today, I'd like to  cover the main ecosystem components I think set Google heads and shoulders above the rest. This is just a quick run through of why I believe the Google Ecosystem is the best one going... for now!

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