Cloud computing is ubiquitous and most of us are using cloud computing apps even without knowing that these are cloud-based. Email and online collaborative document storage, as well as sharing, are but two of the apps we have used at some time or the other. The suite of Google apps such as Gmail, Google Groups, Google Drive, Gtalk, Google Docs and Google Calendar are but a few of the best cloud computing apps in common use.
Since its arrival in 2004 in beta form and then a full version for the public in 2007, Gmail has proved hugely popular, even eclipsing the then-popular Hotmail and Yahoo Mail. Gmail is free but has ad support. Gmail has over 200 million users and is the email client of choice for individuals, small and even larger business enterprises. Gmail incorporates a host of other features such as live chat and is one of the most popular and best cloud computing apps out there. You can even customize your email address to include your domain name if you have one.
Google Docs is another free cloud-based word processor, spreadsheet and data storage service. With Google Docs you can create documents, store them online, edit them, share them and collaborate online in real-time. You can store files as large as 1 GB each. Google stores all your data in secure servers and you can access it any time from anywhere. You can use your Gmail account to access Docs and other Google Apps.
Google Drive goes hand in hand with Google Docs. It is a suite of Office apps you can access from anywhere using any device such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. You store documents in the cloud on Google’s servers and never have to worry about safety, access or security. Free users get a 5 GB storage facility in one of the best cloud computing apps.
If you want an alternative to Google Drive, QuickBase should be your choice. You can store all your data on their secure servers for access anytime from anywhere using any device, allowing seamless collaboration. However, QuickBase is free for only a 30-day initial period and thereafter you pay $ 250 onwards each month. Quickbase offers a simple, intuitive browser interface to manage your data by selecting any from over 300 templates. Quickbase has advanced features for storage, access, notifications, reports and permissions in a flexible environment.
Adobe Connect is a web conferencing app mainly targeted for use in professional environments. You will find it scalable and easy to connect since it offers unlimited video feeds and support for mobile devices. You will find it scalable and flexible as well as easy to carry on video chats and receive video feeds on any device and platform.
Microsoft Office 365
With Microsoft Office 365 all traditional MS Office, Exchange and Sharepoint services are ported to the cloud. You can install and run Microsoft Office 2013 from the cloud on a maximum of five devices. Office 365 integrates windows functions and simplifies management of the Windows environment besides allowing collaboration on the suite of Office documents. You pay but it still is one of the best cloud computing apps out there.
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