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The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Syncing on-the-go

As mobile devices get smarter and networks get faster, it’s becoming possible to take more of our contacts, files and media with us wherever we go. Cloud-based services are making sure that all our devices – computers, tablets, smartphones, and more – are constantly synced, so something we were working on, listening to, or watching at home is instantly there for us when we are on the move.

No longer do we have to download our files and media multiple times, or locate those hard-to-find cables or USB drives. Instead, we just open up our chosen device and everything is right there, just where we left it. Here are just a few of the mobile cloud-based services that are quickly changing our lives:


With the introduction of iOS 5 towards the end of last year, Apple also unveiled its iCloud storage service. iCloud automatically stores your content, so it’s always available on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC.  It gives you full access to your music, apps, photos, files and more from whichever device you happen to be using. It also keeps your e-mail, contacts and calendars up to date on every device, with no syncing or other steps required.

Everyone gets the first 5GB of iCloud storage for free, which is plenty for most people, especially since anything purchased through iTunes doesn’t count against the quota.

Google Music

Android smartphone and tablet users have long enjoyed the automatic syncing of the cloud-based Gmail, Contacts, and Google Docs services, but now Google is rapidly adding other cloud services to its offerings.

The most recently announced cloud service is Google Music, which allows users to buy, share, and sync music across any Android phone or tablet. Any music you buy from Android Market is automatically stored in your Google Music library and you can add up to 20,000 of your own songs for free. Google Music Manager will even search your iTunes library and add the songs that are not DRM protected.

There have also been reports of Google’s plans to add a more generic personal cloud storage service called Drive, which will compete with services like Dropbox.

Verizon Backup Assistant Plus

Verizon customers can enjoy their very own cloud backup service with Backup Assistant Plus. Formerly Verizon Media Manager, Backup Assistant Plus allows you to store all your photos, music, videos, documents, e-mails and contacts, so they are always available whenever you need them.

While this subscription-based service is an ideal security measure if you lose your phone or you just want to transfer your contacts and data to a new phone, it also allows you to share user-generated content with others through an MMS message or e-mail.

Do you have a favorite cloud service that allows you to do more on your smartphone or tablet? Share it with The Online Mom!

This article first appeared in Family Buzz, a VerizonInsider blog on the exciting and ever-expanding world of mobile technology.

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