Life on the Cloud? I stay offline where I can
We live in an age where techies talk about living in the cloud, but maybe it’s time these folks put their feet on the ground. Cord cutters watch TV on their mobile devices thanks to fast wireless connections, maps that will take you anywhere without a hitch, and even streaming apps – all of this sounds great in theory, but the fact is, it doesn’t work. not really in India. It’s not just for people in small towns or villages – it’s the case even for the “well-connected” in big cities.
A large percentage of people reading this might be using high-speed connections and powerful devices, but even if that’s the case, the reality is that you can’t really rely on your internet connection when you’re out of town. home and switch to 3G (or 4G, as the case may be).
Right now, you probably use the cloud primarily to store your media files and documents. Apps like Swiftkey also use it to sync your personal dictionary, so you can easily switch between devices. Browsers use the cloud to save your settings and passwords, and Google, Apple, and Microsoft use it to make switching between devices easier. And of course there is no shortage of data storage services such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Box and many more.
Beyond cloud storage, we now also have cloud-based smartphones, such as the Nextbit Robin. The “cloud-first” Android handset opened for pre-order in October. The company offers a 100GB private storage box to all Robin users. Looks good, but if you’re in India, it’s not really a bargain.
Internet connectivity is a real problem in India, and telecom operators have gotten in trouble for misleading advertisements. As most people have experienced, 4G works like 3G (when it works) and it’s still impossible to get a reliable 3G connection for the duration of your commute in the nation’s capital.
Instead, you’ll see the icon on your phone change to “E” for EDGE every time you travel. This not only kills music streaming, but even leaves apps like Facebook, Instagram, and even Twitter moving very slowly. Loading websites is also a big problem and Google Photos is almost unusable in this situation.
We’re still having trouble resolving call dropouts, so reliable internet connectivity may take a little longer.
But aside from that, there’s also the fact that we pay for broadband access at home, and if we can avoid that, we’d like to minimize the expense we have to make for access when we’re in shift. This is why the offline features of apps like YouTube, Gaana or Google Maps are so useful in a country like India. We’d much rather use our Wi-Fi connection to load our device with content we’ll use on the go, than pay a second bill for mobile data.
In June this year, Airtel, Idea and Vodafone increased mobile data packages for prepaid users. You used to pay Rs. 199 for 30 days to access 2GB of 2G data, but now you get 1.25GB for 28 days at the same price. In August, Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular raised mobile data rates for postpaid users by up to 20%. As costs rise, it is much more attractive to rely on stored data than on the cloud.
And beyond the connection issues, most people are skeptical about the whole issue of cloud storage security. The threat of someone hacking into your account and exposing all your files to the internet is always there. However, not only is storage tied to cloud services these days, but regularly everything you use, thanks to the growing proliferation of the Internet of Things. As expected, all of them can be hacked in one way or another.
(Also see: Everyone is excited about sensors, connectivity and the Internet of Things – except me)
LastPass, one of the popular password management tools, was also hacked in June this year. The attackers also managed to steal email addresses, password reminders, per-user server salts, and authentication hashes. This is just one of an ongoing series of hacks that have been happening for years.
There’s also the question of whether your government will use the internet to spy on you – India’s top intelligence agencies were among the clients of a controversial Italian company that sells software around the world that allows them to spy on people. phones and desktop computers, according to leaked emails that were made available by Wikileaks in July this year.
Is a cloud-based lifestyle inevitable? Yes, but even if you are part of the relative elite of the country, use an expensive smartphone and live in a big city, the infrastructure does not exist to support a cloud-based phone. We still rely heavily on offline services, and that’s not even taking into account the vast majority of the country.
Check out the latest from the Consumer Electronics Show on Gadgets 360, in our CES 2023 hub.
Leave a Reply