Syncplicity: Software Above the Level of a Single Device
‘Software Above the Level of a Single Device’ is the fifth pattern in Tim O’Reilly’s ‘Design Patterns and Business Models.’ This blog will cover the Web 2.0 Application, Syncplicity and I will go on to discuss how Syncplicity relates to this weeks pattern.
Software Above the Level of a Single Device Overview
‘Software Above the Level of a Single Device’ is a feature of Web 2.0. We have entered an era of ubiquitous computing where the PC is no longer the only access device for internet applications. Applications that are limited to a single device are less valuable than those that are connected. Therefore, there are billions of devices in all shapes and sizes that can be connected to the internet. The benefits of ‘Software Above the Level of a Single Device’include:
- Opens new markets – Syncplicity has integrated Google Docs into its application.
- Access to your applications anywhere – Syncplicity offers flexibility for users so they can access their important files anywhere.
- Ability for location and context awareness
- Entry into the new digital home – Syncplicity allows users to work on mobile devices making it convenient.
An example of a Web 2.0 application in relation to ‘Software Above the Level of a Single Device’ is Syncplicity.
What is Syncplicity?
In today’s increasingly complex computing environment, managing files can be a very difficult task to do. However, with the help of Syncplicity, users can securely access, sync, share, back-up and manage their files on the go. Syncplicity is fully optimised for the cloud computing paradigm. Many disparate islands of data exist across devices such as desktops, laptops, servers, mobile devices and in cloud applications like Google, and users are struggling to securely access, share and back-up their files across all these devices from anywhere and at any time.
With Syncplicity, users and organisations are able to solve this problem by seamlessly managing, syncing, and backing-up, sharing and collaborating with their files in one comprehensive and easy to use cloud-based solution. A very cool feature that Syncplicity has incorporated in its application is that it has the ability to link a local folder with your Google Docs account. Users simply select the files or folders they want to keep in sync and Syncplicity will keep those documents in sync with the documents in their Google Docs account. Syncplicity offer their customers with two choices in file management services: a Business Edition or Personal Edition. A feature comparison of the two Editions can be viewed here.
Syncplicity can be installed on Windows 7, XP, and Vista machines. Syncplicity also works with Mac, however it is in public beta, and it currently supports Mac OS X Snow Leopard 10.6. Syncplicity can also be used to synchronise information from external drives or Network-Attached Storage (NAS) devices. Syncplicity can also be installed on Windows Server 2003 and 2008 which requires an active user session.
Users with either an iPhone, iPod Touch or even an iPad can access their files that are stored on Syncplicity servers via a third-party application called MKSync that is hosted on the App Store. MKSync allows users to login to their Syncplicity account to view and share files and even download supported files locally for offline reading.
Syncplicity vs. Dropbox
Both Syncplicity and Dropbox are two online services that are very similar in quality and pricing. They both allow automatic backup across multiple machines and both throw in web access with file sharing and ‘versioning’ as added benefits. Syncplicity supports mobile devices such as iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch; however, Dropbox has mobile versions that support iPhone, iPad, Android and even BlackBerry. Syncplicity however, has the added benefit of the Google Docs integration within it application.
As mentioned before, both Syncplicity and Dropbox are very similar in quality and pricing. Both have pros and cons associated with their products, however in my opinion, Syncplicity come out on top as a better file management service because of its ease of use and simplicity.
Future Plans for Syncplicity
Syncplicity has plans to develop a version of Syncplicity for Linux users. Also in the pipelines, Syncplicity plans to have a fully functional Mac version as they are currently in public beta.