Device wars

I went to an interesting Google presentation yesterday. It covered their new Drive for work, amongst other things. So, on the way go my next meeting (and hours train ride away) I thought I’d try it out.

I Fired up google drive on my work mobile phone, it worked great edited a PowerPoint I’d dropped in there a while back and thought the whole thing was very cool.

Then decided I’d try and do some real work on it, so got out the iPad, fired up drive, then couldn’t log in… I’d forgotten my password (I hadn’t had to enter it on the work phone as the app had remembered it). It directed me to the web page to recover my password, this needed to send a text to my personal phone , so I got that out but the battery was dead .

No problem, I got out my Mac Book Air, plugged in the phone to give it some juice. It was at this point I realised that on the table in front of me I had ridiculous array of technology .. iPad, work phone ( HTC one) personal phone (S3) and Mac Book.

Having got my password reset , I needed to update Drive on the iPad , at this point, probably 30 miles outside London, we’d clearly left civilisation as there was no mobile signal and the whole experiment fell apart.

There is some really cool technology today, but we are far from the point where I can work seamlessly wherever I am and somehow it’s still disjointed .. Why do I carry 4 devices around with me.

I think there is another trend that will potentially make things even more complicated. The concept of files themselves comes from a time when I had a PC with applications on, today I have data in a variety of places.. My timeline in Facebook, ideas in mind42, projects in base camp or jira, email in google, yahoo and work, all with different logins.

The problem is becoming not how to I keep track of my files and collaborate on them , but how do I work in a highly distributed environment where my data is spread across the internet , without having to have 50 different logins and in a way that will still work when I can’t get a mobile signal.