Welcome to ZenUnwired; a blog dedicated to tracking developments in technology and strategy, and to deciphering the impact of these developments on wired and wireless ISP's, device manufacturers, OS and application developers, and most importantly - you.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

To the cloud!

All the talk about the 'cloud' and what it means to the wireless industry, got me to thinking - "what cloud-based features would I like to see in my future-phone?" Here are some brief thoughts. 

  • Firstly, I would like the ability to manage my phone via the web. For example, my Android phone already backs up my contacts pretty well into my Gmail account. So moving between phones, or editing contacts, etc. is a cinch. But how about them ringtones, wallpapers, apps, music, etc? I have download each one of these individually, or transfer them into my phone via the SD card and then play with the itty-bitty keys on the phone settings to use any of them. How about a service that backs all these into the cloud as well? Imagine, you sign on to the service on your computer, and change say a wallpaper or a ringtone, and it automatically updates your phone OTA. (Don't even get me started about changing launcher screens etc.)
  • Secondly, I would like the ability to operate certain features of my phone via the web. For example, I should be able to text my contacts, view/play my voicemail over the web, etc. How cool would that be?
  • Thirdly, I would like an autobackup feature. These days most phones come with a pretty solid camera. But the pics I take on my phone, stay on my phone unless I decide I want to "share" it. How about a service that backs up my pictures AND videos automatically (network optimized, of course). I should then have the ability to move these pics to a different folder for sharing, or be able to email the pics from that folder, etc.
  • Finally, I would like my phone to be able to placeshift. For example - if I am chatting with a contact via GTalk, I should be able to continue that conversation on my phone (with the full history synced automatically) instead of re-starting the conversation. Similarly, lets say I'm watching a movie on Netflix on my TV. I should be able to view it on my mobile device without having to re-start the movie. Stuff like that.

Now I'm not saying that a lot of this stuff cannot be done today. But they are all piecemeal solutions by different vendors, all over the place. For example - my contacts are in Gmail, my pictures are in Picasa, my music is on my home computer (synced via DoubleTwist), my wallpapers are on my SD card, etc. So how about a cloud service that brings all of pieces together?