This weeks tip is focused on getting you ready for the upcoming release of kc 2.1. More later on the full set of features, but today we will focus on the concept of a cloud and one specific cloud called Dropbox.
What is a cloud? A cloud is a place on the Internet where you can store stuff. You can think of it as a giant hard drive in the sky. Then, you can access this stuff from any device, computer, etc. You don’t need a cable to get at your cloud (either to put something there or get something down). And what you put in the cloud isn’t available to anyone else unless you chose to share it with them. Its very convenient if you have more than one computing device and want things accessible at random times when you are out and about. Or, if you hate wires, or want to store things in a second place for safety. You can get at your cloud from pretty much any computing device you have, which means it becomes a very convenient way to both sync information to and from a common place across devices as well as a super location for organizing your content.
What is Dropbox? Dropbox is a brand of cloud. It’s is quite popular, and many of you may have a Dropbox account already. If not, you can learn more here. Basically, you setup an account. Dropbox gives you some storage for free and if you want more than that there is a fee. Once you’ve got an account, you can have all your computers see your account, so everything you put there is available. There is a dropbox app for windows, mac, iDevices, etc. and of course you can get to all of it using any browser too.
What does this have to do with kc 2.1? Starting with the next update, we will be supporting direct access to dropbox. That means:
- you will be able to use any PDF in dropbox to create a kc pattern. No open in , no iTunes.
- you will be able to sync your kc projects between devices easily using Dropbox as a transfer mechanism. No more iTunes file sharing.
- you will be able to back up your projects to a new location outside of iTunes and apple so if there is a burp you won’t have lost your projects. And, it happens with one step from inside kc. No more iTunes file sharing and copying files to your hard drive manually.
- You will be able to archive a kc project off of your iPad. You can then delete it from kc, but it is safe for retrieval from Dropbox if you want to knit it in the future.
Now, kc 2.1 isn’t going to require that you use Dropbox. You will be able to use iTunes still (but you will have to sync and tether and copy things manually). However, we are going to recommend that you use Dropbox, it will be seamless and easy with no extra steps for sync, backup, etc.
If you already have a Dropbox account and use it, you are in good shape. Now might be a good time to start thinking how you’d like to put PDFs up there for easy kc setup. If you don’t have Dropbox, there are a few weeks for you to investigate and check it out. I’d encourage you to get setup and play around with it. That way when 2.1 comes out you’ll be ready to decide how you want to proceed, and you’ll have some experience that will let you learn the new kc features faster.
Finally, yes, there are other clouds. We will expand to them over time. This includes iCloud. We had to pick one, and there were lots of reasons we picked Dropbox to go first over iCloud and others. Suffice it to say it was the quickest path to solving as many challenges at once as we could find. It solves the open in dilemma, the sync and backup dilemma, it’s free up to 2g so it’s economical for you, and it’s very widely adopted so we know many of you use it already.