Chances are, you're already using cloud

Unlike the days when a computer was a stand-alone platform, these new breeds of devices have Internet connectivity built into their DNA. This connectivity is called "cloud" because it can be accessed wherever you go via today's powerful 4G networks or Wi-Fi. Thanks to cloud computing, you can now use your mobile devices to surf the Web, check email, update your status on social media networks or shop online. It's not some futuristic thing for techies or geeks — it's something that you're already using and may not have even realized. Let's walk through a few highlights of some of cloud computing sites.

Managing your photos with Picasa™

While digital photos have revolutionized photography, they also eat up a lot of hard drive space and can become an organizational nightmare. Google has developed a free photo management and editing software called Picasa. One of its coolest features is Picasa Web Albums, which syncs and shares photo albums of your choice to the Web. The Web albums can be shared with your Google email address book and are password protected for your peace of mind.

Better yet, if you own a Samsung Galaxy Tab or Galaxy S™ smartphone, Picasa Web Albums will sync right to your phone within the "Gallery" application. Want to show your parents or friends pictures of your new house, new car or new baby? Just hand them your smartphone or tablet, and all the pictures from your Web albums are right there ready for them to check out. Picasa gives you 1GB of free image storage (approximately 4,000 wallpaper-size photos), all without using any space on your device. That's the beauty of the "cloud".

Managing your music with Amazon Cloud Player™

People often ask, "How do I get my music off of my computer, and onto my smartphone?" And then the next question that follows is usually, "What if my smartphone doesn't have enough storage?" While many smartphones and tablets have 16GB or 32GB of storage, that's usually not enough considering how much music the average user has stored up.

The Amazon MP3™ application overcomes storage limitations. Free from the Google Play™, it was developed in conjunction with the Amazon Cloud Player, a service that will upload 5GB of your music and playlists for free (20GB if you buy one album from Amazon). Any of your devices that are signed into your Amazon MP3 account will have your complete library of songs at your fingertips, ready to be streamed over 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi, without using up any local storage. And best of all, Amazon has recently offered unlimited space for MP3 and AAC (.m4a files) at no additional charge for all paid cloud storage plans.

What if you want to listen to your music on a remote desert island? Amazon Cloud Player offers a convenient way to download your selections right onto your device for your enjoyment when you're not connected to a wireless network. Amazon MP3 also lets you purchase music from one Galaxy device, and have it with you on all of your Galaxy devices.

Watching movies or TV shows with Samsung Media Hub

While Android-powered tablets like the Galaxy Tab™ 10.1" give you easy access to great video sources and sites such as YouTube and Hulu™, sometimes you may be craving the latest primetime TV shows or newly released DVDs.

Samsung Media Hub gives you access to next-day TV (a show airs on Tuesday, and it's in Media Hub to watch on Wednesday), and new-release movies on the same day the DVD becomes available. Best of all, the library of Media Hub is constantly refreshed with the latest video content and top quality flicks.

But what really makes Media Hub amazing is that it's a cloud-based service. If you have both a smartphone and a tablet, you can have the same content on both devices. All you have to do is log on with another Media Hub-enabled device and all the content you have purchased is there, ready to be downloaded. Media Hub can be shared on up to five devices, which means you can keep your content with you even as you change or upgrade from different mobile devices. When you buy a movie or TV show on Media Hub, you own it — even if you get a new phone or tablet.

Another key benefit is that because Media Hub is a download service, you don't have to be connected to Wi-Fi the whole time you want to watch a movie. You can just download the content you want and watch on a plane or entertain the kids in the car.

Freedom in the cloud

That's just the beginning. The Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones and tablets were designed to be "cloud enabled" right out of the box. Now there are tons of cloud services that are changing the way we edit documents, manage files, read books and more.

But beyond the many applications available, the cloud has completely altered our approach to computing as a whole. In the past, if your laptop crashed, you were at risk of losing everything. Now with my Galaxy Tab™ 10.1", for example, you can control your entire digital world — from organizing family photos to updating work spreadsheets — without having to obsessively back up all of your media or shuffle between devices and computers to get a task done. Cloud computing simplifies the entire process, and in doing so, is revolutionizing the way we go about our business — and our life.

The views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Samsung Telecommunications America, Samsung Electronics America Inc., or any of its parents/affiliates as well as any other individual employee thereof.