By Clement Teo
Storing and sharing large files via email has been a bugbear for collaboration and communication; no longer.
Now, users can upload photos, videos and image- rich presentations to the cloud.
With Singapore Telecommunications' (SingTel) Store And Share, for example, subscribers can store up to 10 gigabytes (GB) of data free, using both PCs and Macs, as well as mobile devices running on either the iOS or Android platforms.
Users of Store And Share can also use it to share files via SMS, social networks, instant messaging and email.
In addition to editing photos and documents on the go, users can also schedule an automatic back-up of files of their choice using the Smart Backup feature.
Other companies, such as Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, Box and Apple, also offer a variety of cloud-based storage for users.
Google Drive is the latest cloud storage service to join the fray, and provides 5GB of free storage for users.
The service is fully integrated with Google Docs, a popular collaboration tool for Google users.
In addition, Google Drive works on Macs and PCs and Android phones; an iOS version is yet to be released.
Microsoft's SkyDrive offers 7GB free, Dropbox lets users enjoy 2GB of free storage, and both Box and Apple offer 5GB free to users.
Thanks to the proliferation of mobile personal devices, the ease of uploading data and accessing it has led analyst firm Gartner to predict that worldwide consumer digital storage needs will grow from 329 exabytes in 2011 to 4.1 zettabytes in 2016, driven by growth in user-generated content.
(An exabyte is 1,000,000 Terabytes, and a zettabyte is 1,000 exabytes.)
Gartner also notes that in 2011, 7 per cent of consumer content was stored on the cloud, and expects that to grow to 36 per cent in 2016, driven by the need to share content and access it on multiple devices.