A smartphone alone does not make anyone smarter; also needed is a Web browser that allows efficient access to information online.– File Photo

Considering the recent need (or craze) to be online 24/7, many of us have turned into “mouse-potatoes”. However, with access to the right kind of tools and services, there’s no need to stay in front of your PC/laptop all day long. The tools listed below can help you get all your digital duties done, even on the go.

Smart talkers A smartphone alone does not make anyone smarter; also needed is a Web browser that allows efficient access to information online. Here are some of the smartphone Web browsers currently available.

Dolphin HD The user interface of Dolphin HD is very similar to Android’s default browser, and allows tabbed browsing and sharing webpages through e-mail, Twitter, Facebook etcetera. Smart features include add-ons such as Screen Cut that lets you capture screenshots of a webpage, as well as support for gestures. With gesture support, you can use and define touch gestures to perform operations or navigate to a certain webpage. For example, you can draw G to open Google Search.

Sky Fire Referred to as the social Web browser (due to its deep integration with Facebook and Twitter), its features include support of flash-based content. Sky Fire also lets you choose whether you want to view the mobile or desktop version of any website.

Opera Mini If you are looking for a fast mobile browser which has the look-and-feel of a desktop Web browser, then Opera Mini should be your choice. All the webpages opened in Opera Mini come pre-rendered from an Opera proxy server that not only makes them smaller in size without affecting quality, but also makes them load faster. It has support for bi-directional text, making it very easy to read Urdu content. It also lets you add snippets of text to webpages using notes. Opera Link lets you sync your bookmarks, notes, and your personal bar between different computers and mobile devices.

A Cloud apart You can’t really be a true cybernaut if you haven’t used the various cloud-based services out there. All you need to do is download them or register at any of the following services.

Dropbox Considered to be one of the hottest tech start-ups of today, Dropbox is a service that allows you to share and upload everything via a folder that the software creates on your computer/device. This folder is automatically synched across your multiple systems and smart devices, and the contents are available on the Dropbox website as well. You can share any Dropbox folder you want with other users for easy file-sharing. It gives you 2GB of free storage, and even provides some extra storage space if you recommend it to other users. Also, if you are a user of HTC Sense 3.5, you can get up to 5GB of space for free!

ADrive If you are looking for larger storage space, then you could give ADrive a try. Its free version offers 50GB of storage, whereas premium versions offer space of up to 10TB.

SkyDrive If you have a Windows Live ID, you can use SkyDrive, which offers 25GB of free space, but has an individual file size limit of 10MB.

iCloud If you want to automatically sync all your favourite photos, music files, apps, important documents and other data between your various Apple gadgets or even a PC, then you have got to have it all on iCloud. With this service, you can connect up to ten devices and use up to 5GB of online storage for free, provided you have a device with iOS 5 or a Mac with the latest version of Lion OS X.

Share the music Don’t have an iPod or a separate mp3 player? Never mind, because you can always use one of these music sharing and music discovery websites to store and/or find your favourite songs.

Music Beta by Google Currently in its beta phase, you can upload and share up to 20,000 music files with this service. You can even select the specific albums, artists and playlists that you want to be available offline. The catch is that it’s currently only available for users in the United States.

SoundCloud Often referred to as the YouTube of audio files, SoundCloud is a great service that allows you to upload and access your original sound creations from anywhere. It also allows you to listen to sounds uploaded by others, and to comment on them.

Maestro.fm This service emerged as a music-based social networking platform. Maestro.fm allows you to discover music tracks shared by people on your Maestro.fm network. It also lets you upload your music files on the Cloud, and allows you to remotely access the music files stored on your system. However, you need to remember that your system has to remain switched on for this remote functionality to work. It also allows you to integrate music on your blog, website or other social networks.

Published in the November 2011 issue of Spider.


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