(MoneyWatch) The emerging Internet storage "cloud" has been a boon for many of us. Being able to store documents using online services like Dropbox and Google Drive means unfettered, 24x7 access to content from any computer or online device. As long as you come to terms with the security implications of the cloud, it's a game-changer.
Unfortunately, the proliferation of cloud-storage services also means it's easy to lose track of where you stored specific documents. Did you put it in, , or newcomer ? It's becoming a wild west of storage locations, and I've already experienced the frustration of forgetting where I've put files. If only there was a way to search across all my clouds at once.
Well, there isn't. But at least one application is making baby steps towards solving that problem. DocSync is an iOS app that promises to let you access all your files from your iPad. From this one comprehensive interface, DocSync lets you search for files within Dropbox, Google Drive, and even your PC.
That sounds promising, and I really, really wanted to like DocSync. But the app is clearly a work in progress, with more shortcomings than advantages.
For starters, DocSync currently works only with Dropbox and Google Drive. Any app that promises to give you access to "all your files and folders" desperately needs to also support Box, SugarSync, and Cubby, just to name a few. In order to include your PC's local files in the search, you need to install a small client app on your computer that runs in the background and feeds search results to your iOS device. Trouble is, DocSync actually gives you the wrong URL when it tells you to go install it. To be blunt, that's amateur hour.
Speaking of which, the garish user interface looks inappropriate on an iPad and crashes more frequently than I'm used to seeing from an iOS device. Worst of all, though, you can't edit documents on your iPad; you can view them, but to do any work you need to email them back to your desktop. Basically, that makes your iPad a search engine for your desktop computer, which is a little weird. It'll be useful only until the moment that someone releases a practical tool that lets you search for all your cloud files within Windows.
If you're willing to put up with all of those annoyances, DocSync is an interesting peek at the future of cloud computing, and it may well develop into something more substantial. In the meantime, it's certainly worth the cost -- free -- but don't expect it to radically transform your workday.