updated 02:00 am EDT, Fri April 8, 2011
Works with all platforms, top browsers, ad-free
A company called TransMedia is offering a free toolbar and "cloud OS" called Glide for major Mac, Windows and Linux browsers -- as well as all significant mobile OSes -- that offers users the possibility of going further with cloud storage and management than most other services offer, including a range of web applications and services that make the browser the center of the computing experience.
The toolbar is available for Google's Chrome (v5 or higher), Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 and higher, Apple's Safari (v5 and higher), and Mozilla's Firefox (v3.5 and higher). The toolbar essentially "attaches" a cloud operating system to a user's web browser, making available file synchronization, web applications, web capture and social media tools. What makes this stand out from other offerings is the promise of ad-free tools and storage (30GB for the free version, 250GB for $50/year).
The service offers a number of web-based applications, from office-style apps not unlike Google's web-based suite to photo-editing, email, media player and calendar/contact tools, able to import from a number of common formats and keeps files synced across devices. The service is accessible through almost every major mobile smartphone OS (from iOS to webOS to Symbian and even Windows Mobile) as well. It should be noted that in order to access all of Glide's features on the desktop, pop-up blockers must be turned off.
While cross-platform browser-based tools are by definition lacking the look and feel of a user's particular operating system in favor of a "generic Windows" type look, the convenience of having common file formats always accessible to you on any device with an internet connection as well as the basic functionality of your average netbook computer and its apps may prove efficient and desirable to workers on the move.