Where does it live? -- Cloud vs Device for CoughDrop AAC Storage

Mar 21, 2022

We love reminding people that CoughDrop is a cloud-based AAC program.  There are SO many great benefits to being connected to the cloud (access to your account from anywhere, saving device storage for other needs, editing without taking someone's device, logging in on a new device immediately if yours is lost or broken, and connections even through distance learning just to name a few).

Delve deeper into the beauty of cloud technology and AAC here.

While CoughDrop is built around the power of the cloud, we also understand that there are benefits to keeping some of your account information a little closer to home.

Did you know that CoughDrop does actually save your most important speech boards and buttons locally on your device so you can reach them no matter what?  Yup, it's the truth.

We thought we'd share a few morsels about where your CoughDrop data is saved to help you better understand how CoughDrop functions and how you can get the most out of your AAC account.

What's in the Cloud?

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Just like Google, Facebook, Dropbox, Instagram, Amazon and other major apps, CoughDrop saves account data securely in the cloud.  This means that your speech boards, settings, preferences, and reports are all stored safely and protected from mishaps that might befall your device.

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Because your account lives in the cloud, you can log in using your credentials on just about any device and reach the same speech boards and settings that you see on your primary device.  So if you use an iPad at school and a laptop at home for communication, no problem.  Just enter your login information and off you go.

It also means that changes made to the account from one device can be seen on a secondary device.  This becomes very important if you are supporting an AAC user and you need to remotely adjust their speech boards or setting.  You can log in to their account, make the needed tweaks, and then when the user syncs their account on their device (which happens automatically on many devices) they will see those changes immediately.  

In addition, you never need to take away a person's speech device so that you can make adjustments to their communication set.  They keep their device, you make changes on yours, and your changes sync to their device.

There are other features that will save CoughDrop data for quick access not matter the device you use to enter your account.  If you have saved phrases or a journal entry on one device, that entry will be accessible in speak mode on other synced devices as well.  If you have started an evaluation on one device, you can complete the evaluation or view the results on another too.  Goals set within the account will incorporate data from all devices to determine results.

What's saved on the device itself?

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While almost everything in your account is saved to the cloud, there are some things that get saved to your specific device.  

When you sync your CoughDrop account to a device, the home board and sidebar boards are saved locally on the device.  This means that you can then access those boards on your device even without an internet connection as long as you stay logged in because the boards exist on the device itself.

Syncing your account allows you to move more quickly between the main boards of the account and also makes those boards available even if you are offline.

On your CoughDrop preferences page, you'll notice the options are divided into two sections: "general preference" and "device preferences."  

The settings under the "device preferences" heading are specific to the device you are using.  They are not carried from one device to another so any changes made in that section would need to be made on each device individually.  These options are saved for the device you are using and are not applied through the cloud to other devices.  This means that the voice selected, the device layout, access options, and other features can be adjusted to fit one particular device so you can adjust for screen size or other device-specific needs.  

In addition, some features like the button stash and hold thought in speak mode are connected to your device, not your cloud storage.  If you save a button to the button stash on one device, you will not see that same button stashed on another device.  That feature is expressly linked to the device used.  

If you edit a speech board while your account is offline, those changes will be saved locally on your device and can be saved to the cloud the next time you enter internet connectivity.  If you access your account on a different device before the offline device has been synced to the cloud, you will not see the changes that were made using the offline device.  

CoughDrop pairs the power of the cloud with the dexterity of an independent device to help you keep your AAC account open and accessible all the time.  

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Melissa DeMoux

Former CoughDrop Director of Marketing and Support -- worked with AAC communicators & teams