Archive for April, 2010

Announcing the mobile phone contacts sync public alpha

Monday, April 5th, 2010

We’re excited to finally make this announcement. For over a year now, the Ubuntu One team has been working on an address book contacts synchronization service that will raise the bar for what’s currently available on Linux desktops.

Getting contacts on CouchDB and replicating between desktops and the cloud was the first big step. The second, and much bigger step, is to actually get those contacts from and to mobile phones. To achieve this, we have partnered with a company called Funambol, who share our views on open source, and have an established a proven software stack that synchronizes thousands of mobile phones and other devices. Funambol has built a community around different client plugins, virtually supporting the majority of the existing software on all platforms that have contacts (Thunderbird, Outlook, Mac OS X Mail, etc). We are excited to be working with them.

Due to the costs of implementing the Funambol server, the phone synchronization service will only be part of Ubuntu One paid plans. But everyone (free and paid users) will have the opportunity to try the service and get all of their contacts onto their desktop for free with a 30-day trial!. The 30 days will only start counting once Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is released at the end of April.

More information about the mobile contacts synchronization service can be found at the Phone Sync FAQ.

Right now we’re at a stage where we feel confident opening up the service for wider testing. Before joining the test, we strongly recommend that you backup your contacts since we’ve only tested with a hand-full of phone models at this point.

We’re still ramping up our servers to support new record level loads, so we expect the next week or two to be a bit bumpy. We should have these infrastructure improvements ready before the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS release.

All of the information to start testing is available at: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuOne/PhoneSync/. No matter how successful or unsuccessful the mobile contacts synchronization is for you, we would like to ask everyone to please fill out the test cases. They are critical to improving this new service for everyone.

At this point of testing, we favor IRC chats (freenode, #ubuntuone) rather than creating new bugs in Launchpad. We would feel better if the developers filed the bugs with the proper debugging information rather than having dozens of bugs we can’t act on. This will change in the near future, but for this stage, it’s easier for us.

Thank you! We look forward to getting your testing results.