Archive for April, 2011

A nod to Natty and some juicy bits of our own

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

As many of you will already know, today Ubuntu 11.04 introduced Unity, Ubuntu’s new interface, which is simpler, easier to use and more beautiful than previous editions of Ubuntu. We want to say a big well done to everyone who has contributed. For more on Ubuntu 11.04 see ubuntu.com.

Along with Unity there are some great improvements to Ubuntu One. Once upgraded to Ubuntu 11.04 you will see that Ubuntu One is more easily accessible in the launcher. We gave Ubuntu One preferences an all new look, new features, and even a new name, Ubuntu One control panel. The control panel allows selective syncing so you can easily manage the cloud folders you want synced locally and easily view which folders have been shared with you.

Ubuntu One control panel on first open Ubuntu One control panel web folders

Some other great news is that for some time now the team has been working hard to improve overall speed and performance. Many of you will notice this already and over the next few weeks, as we finish our server upgrades, everyone will be getting their files synced up to 200x faster. Yes, we’ve seen real world performance gains of up to 200x faster!

In addition to improvements in Ubuntu 11.04, we’ve also improved contacts on the web. For starters, there’s an all new look and feel that makes it faster and easier to manage your contacts. You can now delete and merge contacts in bulk. Not content with plain old merging, we also added smart merging. Click the new Find & merge duplicates button and it will find any duplicate contacts and allow you to merge them in one click.

Facebook contacts in Ubuntu One

The enhancements to contacts are great, but it would be even better if you could pull in your contacts from Facebook. Now you can. Seamless import from Facebook includes your friends’ profile pictures, first, middle and last name, birthday, ‘about me’ and any website they have listed. What’s really cool is it will merge existing contacts automatically for you.

Want to give importing your Facebook contacts a try? Follow the steps on our project wiki. Don’t worry, we don’t send messages to your contacts, post to your Facebook wall, or do anything other than import your Facebook contacts.

Ubuntu One Facebook import

Well that’s it for now folks but keep your eye on us for upcoming news about updates to our Windows beta, Android file sync app and more.

Ubuntu One Music on Android just got a whole lot better

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

The Ubuntu One team are feeling the joys of Spring, because after several months working hard we’ve got some great news about updates to our Android Music app, which don’t forget works anywhere in the world!

The first thing you’ll notice in the new UI is album art so you will now see any saved album covers. Managing your playlists is now even easier as you can create, edit and delete playlists straight from your device. Those of you with lots of music will notice the overall speed improvement, meaning you can enjoy your huge music collection without any long waits. Plus, we have also added support for non-DRM iTunes songs so that you can stream songs you’ve purchased from iTunes just as easily as your MP3s, bringing all your music together.

Album view Playlist view Playing paylist

In addition many of you requested this next feature so we’re sure you’ll be pleased that we now support songs in Ogg Vorbis format so you can stream your collection of Ogg music natively, without the need to convert it to another format. If you’re a developer you may be interested in knowing that playlists are stored in your CouchDB database allowing you to write applications that read/write to them.

So that’s faster access to more of your music wherever you are in the world. The latest version 1.2 is now available in the Android market, happy listening and watch this space for upcoming updates to our iPhone app.

Enjoy!

- Martin and the web & mobile team