A nod to Natty and some juicy bits of our own

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.

8 Responses to “A nod to Natty and some juicy bits of our own”

  1. Emil Says:

    This is awesome news! Good work!

  2. kost BebiX Says:

    Nice, really nice! Thank you, guys.
    Waiting for new android contacts sync app.

  3. Urbano Says:

    Awesome news!

    Is there any idea of also allow to import Gmail contacts?
    This would be the definitely feature to me use Ubuntu One.

    Does it allow the import? Doesn’t it sync?

    Keep the great work. I think it’s this kind of services/integration that can bring diferenciate value to Ubuntu making it a desired Operating System.

  4. Vandi Says:

    The integration in the system is now much better.
    Thanks for this good work.

  5. Joshua Hoover Says:

    We have Gmail contacts in the works. We want to make sure Facebook integration is rock solid, as Gmail contacts relies on the same infrastructure.

    It allows import and will update contacts with updates from Facebook.

    Thanks to all of you for the kind words. We’re excited to keep making things better. :-)

  6. S. M. Das Says:

    I’m curious, in the best detail you’re willing (and able?) to discuss it, how was this 200x improvement attained?

    I’m certain some of this was due to changes in software. Was it new backend software? Tweaks to current software? Both?

    It seems impossible to achieve such gains through software alone, so I assume there was some accompanying hardware improvement as well. What is the nature of the new/changed/upgraded/different hardware? Was it networking, storage, or processing technologies? Architectural?

    Again, only in as much detail as you’d be willing (or permitted) to disclose… it just seems like such a wonderful improvement, and your team has doubtlessly worked *extremely* hard to arrive at this point; I know that geeks in the community, such as myself, are dying to hear you brag a bit about it ;-)

    –SMD

  7. hartl Says:

    Good job, thanks! But could you explain how to add contact pictures and sync them with Evolution?

    Hartl

  8. Joshua Hoover Says:

    S.M. We achieved the up to 200x performance gains by changing the way we handle duplicate files in addition to the other more general speed improvements we made. This was both a client and server side change.

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