Archive for the ‘contacts’ Category

Some changes to contacts

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Last month was a big one for Ubuntu and Ubuntu One. For Ubuntu One, in addition to all the improvements we made in Ubuntu 11.04, we also released substantial improvements to contacts on the web, including Facebook import. Our attention now turns to contacts sync for mobile devices.

We’re working on completely revamping contacts sync for mobile to give you an overall better experience. The new service will work with mobile devices running iOS or Android operating systems. We decided to focus on these two operating systems so we can deliver the best user experience without having to limit functionality to the lowest common denominator. The new service will be free and available later this year. If you are interested in testing the new service, please add your email address to this form and we will provide you with more info once the service is ready for testing.

As of June 1, 2011 the current Ubuntu One contacts sync for mobile will no longer be active. We’re stopping support for our current service so we can focus our energy on launching a much better service sooner than we could otherwise.

What happens to my contacts?
Contacts will continue to sync between Evolution and Ubuntu One. Your contacts will still be available via the web. For those who use the current contacts sync service on their phone or with the Funambol plugin for Outlook/Thunderbird this means contacts will no longer sync with Ubuntu One after May 31, 2011.

What if I’m a mobile package subscriber and only use it for syncing contacts?
For those who have the Ubuntu One mobile package and only use it for contacts sync, please contact us and we will provide a refund for all your mobile package charges as well as cancel your mobile package subscription. For those who use music streaming, please continue to enjoy music streaming and you will have the ability to sync contacts later this year.

We realize this transition may leave some of you with further questions, if that’s the case please contact us.

Thanks for your patience. Now it’s back to work on getting the new mobile contacts service out ASAP.

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.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

After over a year’s worth of feedback from users like you and a clear view of where we want to take Ubuntu One in the future, we’ve just made some changes to the Ubuntu One service offering and pricing plans.

For starters, we will no longer offer the 50 GB plan to new subscribers. Everyone will get the basic plan and then have the option to add various ‘add-ons’ of services and storage as needed. But here are the details:

Ubuntu One Basic – available now
This is the same as the current free 2 GB option but with a new name. Users can continue to sync files, contacts, bookmarks and notes for free as part of our basic service and access the integrated Ubuntu One Music Store. We are also extending our platform support to include a Windows client, which will be available in Beta very soon.

Ubuntu One Mobile – available October 7th
Ubuntu One Mobile is our first example of a service that helps you do more with the content stored in your personal cloud. With Ubuntu One Mobile’s main feature – mobile music streaming – users can listen to any MP3 songs in their personal cloud (any owned MP3s, not just those purchased from the Ubuntu One Music Store) using our custom developed apps for iPhone and Android (coming soon to their respective marketplaces). These are open source and available from Launchpad. Ubuntu One Mobile will also include the mobile contacts sync feature that was launched in Beta for the 10.04 release.

Ubuntu One Mobile is available for $3.99 (USD) per month or $39.99 (USD) per year. Users interested in this add-on can try the service free for 30 days. Ubuntu One Mobile will be the perfect companion to your morning exercise, daily commute, and weekend at the beach – we’re really excited to bring you this service!

Ubuntu One 20-Packs – available now
A 20-Pack is 20 GB of storage for files, contacts, notes, and bookmarks. Users will be able to add multiple 20-Packs at $2.99 (USD) per month or $29.99 (USD) per year each. If you start with Ubuntu One Basic (2 GB) and add 1 20-Pack (20 GB), you will have 22 GB of storage.

All add-ons are available for purchase in multiple currencies – USD, EUR and, recently added, GBP.

Users currently paying for the old 50 GB plan (including mobile contacts sync) can either keep their existing service or switch to the new plans structure to get more value from Ubuntu One at a lower price.

We know that you will enjoy these new add-ons as well as the performance enhancements we’ve made to Ubuntu One in recent months. If you have questions, our recently updated support area is a great place to start. There you’ll find a link to the current status of Ubuntu One services, a link to our frequently updated list of frequently asked questions, and a way to send us a direct message. As always, you can also ping the team on IRC (#ubuntuone in freenode). We welcome your questions, comments and suggestions.

New Ubuntu One features for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is now available. With this release of Ubuntu, there are many new Ubuntu One features. Here are just a few.

Ubuntu One Music Store
Ubuntu users have access to purchase popular music from all of their favorite artists that make up an expanding catalog of millions of songs available in the Ubuntu One Music Store. Select from top pics and new releases or search for your favorite artist, album or song. Ensure that your computer is setup for sync and launch the store in Rhythmbox for a cloud-enabled shopping experience.

Mobile Contacts Sync
Synchronize your mobile phone address book with your Ubuntu One personal cloud and Evolution on your Ubuntu desktops. Mobile Contacts Sync also enables subscribers to synchronize your Ubuntu One contacts with Thunderbird, Outlook on Windows, and the Mac Address Book.

Ubuntu One Preferences
All subscribers now have more control over their synchronization settings. Launch the Ubuntu One Preferences application to view current personal cloud storage usage, link to support options, manage synchronizing computers, and even control which Ubuntu One features are synchronized on the machine you are currently using.

Sync any folder in your home directory
Right-click on any folder and choose “Synchronize on Ubuntu One”. All of your Ubuntu 10.04 LTS computers can now synchronize your default folders like Documents, Pictures and Music.

Publish files
Easily share files with anyone directly from your Ubuntu desktop. We even provide you with a short URL to use on services like identi.ca, twitter, and facebook.

Infrastructure upgrades
Not only do we have many new features for Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, the Ubuntu One team spent a great deal of time improving the infrastructure. Subscribers should see faster file and folder synchronization on their desktops as well as a website tools that are snappier.

Ubuntu One provides a free subscription with 2 GB of storage for everyone and a monthly subscription that includes more storage and additional features.

Learn more about all of the great Ubuntu One features and subscription plans.

Mobile Contacts Sync goes to beta

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

We had a very successful public alpha for Mobile Contacts Sync and have to thank the many that participated for their valuable feedback. Mobile Contacts Sync is now an improved service and we’re ready to move to beta.

In case you don’t know about it, this service enables you to synchronize your mobile phone with your Ubuntu One personal cloud. We support 1000s of mobile phones so chances are that your phone will work. We even have an iPhone client and support Android 2.0 devices.

For those of you that participated in the alpha, we will reset your 30-day trial on Monday, May 3rd, so you can continue to use the service for another 30 days.

If you haven’t used Mobile Contacts Sync yet, it is available to everyone. All free Ubuntu One subscribers can even try the feature for 30 days at no charge.

Learn more about it at the Ubuntu One website.

Sync your Thunderbird contacts with Ubuntu One

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

While we provide contacts sync out of the box for Evolution, some users prefer to use other email clients like Mozilla’s Thunderbird. Up until recently, there wasn’t an option to synchronize your contacts in Thunderbird with Ubuntu One. Now that we offer mobile contacts sync there is a way to do this. In order to try syncing your Thunderbird contacts you’ll need to use a 30-day free trial of our mobile sync service. If you decide you like it, you’ll need to upgrade to the paid plan. Along with mobile contacts sync, which provides syncing contacts across many mobile phones in addition to Thunderbird contacts syncing, you’ll get 50 GB of storage with a paid plan. Ready to try out syncing Thunderbird contacts with Ubuntu One? Sign up for Ubuntu One and follow these step-by-step instructions on our wiki.

Funambol Thunderbird client sync success screenshot

Sync Ubuntu One Contacts with your iPhone

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Along with the start of the mobile contacts sync public alpha test, we’re also happy to announce the availability of the Ubuntu One Contacts sync application in the iTunes App Store. iPhone users can join the public alpha by downloading the application for free and adding their phone sync username and password. The other sync configuration settings are pre-populated in the app.

Again, since this is a test, we encourage you to backup your contacts before synchronizing. Please review the Phone Sync FAQ and report all testing results (the good and the bad) at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuOne/PhoneSync/.

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.

Updates to web contacts

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

There’s a lot of great activity going on in the Ubuntu One team these days. Over the coming weeks leading up to Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, you will start to see more and more information about new desktop and website features and improvements that will make Ubuntu One a more stable service and a joy to use.

Contacts update

We recently made some changes to the contacts page by grouping your address book in an A-to-Z format. This should make it load faster and be easier to use whether you have 10 contacts or thousands. There are also a few more enhancements to this tool coming soon.

Stay tuned for more news on all of the improvements coming soon to Ubuntu One.