Mark Shuttleworth’s Ubuntu Linux operating system is quickly moving from being a niche player in the market to an environment which caters for a broad range of users.
The release of Maverick Meerkat (Ubuntu 10.10) over the past weekend introduced a number of desktop improvements from better software management to significantly better audio tools. But, buried in the fairly extensive release notes for Maverick are a few smaller features that are of particular interest. Among these is a new cloud-based service for mobile devices, including those running Android, Windows and iOS.
With the release of Maverick, Canonical has extended the capabilities of Ubuntu One, its Dropbox-like service, to support operating systems other than Ubuntu. The service allows users to synchronise data across devices. Originally this was only available for Ubuntu users, but now is available for most users.
One of the big changes to Ubuntu One is that Canonical is soon to release a beta Windows version of the client. The fact that Ubuntu One only supported Ubuntu systems has always been a drawback for users who need to switch between operating systems. In a cheeky bit of marketing, the Ubuntu One website says: “Recognising that many of us are sometimes forced to use legacy operating systems, Ubuntu One is coming to the rescue. You’re invited to beta test our new Windows client for syncing files”
Users will need to sign up for a basic Ubuntu One account to access the beta version.
Streaming audio and Ubuntu One Mobile
Canonical has also introduced Ubuntu One Mobile, an Ubuntu One application that runs on Android-based phones as well as Apple’s iPhones. Users can synchronise their music with their Ubuntu One account and then have access to it via their mobile phone. The stored audio can be streamed to any supported mobile phone.
The mobile client includes a built-in audio player, the option to cache songs for listening offline and full song browsing features. The service is not free, however, and costs $3.99 a month or $39 a year.
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