I finally received my invitation to Ubuntu One a few days ago. Since then I’ve been using it daily, and I have to admit that the integration it offers with Ubuntu is, as expected, second to none.
What follows is not meant to be a critical blow-by-blow account of Ubuntu One. Why? Because you pop files in folder and it then syncs them to your online storage. What else is there to say, really? Instead what follows is a quick rundown of what is installed and how it works.
Ubuntu One places a folder in home/username called ‘Ubuntu One’. Inside you have “My Files” and “Shared With Me”. A shortcut to this folder is placed in your “Places” menu.
When viewing the Ubuntu One folder there is a dialog along the top (similar to that in the ‘Deleted Items’) allowing you to connect and disconnect from the service. This makes connecting really easy. Successfully uploaded items gain an emblem next to them.
Ubuntu One also has a tray icon/applet. The icon animates when connecting or syncing files, and has a red cross when it is disconnected.
Left clicking the tray icon will open yourUbuntu One folder, and right clicking gives you an easy access menu for connecting, reporting a problem, opening your Ubuntu One folder and going online to view your files.
Having already used DropBox (a very similar service) i much appreciate Ubuntu’s tight integration. I also find that Ubuntu One syncs much quicker than the same files in my dropbox folder – this might be dependent on server traffic for each service, however.
Canonical say that Ubuntu One will expand its feature set along the way — something vital if it wants to succeed as a subscription based option. Pricing is also an issue; for the same amount of money a month you can get far more storage from Dropbox than Ubuntu One.
Both offer 2GB for free options, which is more than enough for most basic needs. But it’ll be interesting to see if this quota is increased in the future as competition with other services heats up.