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Ubuntu One For Windows Beta 2 Review

The second beta of Ubuntu One’s native Windows client slipped out into the wild recently. As an avid user of the Ubuntu One cloud storage service I just had to try it out…

The installer provided comes as a 21.7MB .exe. You will need to stay connected to the internet whilst installing to ensure successful account set-up, and installation of any additional packages required by the app.

In a sweet move, presumably to save time, the installer also incorporates Ubuntu One set-up elements, such as signing in/creating an Ubuntu One account, and assigning folders to sync using the service.

 Looks

The Ubuntu One “Dashboard”, whilst not identical, bears a roughly similar layout to that found in the Ubuntu client: there are tabs at the top, disconnection, usage and sync status at the top, etc.

But that’s about where the parity ends: there are notable omissions from the Ubuntu One Windows feature set:

  • The Windows build has no support for syncing bookmarks or contacts sync
  • You can’t currently remove authorised devices (other than the Windows PC in use)
  • You can’t add a folder to the sync list via Windows Explorer/right-click
  • There are no right-click menu entries for publishing/shortlink/etc files in the Ubuntu One folder

Performance

Compared to the previous beta – which I have been using up until now – this second iteration is immeasurably less frustrating to use: it feels snappier in use, consumes less system resources and has yet to fully crash mid-sync.

But, beta software being what it is, there were a number of bugs hiding in my otherwise peachy experience…

  • The Ubuntu One tray icon often vanished
  • The ‘Find Directory’ window was more often unresponsive than not
  • Folders only seem to sync on start-up
  • It was all too easy to create more than one instance of app
  • Pressing ‘Disconnect’ during sync only rendered the button un-clickable

I was also disappointed to see that Beta 2 doesn’t come with any tray or panel-based animation informing you of progress activity.

But this is a Beta release, and all things considered it’s a cracking one. The design and performance of this beta compared to that of last Novembers is impressive. It’s great to see that Windows user of the Ubuntu One service won’t just be handed a half-baked hack-job but a fully capable client in its own right.

Download

The Ubuntu One Windows Beta can be downloaded @ one.ubuntu.com/windows/beta

Thanks to Vole