A little while back, I hinted at us delivering new features for mobile phones, specifically Android and iPhone. Now that we're past the initial research, architecture and initial implementation phase, I'd like to share one of the new features we'll be releasing in Ubuntu 10.10: music streaming.
In Ubuntu 10.04, we released the music store, and to compliment that, we will be allowing you to stream any music you have in your Ubuntu One account to your iPhone or Android mobile phone. This feature will be bundled as part of the paid plan, although we are planning some re-structuring to that, yet to be announced.
We've chosen to base this new service on free software, and have picked Subsonic clients as our platform, implementing compatible APIs on our servers.
On the iPhone, Ben Baron, who develops the iSub client for that platform, has decided to open source the code for his application, enabling us to build our iPhone as an open source project. We can't thank him enough, for enabling that for us, you should try out iSub, it's an amazing application.
We hope to slowly start opening up the testing of the service before the 10.10 release, but more on that as we make progress.
More on our epic roadmap to 10.10 soon!
We should have released the source for the iphone client right after we did the upload to the appstore, but a bunch of bureaucracy and crazy work deadlines postponed this until now.
We're going to be doing some work for the Ubuntu 10.10 release on the iphone client as well as on a new Android client, both clients are going to be open source, like all our other Ubuntu One clients.
We've created the projects on Launchpad, pushed the initial source code for the iphone client, and will start pushing Android as soon as we get out of the exploration stage.
The projects are available at:
Stay tuned for more on our new mobile services!
A few months back the Ubuntu One team launched mobile contacts syncing, our first step into the mobile world. After a few initial rocky Beta days of cleaning up some scaling rough edges, it's been a smooth ride since. It turned out to be a very popular service, which has us excited, and reinforced our eagerness to build more mobile services for Maverick.
While the full roadmap hasn't been set in stone yet, we've had a lot of feedback about offering a separate, feature-rich mobile service at a lower price, as well as integration into Android.
We've decided to take on some of these challenges, and are committed to delivering more and more mobile services, some of which we will introduce around the Ubuntu Maverick release in October.
In the meantime, we've decided to extend the 30-day trial period for mobile contact sync until the Maverick release, where we will re-instate it as part of a bigger, juicier and with more native integration, mobile package.
This is effective now, so if you've signed up for our paid account exclusively for mobile sync, feel free to downgrade to the free plan, we will notify all mobile users before the 30-day trial is turned on again.
As we finish our research and initial development, we will announce the features that will be rolled out and probably open up for testing in our alpha phase to a small group of lucky people.
It seems to be the case every release, but, the future is exciting!
We have very exciting and challenging plans for the future of the new web+mobile Ubuntu One team (more on this soon), and we're looking for an exceptional web engineer to join us.
The summary for this position is:
We are looking for an exceptional engineer to work on Ubuntu One's web infrastructure with a proven track record for exceptional problem solving and integration into third-party systems. This person should help the team design, build, and deploy web and mobile applications with a high degree of quality and passion. If you're the type of person who gets excited about delivering cutting-edge technology to hundreds of thousands of users, in a lean and friendly environment, we are looking for you!
If this sounds like you, check out the full job description and send us your CV!
After a few hiccups with our servers, Ubuntu One contact phone sync is open again for new accounts.
Check out the wiki with the instructions to get set up: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuOne/PhoneSync/
Sorry for the inconvenience, Slashdot still seems to be a mixed bag of pain and joy 🙂
While we slowly ramp up to release mobile phone contact sync, using my own contacts as test data I realized that once I had merged my phone's address book and Thunderbird's address book, I had quite a few contacts duplicated due to them having different names with different information in them. So I had one of those "you know what would be cool...?" kind of moments, and started working on a feature that would let me merge contacts on the web, saving me hours of copy-n-paste.
A few weeks later, an initial pass at that feature has rolled out! Yay agile software development!
There are a few tweaks to the contacts interface, and you will see a new option:
So, for example, let's pretend you have 2 contacts that are the same person but have an extra name in one of them, one of them has his phone number, the other, his email:
We go to our new merge feature and select both of them:
Finally, we get a preview of what this will look like:
Plans for the future are:
- Allow conflict resolution when the contact has 2 fields that are the same but have different values
- Allow editing the contact in the merge preview
- Allow merging from the contacts page instead of a separate page
- Use this same mechanism when conflicts arise in couchdb merging contacts
Also, contact syncing from thousands of mobile phones will be opened up for a public alpha very very very soon. Stay tuned!
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