Mac users get Ubuntu One beta as partial iCloud rival

Mac users get Ubuntu One beta as partial iCloud rival

Summary: The personal cloud service is now available on Linux, Windows, Android, Mac OS X and iOS. For Apple users, Ubuntu One will be a rival to some — but not by any means all — features of iCloud.


The Ubuntu One personal cloud storage service is now available for Mac users, albeit only in beta form for now.

The release, revealed on Thursday, means Canonical's service now has clients for every major desktop and mobile platform, including Windows, iOS, Android, and of course Ubuntu — although other Linux distributions can also use the service.

"As this is a beta we are still working hard fixing bugs to make the Mac client even slicker," Canonical said in a blog post. "Please be patient whilst we iron out the kinks over the coming weeks."

Ubuntu One has many rivals these days, ranging from Dropbox to Google Drive. However, the release of the Mac client will in some respects bring it up against Apple's iCloud, which also provides file synchronisation between the iOS and OS X platforms.

Like iCloud, Ubuntu One lets users stream music from the cloud, and it also has an iTunes-rivalling music store. However, iCloud is much more focused on synchronising contacts, calendar entries, notes and other types of information between devices.

The contacts-synchronisation element is somewhat lacking in Ubuntu One for now, as users have manually enter contacts one by one. However, Canonical says it has "big plans" for this feature.

Canonical also recently added the ability for users to share file links with each other.

Topics: Ubuntu, Apple, Cloud, Linux, Storage

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • So what does it do?

    Based on this article, the product allows music streaming, and doesn't do a good job with contact sync. I feel you should have shared more about the product, if you're going to say it is an "iCloud rival." How does it match up to Sugar Sync, or Dropbox, or anything?
  • Where's the meat?

    Rather than focus on bells and whistles like cloud storage for Mac users, how about putting some resources into "it just works" for Mac users?

    For quite a while, I've been checking each new Ubuntu release to see if it would install on a 2011 MacBook Air and "just work" with none of the typical Linux post-install kludges to get all the hardware to work. I gave up. I haven't checked out this new release yet, but I'm betting that there are still hardware issues and kludgly workarounds.

    Linux is not going to interest most Mac users until the install process is as easy as a Mac OSX install.

    P.S. I do have Ubuntu running in a virtual machine, but it's not the same as booting into Linux.