Feeds

Ubuntu's iTunes jumps to Windows and Android

iPhone player planned

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Updated Ubuntu's mission to become more Mac-like takes a step forward with Maverick Meerkat, as Canonical further fuses machine and web.

Ubuntu 10.10, due Sunday, will for the first time put the Ubuntu One file syncing and sharing service on Apple's iPhone and on Android phones. Further, Ubuntu 10.10 will contain a beta of its hinted-at Ubuntu One syncing and sharing service to Windows machines for the first time.

Ubuntu One lets you store and sync files, contacts, bookmarks, notes and music from the Ubuntu One music service. Using Ubuntu One, you can buy, store, sync and stream tunes from the cloud to your device.

Rolling the file-sharing capabilities of Ubuntu One out to Android, iPhone and Windows PCs means you can now sync and play your tunes on these non-Ubuntu machines for the first time. It follows Apple's iTune that runs on Windows in addition to its native Mac, iPhone and iPad.

There are limits with what Ubuntu's offering. You cannot purchase music from Android, iPhone or Windows PCs. Also, on a PC, you will need to play your music using an MP3 player from Microsoft or somebody else.

Canonical vice president of business development Steve George told The Reg that Ubuntu isn't trying to convert Mac or Windows users to Ubuntu, but that it merely wants to help Ubuntu fit in with users' existing array of devices by being able to share and sync files.

"In music, people want to play their music at work and home. One of the big use-cases was people wanting to listen to music on their way home. So we have done mobile streaming," George said.

Ubuntu One for Android is delivered using Subsonic, and is due for download via the Android Marketplace. The iPhone version is a native app that "will follow shortly," George told us - meaning pending approval by Apple's App Store plods.

He claimed the difference between the Ubuntu One music service and competitors such as iTunes and Rhapsody is the fusion of "social interaction". The previous release of Ubuntu, 10.04, embedded Twitter and Faceboook into the operating system. Ubuntu's Software Center, meanwhile, lets you post your updates to Twitter via Gwibber.

George promised that Canonical would have more things to talk about concerning what he called "bringing the internet into the operating system" during the company's developer summit in Orlando, Florida, later this month.

"I see us bringing a lot of that work in - it's an interesting catch point we should look at," George told The Reg.

He also promised more services on top of Ubuntu One, going beyond music and delivered by more third parties - the Ubuntu One music service, for example, was built by 7Digital.

"We want to extend that out in the future so third parties can build services on top [of Ubuntu One]," George said.

Among other changes in Ubuntu 10.10 are a redesigned Ubuntu Software Center considered more user-friendly with the inclusion of a new History option panel that shows the packages installed, removed, and upgraded. Version 10.10 also debuts the highly anticipated Unity interface for touch and gesture input on devices.

George said the refinements, along with tighter integration between the web and operating system with touch, Unity, Software Center, and the personal cloud with Ubuntu One, pointed to the long-term future of Ubuntu.

"This is the first release in the next cycle towards the LTS in two years time," George said. "All of these [changes] set out what we are starting to do in the long-term future of Ubuntu in terms of making it a great consumer platform."

Fiddling with the interface and integration with online services is one thing - well, two, actually. Having delivered a multi-touch UI, Canonical's challenges will then be to encourage ISVs to build applications that use it, and to start building a viable ecosystem around the framework.

George said the arrival of new hardware from OEMs next year would help the open source and free software community build for touch. The development of necessary toolkits that open sourcers would use to build apps for touch are a work in progress, he said. ®

This story has been updated to clarify that the Ubuntu One service for Android, iPhone and Windows PC lets you sync and share files such as music. Ubuntu is not making a native player. Also, you will not be able to buy or download music from the Ubuntu One music store using your Android or iPhone or Windows PC - it's streaming only.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.