ownCloud Enhances Mobile Cloud Apps
Managing cloud data from mobile devices via ownCloud, the open source file-syncing platform, became easier this week with feature updates to ownCloud’s Android and iOS clients. Read on for a look at the enhancements, which include improvements to the interface, security and much more.
As a commercial entity, ownCloud is relatively young. It was founded less than a year ago to provide support and services related to the open source ownCloud data syncing platform, which allows individuals and organizations to build their own clouds (hence the name) for sharing data across devices.
ownCloud’s major selling point vis-à-vis competitors such as Dropbox is that it doesn’t require users to upload their data to third-party servers. Instead, they can keep it on their own hardware, helping to alleviate security and privacy concerns.
ownCloud Mobile Updates
ownCloud offers clients for traditional PCs, of course, but in August 2012 it also introduced mobile apps for Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS devices. The apps let customers access and manage data stored on ownCloud clouds from anywhere.
According to ownCloud, 15,000 copies of its mobile apps already have been sold since last August, and it is currently averaging 100 additional downloads per day. Now, the company has pushed out feature enhancements that increase the usability of those apps. The full list of features, which is available online, is too long to reiterate here, but highlights include:
- “File chunking,” which allows users to break up large files into smaller bits as they upload them from their phones. This should prove useful in situations where mobile bandwidth is limited or spotty.
- Progress notification for uploads and downloads, and support for canceling these operations at any time without corrupting files.
- Integration with external applications for opening files stored in ownCloud.
- Warnings regarding malformed or self signed SSL certificates, which help protect against network sniffing and privacy invasion.
- A new interface for the iOS app, as well previews for a variety of file types. In addition, ownCloud mobile now supports both iOS 5 and iOS 6.
- Support for accessing multiple ownCloud accounts from a single device on Android.
These updates promise to reduce yet further the barrier between traditional and mobile computing when it comes to accessing cloud data. They bring the ultimate goal of achieving cloud computing that is totally device independent and location agnostic closer to reality.