During its four-day developer conference in Nuremberg, the collaboration platform ownCloud presented a number of new product developments. The ownCloud Desktop Sync Client will receive a native Windows integrated Virtual File System as the first open source solution worldwide. The recently released, completely new iOS app achieves “Feature Parity” to the predecessor app with version 1.1, which is now available in a beta version. This means that it now supports all features previously contained in the older version. In addition, a preview on a number of improvements such as a Document Scanner, iOS Shortcuts or the integration in Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions is available as a public test flight beta. Version 2.6 RC1 of the desktop client is now available on Github, the Testflight beta of the iOS app under this Apple link.
This year’s ownCloud Conference increasingly focused on the topics of stability, reliability and productivity. While the complete redevelopment of the software architecture with “Infinite Scale” was announced two months ago, the developers are now adding several new developments to the client infrastructure.
Virtual File System via Microsoft’s Cloud Files API
The most important innovation of the Desktop Sync Client is the native implementation of the Virtual File System (VFS) via the Microsoft “Cloud Files API”, which also connects the oneDrive feature “Files On Demand”. The VFS shows users all files directly in the Windows File Explorer, even if they have not yet been downloaded. If a file is needed, it can be downloaded with just a double click and opened directly in the appropriate application.
ownCloud is the first open source project worldwide to integrate the “Cloud Files API”, which was previously only used by Microsoft’s oneDrive and Apple’s iCloud.
Version 2.6.0 of this function will be released as Technology Preview and will be available in the following versions. In addition, a native macOS implementation is planned for Apple users for Q1/2020, which uses the file provider interface of macOS 10.15 Catalina, scheduled for release this fall. Mac users will also benefit from the advantages of ownCloud VFS functionality in the near future.
Numerous new features for the iOS app
Mobile users can also look forward to new developments in the ownCloud-iOS app, which was published in June of this year as a completely new development. Now the developers have gone even a step further and are now presenting a testflight beta version 1.1 at the ownCloud Conference, which creates feature parity of the new app to the old app.
Thanks to the modern architecture of the new app, the development team was able to react quickly to innovations in the upcoming iOS-13 release. In the future, the iOS app will support a whole range of new functions that are particularly important for users who work productively with the iPad in their everyday business.
By integrating the iOS-native Document Scanner, which is based on the VisionKit framework, documents can be conveniently scanned directly from the app and stored and synchronized in ownCloud.
Users of the iOS app will also be able to use the “Shortcuts” function in the future: This makes it easy to automate frequently performed actions or tasks. Examples include saving the iPad clipboard as a file in ownCloud or converting markdown documents that are stored in ownCloud into PDF format.
The “Dark Mode” introduced in iOS 13 is also supported. In addition, the ownCloud app allows the user interface to be displayed in two parallel windows on the iPad. This is useful, for example, if files are to be exchanged between two ownCloud accounts via drag and drop.
Particularly helpful for users from the business and enterprise environment is the ability to remotely configure with industry-standard mobile device management solutions based on the AppConfig standard. This enables administrators to remotely configure the app on centrally managed employee devices, which is particularly useful in privacy-critical and compliance-relevant processes.
ownCloud is the market leading open source content collaboration solution worldwide. ownCloud enables users to securely access and share data from any device, anywhere in the world. With more than 200,000 installations and 50 million users, ownCloud provides organizations a modern collaborative experience, thereby boosting productivity without compromising on security. At the same time, it gives organizations the visibility and control required to manage sensitive data.
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