ownCloud Gets New Look

With a focus on quality, security and performance, ownCloud, the popular open-source alternative to Dropbox, released its ownCloud Server 5.0., which offers dozens of improvements, including a new design that makes the service more intuitive to use. ownCloud's new search engine also ensures a responsive user experience, as the Lucene-based full text search engine addition allows users to find files by names and also by content. 

The main navigation was also redesigned to clearly differentiate it from the in-app navigations, according to the company's official blog. Additionally, the settings and log-out menus were combined into a user menu on the top right, which shows the currently logged in user and makes it more intuitive to use. Concerning the new version's performance, some tests show up to 500 percent faster performance compared with ownCloud 4.5, according to the company. 

Other improvements include: new antivirus app, new files undelete feature, new REST APIs, display names, new photo gallery, new documentation system, LDAP/AD enhancements, enhanced external storage app, improved versioning, expanded file cache, improved apps management, improved bookmarks, improved contacts, improved syncing and other general fixes. 

Let's explore some of these improvements further:

New Antivirus App - ownCloud reports that the new antivirus system scans uploaded files for viruses. The admin can choose if infected files should be deleted automatically and/or logged/reported in the log file.

New Files Undelete Feature - Users can now undelete files that were accidentally deleted through the Web interface. 

General Fixes - ownCloud fixed various bugs, UI enhancements and performance improvements.  Most notably, according to the company, a 5x improvement in disk write actions, as well as better overall scalability. Other general fixes include: Windows server support extended; PDF viewer is updated for improved performance and compatibility; improved media player; improved overall performance; improved download performance; and during a download, the file size and progress is shown.

ownCloud is also looking to serve as a replacement for the soon-to-be retired Google Reader. The company will also release a stable version of ownCloud News in the next two months.