Migrating from Ubuntu One to Google, part 1.

So, Ubuntu have officially killed off Ubuntu One. I used it a lot – not only for file storage, but I paid for more space, bought a few albums and got the music streaming app as well. But I had a sense that this might have been coming when they removed Contacts and Notes, and sometimes it really just didn’t seem to perform as expected.

And now, off to find something else. Since I’ve  already got myself set up with a free Google account, I thought I might as well move everything over into that ecosystem. So to help you (and me), I’ve documented what I’ve done and a few helpful tips along the way.

Here in Part 1, I cover the changes to my (rather old) Android phone. I’ll mention which steps are required and which are optional. I tend to clean up as I go along and delete things I don’t need, but I’ll make a note of those optional points as required.

Over in Part 2, I cover installing the necessary software onto your Ubuntu PC environment.

And then in Part 3, I go over cleaning up from Ubuntu One and any tips and tricks I’ve found along the way.

0. Sign up for a Google+ Account

This is kind of a pre-requisite. You’re stuck if you don’t have a Google+ and all encompassing Google Account.

1. Log out of Ubuntu One Files on the phone

I get really annoyed when instructions say “Simply do this.”

  1. Launch the Ubuntu One Files app
  2. Press Menu > Settings
  3. Press Sign Out
  4. And simply press Sign Out again

    Sign out from U1?
    Sign out from U1?

Next, disconnect from Ubuntu One Music

  1. Launch Ubuntu One Music
  2. Press (at the top) Ubuntu One cloud – select mode
  3. Select Offline

    Select offlone for Ubuntu One Music
    Select offlone for Ubuntu One Music

At this point you’ve disconnected the two Ubuntu One apps on your phone. Next, the replacements …

2. Install Google+

The first Android app you need is Google+ which also brings in the Photos app, which is where the photos will be managed. I quite liked how Ubuntu One would store all the files together and then let you synchronise them with a folder on your Ubuntu machine. However, I found the Ubuntu One photo syncing from my phone quite hit and miss as there were folders that just weren’t synced properly. So …

  1. Go to Google Play’s Google+ page
  2. Click Install
  3. Go to your phone and wait for the install to finish
  4. Go find the Photos app (in your application page) and start it up
  5. Press Get Started

    Get Started with Google Photos
    Get Started with Google Photos

At this point it will scan your phone for all your photos. Next:

  1. Go to Settings > Auto Backup
  2. Select Turn on Auto Backup – you may want to check that it’s on only during wifi
  3. Scroll down and select Back up all

    Auto backup options for Google Photos
    Auto backup options for Google Photos

At this point, you will want to go and get a cup of tea as it can take some time to upload all your images. Google Photos picks the directories that it will upload, and it seems pretty good with its choices – but you can’t select/deselect any. It found Instagram, Foursquare, WeChat, Movember, WhatsApp and a few others without trouble and uploaded all. (Better than Ubuntu One managed to do.)

3. Cleaning up after Ubuntu One

This is the optional part. I like to make sure my phone and laptop don’t have crud lying around. You’ll find when you install Google Play Music that it will pick up residual music files on your phone and as a result you might get duplicates in your music library.

First, Ubuntu One Files

  1. Go to Applications > My Files
  2. Scroll down to the directory u1
  3. Long press u1 until the menu appears

    Delete u1 directory
    Delete u1 directory
  4. Select Delete
  5. Press OK

Next, Ubuntu One Music. This directory will depend on your Ubuntu One Music folder setting – internal or external SD storage.

Only do the next steps if you are confident that you won’t lose any music.

  1. Check what kind of storage you are using – Primary SD card or External CD card

    Confirm Ubuntu One Music storage location
    Confirm Ubuntu One Music storage location
  2. If using External CD card – search for external_sd/subsonic/ otherwise just subsonic/ in the home directory using the My Files app
  3. Long press subsonic until the menu appears

    Delete subsonic directory
    Delete subsonic directory
  4. Select Delete
  5. Press OK

4. Installing Google Play Music

Although you’ll have no music loaded into Google Play Music, we set it up here since we’re doing all the other phone steps.

  1. Go to Google Play and install Google Play Music
  2. Launch Play Music
  3. Select the account you want to use
  4. Select Not Now or Got it to ignore the All Access, because that seems like a lot of money for a month of unlimited music
  5. Select yes to any other options that seem sensible yet still free

5. Installing Google Drive

Since you also probably don’t have any documents in Google Drive yet, like installing Google Play Music above, this is just getting ready for the steps in Part 2.

  1. Go to Google Play and install Google Drive

And that’s about it for your Android phone.

In Part 2, I go through setting up Ubuntu to use Google Drive and Google Music on your PC.

And finally in Part 3, cleaning up from Ubuntu One and any tips and tricks I’ve found along the way.