[Review] The Jolicloud 1.1 Experience

If you’ve been a reader here at BlogsDNA, then you would know that we are fans of Jolicloud.  What’s crazy about that is I became a fan and a user of Jolicloud back when it was still in a early beta stage and at the time, was built on top of Mozilla Prism.  I was just blown away with the simplicity, but at the same time blown with the functionality of Jolicloud.

About halfway through the development of Jolicloud, the developers decided to go to the bullpen and make the switch to the Chromium web app platform instead of Prism.  If you are familiar with Mozilla’s Prism is basically turns web pages, into web apps and install them on your desktop.  Google introduced the same feature in the Chrome browsers several releases ago.  This is what Jolicloud is based on, web apps and real cloud computing.  The real core OS is built on top a Ubuntu.  This latest release of Jolicloud is synced with Ubuntu’s Lucid (10.04) but future patches and updates will come from Maverick (10.10).  Jolicloud-OS-1.1

The new fad in operating systems and mobile computing is running everything in the cloud.  It puts a big emphasis on web apps.  What strikes me as funny is the Chrome Web Store is now just emerging, and if look at the core of Jolicloud and Google’s Chrome platform, you will they are quite similar, except for the fact that Jolicloud does it right, and has been around for a little while now.

Jolicloud was born to be a netbook operating system, or maybe the developers had the intentions to make it a mobile OS, but it turns out that Jolicloud runs great on every kind of PC.  It does run great on netbook, and it runs equally well on standard laptops.  Jolicloud also has that special capability of bringing old hardware and older desktop PC’s back to life, and totally revive them.

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With this release, Jolicloud has been optimized for desktops and other computers.  People can recycle and reuse older systems, you don’t have to throw out that old Dell desktop you have laying around.  Or what I have done with a few older systems, is install Jolicloud, and then donate them to some local charities and my local Goodwill.

That right there would be enough to classify this update as more than a small release, but Jolicloud 1.1 brings more to the table than just legacy hardware support.  The biggest change in Jolicloud 1.1 is the slick new launcher and interface.  The new launcher and desktop is built on HTML5, which gives it a real future and endless possibilities.  The key feature of the new HTML5 desktop, is you can login into your desktop from any Chrome browser and manage your desktop.  They also added the ability to add custom backgrounds, which was long overdue.  The old bland backdrop is hard to enjoy and look at over long periods of time.  Custom backgrounds add some real flare to the already fluid Jolicloud experience.

There are several install options for the new Jolicloud.  Most notably is the Jolicloud Windows Installer.  It’s very easy if you have any version of Windows installed, simply download and run the installer.  It will automatically install Jolicloud side by side with Windows, and will give you the option dual boot in Windows or Jolicloud.

On the end of things if you want to install a fresh copy of Jolicloud, you can download the the .ISO, but most you might not have a optical drive, so Jolicloud has a real easy to use Jolicloud USB creator.  It’s as easy as it looks.  You just need a 2GB or larger USB 2.0 thumb drive.  Once complete, you will have a bootable USB drive with Jolicloud ready to install.  The Jolicloud USB Creator is available in Windows, Mac, and Linux.USB jolicloudJolicloud installs fairly easily and fast.  The bootup time is equally as fast, really everything runs and starts pretty fast.  Having such a small footprint, makes Jolicloud lightning fast, really there’s nothing slow about Jolicloud.  That’s what you look for in a cloud based OS or a netbook OS.

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If it’s your first time running Jolicloud, you need to make a new account.  You can use a valid email or what a lot people do is sign using Facebook Connect.  You gotta remember Jolicloud is a very social friendly operating system to begin with.  Once you’re done with setting your account up, you are ready dive in.

Jolicloud saves your desktop and all of your settings online, so if you are away from your computer you just login to your Jolicloud account at www.my.jolicloud.com, and viola! You have your desktop in front of you.  I also like  the the new Jolicloud web app, which essentially does the same thing.  As you can see below it is a picture on Jolicloud desktop that I have accessed through new Chrome Web app.  I went ahead and played around with my desktop and installed a the Instapaper app.  Everything worked as described.  joli_desktop watermark

Some of the other notable features of Jolicloud 1.1 include:

  • Kernel upgraded to 2.6.35.4
  • Faster bootup/suspend/resume
  • Faster sign up and login using Facebook Connect
  • Latest drivers for WiFi, video cards, sound cards, and webcams.
  • Poulsbo, NVidia, and Broadcom enhanced drivers that work out-of-the-box
  • Optimized kernel for Atom CPUs
  • Better touchscreen support
  • Improved battery life
  • Introduction of Plymouth as boot-manager
  • SLiM Login Manager
  • Upgraded native apps (VLC, Chromium, Dropbox, Open Office, etc.)
  • Simplified access to the computer settings
  • Ability to add any local app to your dashboard from a Jolicloud device
  • Improved user interface design, dashboard customization
  • full 1080p HD playback with supported hardware (720p YouTube playback)

Although the update is considered to be a minor update, it’s a very important update.  It solidifies Jolicloud as a real operating system.  Jolicloud 1.0 was a milestone release, adding a important new featues like touchscreen support.  That release opened the door for Jolicloud, but Jolicloud 1.1 gets them inside the house and on the couch.  Jolicloud now has the largest list of compatible netbooks and hardware, of any OS on the market.  Chances are that Jolicloud will run on just about anything you throw at it, don’t be worried if you don’t see your netbook on that list, it should install with no problem. That goes for all kinds of compatible computers.

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Another reason Jolicloud is ahead in the game, is the newly lauched Jolicloud netbook.  The Jolicloud netbook is intel based customized netbook powered by Jolicloud 1.1.  It’s running on a 1.5GHz dual core Intel Atom N550.  It comes with a 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 250GB hard drive, 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth, a small  300K pixel webcam, and a 6 cell battery that’s capable of running for upto 7 hours.  It also comes with a custom designed case.  It’s great for a kids or those looking for a good, no hassle netbook.  For now it’s only available in the UK, and it run you about £279 on Amazonjolibook

The best way I can break it down is if you are really, truly excited for Google Chrome OS, you don’t have to wait any longer to try.  Just go ahead and install Jolicloud 1.1.  Jolicloud is a great mashup of many different popular operating systems.  It has the looks of a mobile OS like iOS, and the features of a cl0ud OS like Chrome OS.  Jolicloud has a great selection of available web apps, and standard apps.  The new interface and desktop is just amazing.  If you’re looking for something new, Jolicloud might just be what you’re looking for.

The whole Jolicloud experience is much better, and much much more of a real operating system than Google’s Chrome OS might be.

All downloads and supported hardware can be found at Jolicloud’s website.

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3 thoughts on “[Review] The Jolicloud 1.1 Experience”

  1. Oh boy what a review. I have read about Jolicloud many times but your post made my mind to get it now. Atm, i am downloading it :)

  2. Great review. I am adding this comment using Jolicloud 1.1 on a Dell mini 10v w/160GB hard drive. Quick, responsive, an all around great OS. I happen to be an experienced Ubuntu user also, though not necessary, I like using APT for installs, updates and upgrades. I have not been handicapped in the least using this “cloud OS”. I have even installed Jolicloud 1.1 on the wifes Dell mini 10v w/16 GB SSD. It had Win XP Home. She thinks Jolicloud is great too.

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