it's time for another status update, because as usual a lot has happened since the last update. This time it's about the following topics:
-Master's thesis/Trust agenda
-Website (support, roadmap, design)
-QoL changes for the team / backend changes
-The latest changes in deletion of inactive accounts
2.0.16 // 07.02.2023
• Bugfix/QoL release
• Added back tray icon/indicator on Linux distros that support it
• Improved local directory watcher
• Improved cloudToLocal/cloudBackup sync modes
• Fixed sync not initiating when creating a new sync location
• Added korean translation
• Improved error handling
• Improved IPC communication
• Allow syncing of .lnk files
• Misc changes and bug fixes
Here are the dates of the last updates and as you can see there are a bit too many of them to list them all here without filling 3 pages. I have included our GitHub link below so that anyone who is really interested can read about all the changes. https://github.com/FilenCloudDienste/filen-desktop/releases
Last Update 2.0.27 08.11.2022 (November 8th)
Bug fix release
• Fixed various bugs that were causing issues with stability and (camera) uploads.
• Removed JCenter from Android deps, moved to Maven.
• Enabled Hermes JS engine for RN.
• Added internal logging.
• Permissions fix
New Mobile Update coming soon.
The latest mobile update will launch into beta very soon and will be released after extensive testing.
• Improved UI
• Improved camera upload with new syncing algorithm
• New gallery picker which preserves timestamps, names and metadata
• Support for partial video thumbnails (like in the Web Drive)
• Added "Follow system settings" (dark/light theme) toggle.
• Added "Hide recents" toggle.
• Overall improved performance and stability
• Added "Keep screen awake" toggle.
• Fixed cache clearing on startup and when clearing manually (no more cache congestion/local storage filling up)
• New transfers screen
• Added a round progress bar around the upload/download indicator.
• Added album selection for camera uploads on iOS.
• Added Korean translation.
• Fixed camera upload re-uploading images when they are saved to the gallery using the app.
• Fixed renaming files without extensions leads to trailing dot.
• Fixed PIN/Biometric auth internal timer
• Completely new text editor with support for syntax highlighting
• New and fixed grid view
• Faster uploads and downloads
Rest: Fixed GIF playback speed/ New authentication screens/ Fixed camera upload image timestamp/ Fixed offline mode & offline mode file previews/ Photos tab now shows videos that have thumbnails generated/ Fixed public link generation/ Grid/List view settings changed on a per folder basis/ Sort settings changed on a per folder basis/ Added announcement handler/ iOS: Add options to either keep original/convert/convert and keep original for live and burst photos for the camera upload/ WebP Previews and Thumbnails/ Image preview screen fixed/ Fixed a bug where the app would crash when the transfer progress is updated.
The new Filen Drive has now been released for a good 3 months and we hope you like it. We spent the time fixing all sorts of bugs and adding QoL changes. Thanks to everyone who reached out to us via social media or support if they noticed anything. We don't have the time to reply to everything, but we read almost everything and have received, evaluated, and potentially added hundreds of recommendations.
Listing everything we did here would go far beyond the scope of the book, as there are an incredible number of micro to mini changes. If you are really interested, we can create a compressed listing for the next status update. We will continue to improve the web drive and if we add any big new features, we will let you know.
We are currently working with universities in our area to support computer science students with their master's theses. Meanwhile we are looking for new highly qualified staff and new ideas in the field of research and development.
We are in the process of developing a trustworthiness agenda to better represent what makes Filen trustworthy and what can be done in the future to improve this even further. The agenda will contain a lot of interesting information about Filen's quality assurance and security assurance processes. We are still considering the form in which we want to publish it and some framework conditions. As soon as there is new information about this, we will of course let you know.
We noticed that we received an incredible number of daily repetitive questions in support about certain functions of the service and our security. As you can probably imagine, the common favorite question is still "Are lifetime plans stackable"(Yes btw). To make it easier for all of you to get quick answers to these questions, we've greatly expanded our FAQ area and our knowledgebase.
We have provided all questions with many keywords so that they can also be found using a wide variety of search queries. Simply enter the question in the search field in the support area of our site and see if there is a suitable answer. If you don't find what you are looking for, there is of course still the possibility to write a ticket to our team.
We have published an initial roadmap on our website. You can find it at the bottom of our website in the footer under the "Company" tab. So far it contains only very basic information, but we will try to fill it with more interesting details over time and of course keep it up to date. Feel free to let us know if you like the structure and if you have any ideas how to implement the project in an appealing way.
From the results of the user survey, we found that up to 75% of you would potentially be interested in Filen branded Merch. Of course, we were very happy about that, because we, the team, have been walking around all day long in our prized black Filen sweaters.
We are currently looking without obligation for a first business partner in order to be able to implement this idea in the course of the year. We definitely want to find a new partner who produces in an environmentally friendly way, with good quality and a modern cut, because we don't just want to wear the clothes ourselves and want to offer you a good product, but also want to pass the merch on to potential advertising partners.
If one of you happens to know a company you can recommend to us, please reach out to us.
As soon as there is time, I will start a new poll where you can vote on the design and colors of the merch items.
The Filen blog has been active for a few months now and we are still working out exactly how we want to use it. Feel free to drop by in the future and give us feedback. We are also planning to launch a newsletter later this year, to which anyone can voluntarily subscribe to receive the latest updates, offers and information.
QoL changes for the Team
To help us work more effectively, we are developing a new dashboard for our team. It's all about easier and faster refunds and better management of your plans. The only thing you will notice is that when you write a ticket to us, the operations around the payment process and the management of the plans will be faster. Basically, a faster and better tool that does it all and more.
We rewrote and improved much of the backend code. Although this has been very time consuming, it has further improved performance and security. We're planning an independent security audit later this year to certify all the recent changes. Of course, the changes have been made with the highest security standards in mind.
The latest changes in deletion of inactive accounts
We want to be as transparent as possible and, as you all know, inactive free accounts are reset after a certain period of time: This is an important part of securing the future of our business, as inactive accounts with potentially large amounts of data cost us a lot of money without any benefit to the user. We have now extended this algorithm.
• Depending on the account, other periods of time apply until termination.
• To make an inactive account "active" again, all you must do is log in once using any device. Nothing more!
So here is the new model:
After three months of inactivity, a total of 3 e-mails are sent every 7 days to remind the user to log in once. After the fourth week of inactivity, the account data will be reset. Seen in this way, there are four months for a free user to show himself alive.
We have thought about the range for a long time and consider this solution to be more than fair. Not only that it is a absolutely customary practice, if not even a generous amount of time before deletion, users who have a free account only have to log in three times a year to be able to use Filen free of charge for as long as they want.
Accounts that store more than their Plan offers:
There are some accounts that have purchased a pro plan in the past and have since canceled it without adjusting the storage on their account. Up to now we have ignored this problem and the only limitation was that accounts over their limit could not upload any more data. But now Filen has slowly reached a size where this has too great of a negative impact. Unfortunately, some users have exploited the system and, for example, acquired a 2TB plan for a single month just to fully load the account and cancel the plan again. Although these users could no longer use the account, they had a free 2TB backup for an unlimited time. Since this system was unfair for everyone involved, we will treat accounts above their limit differently from now on.
If an account now stores more data than the plan of the account offers for more than three months, 3 e-mails will be sent at intervals of 7 days asking the user to adjust the amount of data on the account to the bought/free plan. If this does not happen, so much data will be removed until the account does not store more than it is allowed to.
No account will be deleted, only the unpaid storage space will be removed
A User purchases a 100GB plan and uploads 100GB of data. Now he cancels his plan. The account now has a limit of 10GB but stores 100GB. Three months after the expiry date of the old plan, the three emails will be sent each 7 days apart. If nothing happens, 90GB of the account will be removed in the fourth week (i.e. after a total of 4 months).
We know this is a hot topic, but we think we found a good solution.
As you know, lifetime accounts are supposed to be lifetime accounts. Nothing will change that. However, there are a few cases where it really doesn't make sense for us to keep data forever. For example, if a person dies without ever sharing the account password with anyone, we would theoretically have to store and pay for the data forever without anyone ever being able to access it again (encryption!). You don't have to be a good mathematician to see that this doesn't work financially.
In order not to cause any trouble for normal customers, we have decided to declare lifetime accounts inactive as soon as nobody has logged into them for THREE (3) YEARS. After three years of inactivity, 9 emails total will be sent each 7 days to alert the account owner.
Important: No account will be deleted, but it will be declared inactive. The purchased storage quota will remain in your account, but the used storage will be reset.
We think every living person is able to log in with one click once every three years. (By the way, Filen as a company is only two years old).
We hope that you can understand these changes, especially since inactive accounts and scroungers are not only a problem for us, but of course also increase the costs for all normal customers.
The order of events may vary:
We will continue to update the Web drive, the Apps and the Client while constantly improving them.
• The new and highly anticipated mobile update is coming soon after beta testing is completed.
• The website will receive new information (and will be reworked a bit in terms of design).
• The Trust Agenda will be completed and (partially) published.
• The newsletter will be available.
• Write access support for shared folders and public links will be developed.
• The Merch Store becomes available.
• WebDAV client and rclone integration, virtual drive mounting will be developed.
That's it for now.