Why I’m switching to My Cozy Cloud

Logo Cozy Cloud

Cozy Cloud Logo

Cozy a Personal Cloud you can host, customize and fully control

Here’s this new emerging and promising tool’s pledge. I tried this for you, and here is why I switched to My Cozy Cloud.

Why ?

It’s been a long time since the idea of leaving Google (more and more) behind came to my mind. Nobody can deny the firm’s lack of consideration for the Internet users privacy. That said, working with a MacBook and an Android smartphone, the ‘Google’ solution was one of the most convenient to synchronise my devices.

Thanks to Cozy, I’ll be able to gather every service I use at the same place, and manage my time without Silicon Valley knowing when I’m using the bathroom 🙂

Enough trolling :

Concept

So, Cozy is a personal cloud platform, fully customisable and, above all, open-source. The tool is fully adjustble, offering the opportunity to install only the features you need…

Cozy official team maintains multiple applications (photos, calendar…) meanwhile, Open Source FTW, you can develop and use your own applications and the ones provided by the community.

Home Cozy

Cozy Home

Installing Cozy Cloud

The installation is _really_ easy. I swear. Moreover, the doc is really well written and complete. Long story short, after having installed `fab`, you just have to input:

fill in the SSH password, grab a coffee and enjoy !

Then browsing

takes you to the Home page.

Once the login/pass is created, it’s fully fonctionnal, with a pretty guided tour popping, helping you install basic apps (calendar, photos, contacts, files).

The interface is clean, simple, user-friendly and really makes you wanna use the tool.

Next to the installed apps, you can browse Cozy market, and enjoy applications provided by the community (or even yours). Be careful that the Cozy team does not maintain theses applications, but is most of the time the connection between you and the developer, providing them with bug alerts and informations.

Cozy Cloud Market

Cozy Cloud Market

Main modules

Calendar

Cozy calendar

Cozy calendar

Here, the interface is clear and efficient too. 3 views are available: Month, week, list. Clicking on a day allows you to add an event, adding more details if you like, such as guests, alerts, recurrence.

Calendar - détail

Calendar – detail

Contacts

Champs contact

Champs contact

 The contact card is classic, but provides you with quite a lot of additional fields, most of which social networks oriented.

You can also link notes to a contact, export cards (.vcf format) or export / import all contacts as vcard.

Files – Photos

Both modules work the same way, with folders for files and albums for photos.

The Photo module let you import multiple elements as a new album via upload, drag-drop or by importing some Files module elements. You can also share albums (private / public share), download them as a zip, or view pictures online, with a pretty pic viewer.

As for the File module, it offers a very convenient tag system.

Cozy album

Cozy album

Email

Last main module, Email. Cozy offers you a way to centralize multiple email boxes, directly on the online tool.

Adding a new account is very simple, the process is intuitive. You can, on an account basis, manage, create, remove folders, and configure special behaviours (where to save drafts, what to do with deleted emails, etc.)

Several sorting options are available: all, unread only, with attachment only.

Cozy mail

Cozy mail

 

Little drawback for now on this module: at the moment, it’s neither possible to sort emails by date, nor to move them between accounts (but you can move them between folders within the same account). But rest assured that the team will quickly take care of that 🙂

Synchronisation

Yep, everything can be synchronised. “Sync” module gives you all the informations you need (credentials, URL…) with a simple clic, mostly for Android and iOS, but also for Thunderbird. The doc also mentions several useful softwares.

Synchronising calendar can easily be done with a tool such as iCal, inputing URL and credentials. That’s it, it works.

On an Android device, you need a specific tool. I used DavDroid, an open source solution you can download via a free tool named F-Droid. It allows you to easily synchronise both calendars and contacts.

I didn’t test on iOS nor on FirefoxOS (yep, that works there too), but in the light of the doc, you should only have to fill in a calDAV link.

Synchro appli Cozy Cloud

Synchro appli Cozy Cloud

Regarding Files and Photos, Cozy offers a specific mobile app on the Play Store, that you can configure and use to synchronise your files / photos and folders / albums. The Cozy touch is here too, with a simple yet efficient design. Here again, URL + password, and you’re done.

Conclusion

Checked one by one, Cozy modules don’t do more stuff than Gmail, Deezer and stuff could do. Right, but :

  • It does it really well
  • It’s free
  • It’s open source
  • It’s fully customisable
  • Additional modules are available / doable
  • It respects your privacy, you can host it on your own server
  • It’s made with love by French devs 🙂

Above all, when using mulitple modules, Cozy turns into a complete a pretty interface, that you can access from wherever you like. It gathers every services that other solutions provide individually. Moreover, having to deal with only one URL / account to synchronise everything is really nice !

Developers are open-minded, (pro/re)active,  and available on both forum and twitter. The community is nice and always moving. By the way, you can follow up commits on their Github account.

Anyway, if you wanna take part, or build your apps, come and join them on Cozy.io !

4 comments

    • m4dz

      Hi Bruno,

      I reply to your question as a Cozy developer. OwnCloud is an excellent product and I expect we are also a good one. They differ on their base features and concepts: OwnCloud is mainly oriented as a multi-users plateform, dedicated to sharing and own-storage. Cozy is defintely mono-user oriented (e.g. as you are with your smartphone) and its architecture is minded to facilitates data-exhanges between apps. We think at Cozy that self-host its data can be really useful only if you can use it between apps; say, you can direclty open your phone provider application from you bank app to view the details of an invoice, from which you can map phone numbers and contacts (because they are already in your contact app). So, each app is simply a consumer fro your data-docs stored in a data-system layer.

      As you see, each products have their architecture choices, and a product can fit better to your need. We only build tools, users use them as they want ;).

      I hope this give you more informations to make your choice. Let us know if you need more informations :).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *