Live Mesh Beta update – Initial review

Now that the Live Mesh team has finished rolling out their update, here’s a quick overview of the new stuff (beyond the obvious like this now being a beta with worldwide availability).

So I have geeky PC names - sue meProgress meters in the Live Mesh client – this was a popular request ever since Mesh first rolled out in the CTP, as it was impossible to accurately tell how much had been uploaded or downloaded. The data was available definitely wasn’t reliable, but this appears to have changed for the better with the latest update.

Now there are both upload and download meters available for each device, and our initial tests showed they were reliable indicators of progress.

P2P Sync options in the client – While P2P synchronising has been available in the web desktop for some time, you can now set this option direct from the client. This allows you to transmit larger files direct to other machines, without using up your 5GB storage online.

Right click the Live Mesh folder you want to make p2p only, then click Live Mesh Options – Change Sync Settings

Roles – Now you can set the read / write access of users who have access to your files. Again this can be set through the Live Mesh options available in the client, or via the Web Desktop. Four roles are available, Reader, Contributor, Owner and Creator, with access controls in cumulative order being Read, Write and Delete, Manage Users, Stop Synchronising respectively.

Drag & Drop – Now you can drag and drop files from the pc desktop straight into the web desktop. You’ll need to install an activex control, which unfortunately makes this feature limited to Internet Explorer only for the moment.

Overall the feature-set of the update is good, especially with the Mac and Windows Mobile clients becoming available. See our earlier post on the pre-beta Mac client for screenshots, but Kevin Tofel confirms there is still no remote access.

A word of warning, we’ve noticed some significant performance issues since the update. This ranges from the slow loading of folders and file contents on the web desktop, through to the client rendering a PC unresponsive due to prolonged periods of heavy cpu usage, whilst uploading. While we hope its just teething problems, its yet another reminder that Software+Services still has some quirks to overcome (the first being that since upgrading to Windows Mobile 6.1, I can’t synchronise my Windows Live contacts. Helpful!)

Update: Lots of reported issues with mobile so not working just yet, oops. There should be a new build out v. soon to resolve the issues people are having. In the mean time check out the Live Mesh Mobile forums.