F-Secure is best known for its security products such as Internet Security or Anti-Virus, and not necessarily for non-security related products.
The company released a private beta version of Younited some time ago, and has made available the new product publicly today. To be precise, program and app downloads are now available, while sign-ups are still limited and not available right away.
Younited on first glance is yet another cloud-based file synchronization application that you can use to keep your files in sync on all of your devices. It supports Windows and Mac, as well as the three major mobile operating systems iOS, Windows Phone and Android, and web access on top of all that.
What sets Younited apart from other services is the fact that you can integrate other cloud services into it. For now, that just means Google Picasa, with support for other services such as Dropbox or Facebook planned in the near future.
The basic idea behind the service is to make it the central location for local and cloud-hosted files.
But wait, isn't that already possible, at least for some services? If you are tech-savvy enough, you can easily add synced folders of services such as Dropbox to other sharing services, so that they get synced using them as well.
While that is an option for users who know how to do so, most users probably do not and that's where a service like Younited may come in useful.
Once you have installed the service on your system you will notice that it creates a new folder under your user directory on Windows. This is the core sync folder where all the magic happens.
It won't do you any good right now, as you still need to sign up for a -- free -- account before you can start using it to synchronize data.
While downloads are provided on the project's website, accounts cannot be created right now. All you can do is leave your email message to be informed when spots become available.
This is everything but elegant, considering that users who have downloaded the client for their operating system may be discouraged to give this a try as they cannot start to use the service right away.
The support page highlights other issues and provides additional information about the service.
It highlights the costs associated with it. The free account gives users 10 Gigabytes of free space until 2014, when it will be reduced to 5 Gigabytes for all new users. Users who need additional storage space can sign up for a Medium account for €74.99 per year and 200 Gigabyte of free space, or a Premium account for €120 a year and 500 Gigabyte of space.
That's cheaper than Dropbox's Pro plan which sets you back $99 per year and gets you 100 GB of space, and about the same price as Microsoft's SkyDrive and Google's Drive charge for 200 Gigabyte of space ($100 and $119 respectively).
Younited's unification feature may be giving it an edge, at least when it comes to the services that it supports. As far as other features are concerned, it supports version controlling, offline access, remote access on the web, and file sharing.
It is rather unfortunate that downloads are already available on the Younited website while the account creation is still limited. This will certainly discourage several users who download and install the program, as they will find out that they cannot use it for anything at that time.
The success of the service depends largely on the integration of third party cloud services. If it launches with just Picase, it is almost certain that it won't be as appealing as if popular services such as SkyDrive, Facebook or Dropbox would be available.