Event Coverage

Synology Unveils DSM 5.0 Beta

By Michael Low - 4 Jan 2014

Synology Unveils DSM 5.0 Beta

Synology Unveils DSM 5.0 Beta

NAS users, particularly Synology fans, will want to hold on to their seats as the Taiwanese corporation has announced the imminent arrival of its popular DiskStation Manager (DSM) 5.0 software. Now in its beta phase, the DSM 5.0 aims to deliver significant enhancements to the Synology NAS experience by extending its cloud, cross-platform and business capabilities.

Vic Shu, CEO of Synology Inc., opened his keynote by announcing that the DSM 5.0 unveiling today represents the 12th DSM beta launch event for Synology.

The beta launch event was held earlier today at the Sheraton Grande Taipei Hotel in Taiwan, which is the first of several DSM 5.0 beta unveilings to be held worldwide all through Q1 2014. Despite being an open invitation event, the majority of the turnouts were existing Synology NAS users, followed closely by non-DSM users, partners and the international press.

The new DSM 5.0 beta offers a sleek, clean interface that will take advantage of high resolution displays, such as Retina display or 4K display.

Those familiar with the DSM 4.3 interface will feel right at home with the DSM 5.0 beta. You may not noticed it at first glance, but the visual elements, particular the icons, have been given a high-resolution facelift to take advantage of 4K and Retina displays, including touchscreen monitors. 

Although highly reminiscent of Launchpad in Mac OS X Lion, the icon view of the packages allow users to drag and drop their frequently accessed favourites to the main desktop screen with ease.

Both the Package Center and QuickConnect were enhanced for the DSM 5.0 beta. The former now automatically checks and applies the latest update to the installed packages, while the latter makes staying connected to a Synology NAS easier without the need for complicated IP addresses and messy router configurations.

Due to popular demand, the DSM 5.0 beta has added the option to share photos or documents via Facebook and Google+, especially for friends who are non-DSM users.

In a bid to improve productivity, the DSM 5.0 beta incorporates a built-in text editor, which is great for editing documents or source codes on the fly. One of the most requested feature from Synology NAS users is the ability to cloud sync to Google Drive and Dropbox, and that is now possible in the 5.0 beta, complete with a step-by-step guide to configure the process.

Starting with the 5.0 beta, users can enjoy two-way DiskStation synchronization, where files and folders can be shared between two Synology NAS without the need for manual downloading.

On the entertainment front, Photo Station is made more intuitive as photo albums can be nested inside each other, which is great when arranging photos by year or event. Video Station, on the other hand, can be customized to display movie posters on your existing video collection. Meanwhile, video content with AC3 audio that are streamed to an Apple TV via AirPlay will be played back with 5.1-channel surround sound.

Have a video in Photo Station that has viral potential? You can now upload it directly to YouTube with relative ease.

Moving on to the mobile apps, DS file now displays icons and a quick preview mode for faster navigation. In addition to an improved search function, the app also allows users to compress files into a .ZIP file, which can then be forwarded via email, shared as URL or unzipped into another folder. Following the two-way DiskStation sync, DS cloud lets you remotely access the connected Synology NAS devices, as well as view the recent changes to the shared content.

Synology surprised the crowd with a demo of the DS video app streaming content to a TV with Chromecast. While the feature may or may not appear in the final DSM 5.0 release, the DS video app will soon be available on Samsung Smart TVs. 

Getting on a long flight? Sync your video content from the Synology NAS to a tablet with the improved DS video app.

DS download, the next Synology app for Windows Phone 8, will let users manage their download tasks (including BitTorrent) on a Synology NAS from their smartphone.

Have we piqued your interest in the DSM 5.0 beta? Well, you won't have to wait long, as Synology has announced that the beta will be available for download before late January 2014.