Dropbox and Google Drive may be all the rage these days, but some people don't trust their data to such overlords. Cloud? Cloud! I'll host my own files, thank you very much. It's not too difficult anymore. Those that own a Synology NAS will be happy to know that a whole host of updates have rolled out to make accessing and managing files from Android all the better. These improvements coincide with the release of Synology's DiskStation Manager 4.3 beta.


Major Updates

DS audio and DS photo+ have received big 3.0 updates. Lets tackle these in order, shall we? First, DS audio provides an interface for streaming music from your personal cloud to any of your Android devices. The update bumps the interface up to 4.x and adds the ability to download music for offline listening. Album covers are now displayed while browsing, and playlist management has been expanded.

DSaudio3 DSaudio4 DSaudio5

DSaudio1 DSaudio2

DS photo+ is the easiest way to access photos stored on your Synology NAS. The updated version improves the overall browsing experience and adds support for Google TV.

DSphoto 5 DSphoto 4 DSphoto 3

DSphoto 1 DSphoto 2

DS audio:

  • A new sleek theme and an “Android 4.x” interface for the Phone version
  • Songs can now be downloaded for Offline listening
  • Album covers are displayed when browsing
  • Complete playlist management (create, edit and delete)
  • “By Composer” now added to browse your library
  • A mini-player always accessible on the Phone version
  • Songs stop when speakers are unplugged
  • Login settings give you total control over remembering login credentials, as well as been logged in automatically

DS photo+:

  • Now available on Google TV
  • Browse any Smart album, Tag, as well as Category you have created in Photo Station
  • Login settings give you complete control over remembering login credentials, as well as being logged in automatically
  • Sub-album names are now displayed in thumbnail mode
  • Filters have been added to quickly search photo names and tags
  • Minor bug fixes

Minor Updates

Synology has made smaller updates to its DS cloud and DS video apps. The former now lets users select SD cards for syncing. The latter now supports viewing user-defined libraries. It does has known limitations to watch out for, such as the lack of subtitles when streaming to a DLNA TV.

DScloud DSvideo

DS cloud:

  • Your Android device’s SD card can now be selected to sync files
  • Folders on the Android device’s SD card can now be selected to sync their contents with folders on the DiskStation
  • Minor bug fixes

DS video:

  • View user-defined libraries (requires Video Station 1.2 Beta)
  • Minor bugs fixes
    Known limitations and issues:
  • No display of subtitles when streaming to a DLNA TV
  • When updating to DS video 1.2 from an older version, the login history will be deleted to avoid any security concern

Bug Fixes

Synology's also squashed a few bugs in its DS cam and DS download apps. DS cam is an app for monitoring security cameras, while the latter, unsurprisingly, is a download manager.



DS cam

  • Minor bug fixes

DS download

  • Fixed an issue where error messages would keep on popping up on certain tablets in landscape mode
  • Minor bug fixes

Beta Program

Still with me? Good. I'll keep this short. DiskStation Manager 4.3 is the updated interface for interacting with your private cloud. The new version lets users hand-select which files they want to keep synched across multiple devices, and Synology is rolling out a Linux client as well. There are also improvements to both the Photo Station (like a new mosaic-like viewing format) and the Video Station (such as support for Roku TV).

Other DiskStation Manager 4.3 features:

  • Offload Data Transfer (ODX) - Increases iSCSI storage performance when used with Windows 2012 Servers
  • SSD caching from any tray in XS and XS+ models - Expand the pool of fast access data by using spare bays for SSD caching.
  • Full Link Aggregation Support with Synology High Availability (SHA) - Enables significantly faster communication between SHA clusters. 
  • Now Cloud Station backup saves the portion of a file that has been changed, making for more efficient use of your storage
  • ­Folder level link sharing. Generate a direct download link for individual files or whole folders.
  • New mobile apps - New interfaces and features for iOS, and Android. Now Windows phone System users can get almost all of the same features and benefits as Android and iOS.

DiskStation Manager 4.3 is now entering public beta. Anyone with a Synology NAS is free to download the necessary packages. Synology will give away a Synology DS213air to up to three users within 10 days of the end of the program.

Source: Synology

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Herman

    I thought this article was about the Nintendo DS, or an app for it...

  • Matthew Fry

    I do not own a Synology DiskStation and I have nothing to say on the matter.

    • Amer Khaznadar

      And yet you've made a post.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I own a Synology Diskstation which I just upgraded to 4.3 beta but I also have nothing to say on the matter. Don't really use any of their Android apps, but it's nice to have the option and nice to see the company continue to update them.

      • fonix232

        I don't have a DiskStation either. I built a small server out of a HP m8000 Media Center, it currently houses 4 hard drives (3TB in JBOD), and works awesomely. Of course hacked DSM has a few problems (one of them being no support for my hardware, a P4-based system, in the stock kernel, or the fact that it fiddles with the BIOS CMOS, so no restart possible), but usually works fine. Right now serves as an LDAP server for authenticating on all my computers, storing documents and stuff, RADIUS server for my network, Couchpotato and Sickbeard for, uh, I believe you can guess :D

        Any way, my point would be, that I do not like the Android apps for the DS at all. The music player is usable if you want to use the crappy Synology Audio Station, Photos, I don't use them, the Security Station is quite limited, the Downloader sucks as it is, and I could go on. Interestingly, the only app that wasn't updated, the DS Finder, wasn't updated. And that lacks a lot of functionality, things that could be easily added. I want a service manager, access to all my control panel settings, etc., not just something that lists things that I already know (local IP address of the server? Thanks, great help...).

        Soon I'll move to a HP ProLiant MicroServer (N40L, N54L or Gen8, haven't decided yet), and am still thinking about my options. FreeNAS is BSD-based (and brings out my non-existent Tourette), other distros are mostly unprepared for headless, web-access working, and the direct targeting distros are not yet up to commercial ones (OpenFiler, OpenMediaVault). Solution is either a hacked Synology or throwing out most of my software, and moving to MS Windows Server 2013 Essentials. Artem, which way would you go?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          To be honest, my setup involves a RAID5 on the desktop PC with 3TB total and the Synology station only has 1TB RAID1, so I use it for backups and some storage. I don't love it, but I am also relatively satisfied with anything that doesn't rely on my main desktop to be up. I'm fine with the Synology for my purposes, but I'd also be fine with any Windows PC as well. I use Linux on my servers, but for a file server at home, I'd still go for Windows because I'm familiar with it, and it suits my needs. Don't even know why I'd need a Server 2013 vs just Pro.

          • fonix232

            Yes, well, while a Windows server would be easier to manage, there's many things I use that would not work out well, for example, Sickbeard. I'll have to think it through, though it is more of a media server for me than a file server (even if I use SMB for media transfer, DLNA is utterly unreliable).

            And I'd use Server because it has some nefty server-tools, plus I have the license (perks of being an IT student :D ), while I do not have any more for "standard" Windows (this happens if you have three computers that you use all the time).

  • Markus Beeks

    Am I the only one that noticed Rihana's beat up face?

  • Ashish

    Anyone know if the DS Photo app will do auto upload similar to Google +?

    • D Duffy

      yes, DS Photo will auto upload photos taken to a user definied location on your NAS device. Its under the settings of the mobile app and works beautifully in the background.
      Synology is great about updating the server software as well as the mobile applications and they respond quickly to users who request new features/bug fixes.