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Ubuntu Cellphones Technology Linux

Ubuntu For Phones To Arrive Next Week On Nexus 4 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the year-of-linux-on-the-nexus4top dept.
nk497 writes "Canonical has revealed that a developer preview of Ubuntu for phones will arrive next week, on the 21st of February. The touch preview will initially only be available for the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones, but Canonical plans to support more devices. The release is designed to let developers create apps — and to give 'enthusiasts' a sneak peek — ahead of the smartphone side of Ubuntu arriving in version 13.10 in October. Canonical suggested that the OS will initially only support low-end smartphones, but the group plans to also support higher-end models, too, and the OS will work across mobile devices, PCs and TVs."
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Ubuntu For Phones To Arrive Next Week On Nexus 4

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  • i could see it. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 15, 2013 @04:00PM (#42914735)

    I can't see it ever becoming more than a gnat on the side of Android and iOS, but I can see it filling a particular niche - a phone for more technically literate people who are not happy with Apple's draconian control and Android's data harvesting (excepting certain community mods like Cyanogenmod, granted).

    If it turns into a device that can run my desktop software with a "real" windowing system with good mouse/kbd support, e.g, not a bunch of fullscreen touch apps when it's talking to PC peripherals, and without losing good touch support when it's acting as a mobile device, then hey I'm down. Hope they port it to the Galaxy S3 or upcoming S4.

    Apps will be tricky since the community will be so much smaller than iOS and Android. But we need to support phones that don't march us ever closer to a world where everybody's experience is beholden to megacorps. Even if there are amazon-shoppping-whatzits installed on the Ubuntu phone by default, if it's really fairly bog stock ubuntu underneath without a ton of carrier-locked-down shit, could be good. I could see it being everything the N770/N800/N900 series could have been had it kept on being developed: a hacker's dream phone.

    Will reserve final judgment until I get to test drive one.

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      The interesting point there is that potentially could be installed in most actual android phones, at least the ones where cyanogenmod could be installed. Is not just one device, but a lot of them, available now, not in october. Would love to see it ported to the N9 (a phone designed for gestures), but probably Sailfish will win there, mostly because device drivers.
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        the hw in n9 isn't any more designed for gestures than say xperia play, 808, samsung galaxy or whatever else that's cap touch screen...

        and this thing eats memory.

    • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

      I can see it filling a particular niche - a phone for more technically literate people who are not happy with Apple's draconian control and Android's data harvesting (excepting certain community mods like Cyanogenmod, granted).

      I

      I'm holding out for the command line phone. Anything else is just for sissies.......

  • I was at the FirefoxOS announcement in Brazil. They gave a developer device to many developers because it is on its first steps. I think it will have a very long way to beat the Canonical OS.
    • by robmv (855035)

      Not sure about that, at least Mozilla has a hardware partner that will launch Firefox OS devices. Ubuntu Phone sounds like the Ubuntu TV announcement from last year, no hardware partner at that time, no TVs yet. Images for existing phones will not get them any market share

      • by osoriojr (1671500)
        Well... At this point I will agree with you. I really saw the Firefox OS developer device, its real and works.
  • by Improv (2467) <pgunn@dachte.org> on Friday February 15, 2013 @04:16PM (#42914973) Homepage Journal

    If they're targeting low-end smartphones, either there's a range of super amazing phones I'm completely unaware of, or the decision to release for Nexus 4 as well is a bit odd.

    • by LarryRiedel (141315) <Larry@Riedel.org> on Friday February 15, 2013 @04:26PM (#42915125)

      I figure the Nexus 4 is a low-end 2014 smartphone, the target for Ubuntu.

    • by ChunderDownunder (709234) on Friday February 15, 2013 @07:52PM (#42917701)

      The preview release has nothing to do with high or low end. The Nexus 4 devices have community support through AOSP and are targets for community development such as replicant and freedreno. It's a hacker phone, a shipping product that provides a base platform on actual hardware. Such that first-world nerds such the average Slashdotter might possibly own and thereby try out Ubuntu and contribute to the ecosystem.

      By targeting the Nexus 4, they support one of the more popular SoCs in Snapdragon. Coincidentally, Snapdragons are found in the both the developer phones that Geeksphone are producing for Firefox OS, neither of which are super high end by flagship Samsung/HTC/Apple standards.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Canonical suggested that the OS will initially only support low-end smartphones... will initially only be available for the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones." Low-end?? And who would replace their latest and greatest Android with Ubuntu "testing"? Canonical sure know how to make new friends.

    • by Patch86 (1465427)

      The image for Nexus 4 is a developer release- something for their army of coders to use to write applications and so forth. It is not necessarily representative of their "for the market" offerings, which they claim will all be purpose made, with Ubuntu pre-installed, in the normal fashion for phones.

      Nexus 4 is higher spec than their claimed "low spec" requirements, if I recall correctly, but is not as powerful as their "high spec superphone" requirements, which seems to be aimed at hardware which isn't like

  • by bogaboga (793279) on Friday February 15, 2013 @04:22PM (#42915065)

    Is there any? I ask because I don't see the possibility of support conracts...Or do they exist? Anyone?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They want to convence phone makers to make Ubuntu phones rather then Android phones.

      The people trying it out aren't really the target audience, they are the argument.

    • by Rhys (96510)

      Sure it exists, its called a Landscape subscription. Being able to manage both the desktops and smartphones/tablets for a company all through Landscape is actually kinda compelling. I know a lot of IT pros, since I used to be one before going back into programming and they universally hate hate hate iOS/Android/etc phones, because they is no good central management for them.

      I'm sure for paid apps (on the desktop or phone or phone-desktop hybrid) Canonical gets a cut. The phone app store is much more a cultu

  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@keirstea d . o rg> on Friday February 15, 2013 @04:24PM (#42915097) Homepage

    Ubuntu has been surprisingly close to the chest on this effort. I haven't seen any source code come out for this, or for their Ubuntu for Android work. If they release the source for this, it will be ported to a plethora of devices in a very short time period. There is a very active community of developers on xda-developers.com who would be all over this.

    So it makes me wonder, if they plan on releasing source at all, or if this will be some closed-source fork, and thus useless.

    • by Knuckles (8964) <knuckles@nOsPaM.dantian.org> on Friday February 15, 2013 @04:45PM (#42915421)

      London, 15th February 2013:

      Images and open source code for the Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu will be published on Thursday 21st February, supporting the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones.

      Canonical press release [canonical.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They CAN'T fork it closed-source due to the GPL. Even if they could, they'd risk alienating everyone who helps Ubuntu for free.

    • by rdnetto (955205)

      Ubuntu has been surprisingly close to the chest on this effort. I haven't seen any source code come out for this, or for their Ubuntu for Android work. If they release the source for this, it will be ported to a plethora of devices in a very short time period. There is a very active community of developers on xda-developers.com who would be all over this.

      So it makes me wonder, if they plan on releasing source at all, or if this will be some closed-source fork, and thus useless.

      There's not much that needs to be ported, really. All the Ubuntu-specific stuff is in userspace, so it can be used as is or with a recompile at most. The bit that differs between phones is the kernel, and that's where the bulk of the effort will be in targeting other phones (either in modifying the Android kernel to function like the mainline Linux kernel, or merging the drivers into the mainline kernel).

  • by Luthair (847766) on Friday February 15, 2013 @05:04PM (#42915759)
    Hint to anyone peddling a new phone OS, target devices which have been abandoned. Why would someone who explicitly bought an Android device which will always be updated suddenly abandon ship and install another OS? On the other hand users who have been abandoned on an older version are much more likely to roll the dice and throw something on.
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      Hint to anyone peddling a new phone OS, target devices which have been abandoned. Why would someone who explicitly bought an Android device which will always be updated suddenly abandon ship and install another OS? On the other hand users who have been abandoned on an older version are much more likely to roll the dice and throw something on.

      well.. they'll be obsolete devices in few years!

      but their web apps mentality would provide you with really, really basic stuff on 100$ zte's.

    • Because we like to tinker?

      I have a Galaxy Nexus, which is my only phone, and I will be installing this at the first opportunity. I have no idea how long it will *stay* on there (nandroid backup standing by), but I want to check it out.

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