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Ubuntu Handhelds Operating Systems Windows Technology

Ubuntu Tablets: Less Jarring Than Windows 8? 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the fewer-solid-color-rectangles dept.
Following up on yesterday's news that Ubuntu for Tablets has been announced, Mark Shuttleworth answered questions about the purpose of the new version of Canonical's OS and what its intended strengths will be. He made special note of how Canonical wants the transition between desktop-Ubuntu and mobile-Ubuntu to be smooth. "When you transition from the tablet to the desktop, things don't move around. Your indicators, things like network status and time, they don't jump around on screen, they stay in the same place. That's what's really different certainly between our approach to convergence and for example Windows 8, where when you're in the desktop mode, which looks like Windows 7, and suddenly you get the new tile-based interface, it's a stark transition that can be jarring for users. In our case, you can almost think of those as gentle phase changes. When you go from phone to tablet you're stretching the device in very obvious ways. People who've used iOS on both phones and tablets would expect that. What's nice about Ubuntu is the phase change to the PC experience up from the tablet really just introduces window management, and it also introduces things like menus and dialog boxes. You aren't moving things around in dramatic ways." He added that they expect the user experiences to converge in Ubuntu 14.04. Shuttleworth also addressed the fragmentation problem faced by Android. He says manufacturers and carriers don't want to fall into that trap again, and that they've been receptive to the idea of leaving the core of Ubuntu alone while tweaking their individual services instead.
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Ubuntu Tablets: Less Jarring Than Windows 8?

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  • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @08:48AM (#42954913) Journal

    When I sit down at my PC, I want an interface that is designed for use on a PC, using a mouse and keyboard, and a large display.

    When I pick up my phone or tablet, I want an interface that is designed for use on a phone or tablet, using finger swipes, taps, and gestures, and a small display.

    THESE ARE TWO COMPLETELY FUCKING DIFFERENT THINGS.

    Stop trying to make them the same.

    Read page two, doofus:

    "Developers will be able to ship a single application binary which itself can respond to the different form factors," Shuttleworth said. "You will be able to write a single application binary that can run on a phone, or a tablet, a PC, or a TV, and it will declare to the system which of those form factors it can support and we will present the appropriate interface for that application on each of those form factors."

  • by thelamecamel (561865) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @08:50AM (#42954933)

    Thankfully the snooping is going to remain optional (although still opt-out rather than opt-in). I've still got it turned off on my desktop, but reading documents like this [ubuntu.com] (specifically the Data and metrics passed to the Smart Scopes service section) are a little reassuring, in that you can see that the developers are thinking about how to take only the data they need and are trying to protect it. I particularly like their (far-off) plans for sending location information: they won't send your exact co-ordinates like Google or Apple does - they'll round them off to maybe a 10km square because that level of location accuracy is probably not needed for the search. There's also a friendlier summary of the spec [omgubuntu.co.uk] available.

    That said, while this kind of fuck up [launchpad.net] is still happening, I'm going to keep online search off, despite being tempted by functionality like its iView (Aussie Hulu) support.

    I too hope that you don't need an Ubuntu One account to use the tablet...

  • by ByOhTek (1181381) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @08:54AM (#42954963) Journal

    Separating UI from logic is a design paradigm that is well over 10 years old. It's generally a good idea, not just for different form factors like this, but for cross platform apps where you may not have a good UI library across all target platforms.

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