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Ubuntu Cellphones

Ubuntu Touch Developers Aim for Daily Phone Usability Before June 83

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the openmoko-repeats-itself dept.
colinneagle writes with the latest Ubuntu Touch news. From the article: "The team behind Ubuntu Touch (aka 'Ubuntu for Phones') have committed to pushing forward to a ready-to-use version of the OS, one that the group will use to 'eat their own dog food,' by the end of May. What that means: Over the next few weeks, the team behind Ubuntu Touch is going to be attempting to implement enough functionality to make it possible to use Ubuntu on your phone (such as the Nexus 4) on a day-to-day basis. At which point their development team will be doing exactly that." The developers are aiming just to have basic functionality working by the end of the month: calls, sms, data over wifi and cellular, a working address book, and preservation of user data across OS flashes.
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Ubuntu Touch Developers Aim for Daily Phone Usability Before June

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  • Is this pre-news? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Seems like it would be better to report results rather than intentions

    • Re:Is this pre-news? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by lister king of smeg (2481612) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @10:32PM (#43681689)

      that the thing though if they waited it would get no attention from the community and being open source the community are the developers.
      On the other hand though this is just another attempt to make ubuntu-phone Frankenstein that will never pan out. remember ubuntu mobile (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_Mobile) and there was ubuntu moblin remix. oh and don't forget the aborted ubuntu android compatibility layer meant to run android binaries on top of ubuntu then a few months latter they about-face and try to run ubuntu on top of android. If we could every get a free/opensource tablet with drivers in the mainline kernal and a gnu/linux and desent specs i would stand in line for it, but until then i will have to be content with android

    • Re:Is this pre-news? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sabri (584428) * on Thursday May 09, 2013 @10:44PM (#43681743)

      Seems like it would be better to report results rather than intentions

      I disagree. I'm sure a number of people would volunteer to be part of that alpha test and report bugs without crying first. The more people test, the more bugs they find, the better the first release will be. I'd volunteer if my phone was not a company phone.

      • by mcrbids (148650)

        Forget the latest phones, they'll run whatever O/S they came with. I have a Razr Maxx HD and I'm so in love with it's DAYS of battery life and snappy performance that I won't change anything. (for now)

        but, I have a fairly recent model Samsung Stratosphere that's about a year or so old. It's the phone I had before the Razr, and while it's no award winning phone, it still has relatively decent hardware. It runs Android 2.3, has a DVD quality video, Ghz processor, 512 RAM, 5 MP camera, 4 GB internal storage a

    • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @11:35PM (#43681921)

      Seems like it would be better to report results rather than intentions

      Being overly excited leads to premature enunciation.

  • or as soon as it compiles
  • Why (Score:3, Interesting)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @10:51PM (#43681769) Journal
    I think there's a big question of, "Why?" Is Ubuntu worried about becoming obsolete? Do they believe in the Microsoft motto of, "one UI everywhere?" What is their motivating factor? It's definitely not a response to demand, because people aren't exactly lining up to put this thing on their phone.....
    • by jedidiah (1196)

      Given their stated strategic objectives, they should have achieved this particular milestone already. Why commit the atrocity that is Unity otherwise?

    • by bondsbw (888959)

      http://www.ubuntu.com/tablet [ubuntu.com]

      I love this concept. It's the first phone-to-tablet-to-PC concept I've seen that feels somewhat complete.

      • I love this concept. It's the first phone-to-tablet-to-PC concept I've seen that feels somewhat complete

        It's great that you like it, it'll remain somewhat complete for the forseeable future.

      • by mrvan (973822)

        I don't buy an android tablet because I want to be able to run my stuff on it without needing a separate "app". I don't like having to learn a new interface because the device is slightly different.

        If they get it to work well, I would certainly consider buying a buntu table and I think I will put ubuntu on my current phone when I get a new one. (I am very hesitant to playing with my android phone after bricking the previous one by trying to flash the rom - toying with gadgets is nice but not if I can't make

        • I don't buy an android tablet because I want to be able to run my stuff on it without needing a separate "app". I don't like having to learn a new interface because the device is slightly different.

          And now you see what Microsoft was doing with Windows 8. It made the desktop version's Start Menu look like the tablet UI so that users of Windows RT and Windows Phone wouldn't have to learn a new interface for a different form factor.

          • by MrNiCeGUi (302919)
            Except, you know, exactly the reverse, since the number of Windows RT and Windows Phone users who would be familiar with said environments is pretty much insignificant and they are selling this to the very numerous Windows PC users, who are thus forced to learn to a new interface.

            Microsoft still does not get it. It tried to put a desktop interface on tablets and phones and it failed. Now it's trying the reverse and it's not exactly working either. Putting the same interface everywhere does not make it unive
        • by Sulphur (1548251)

          (I am very hesitant to playing with my android phone after bricking the previous one by trying to flash the rom - toying with gadgets is nice but not if I can't make a phone call until I get it right...)

          ET (Electronics Technician) phone home.

    • by Rhys (96510)

      I actually had it on my phone back in Feb. It wasn't awful. The lack of 3G data was all that got it removed and android put back on... for now, but I'll probably go back to it once I can get 3G data. I might miss my exchange calendar support, but I doubt that'll be long in appearing (who knows, I might even do that).

      But I'm not a big app'er. I need a phone dialer, a tiny bit of sms, a web browser, gchat client, and preferably my corp exchange calendar (email optional). Gmail would be nice too but the browse

    • This is the first I've heard of the project, but from a cursory glance at http://www.ubuntu.com/phone [ubuntu.com] , I'm pretty excited. Have the phone for on the go, then dock it and use it as a full PC when at home. Definitely, sign me up!

      • This is the first I've heard of the project, but from a cursory glance at http://www.ubuntu.com/phone [ubuntu.com] , I'm pretty excited. Have the phone for on the go, then dock it and use it as a full PC when at home. Definitely, sign me up!

        Yeah I love this concept. With the dock for my S4, I can plug in all the peripherals just fine - what I need is the OS support to run full desktop apps on it in this mode. An Ubuntu-like OS would be ideal (though I'd probably try to run Cinnamon or something instead for a DE).

    • Re:Why (Score:5, Funny)

      by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @11:39PM (#43681939)

      Is Ubuntu worried about becoming obsolete?

      Of course not. They're actively pursuing it.

  • Hope they fail (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    They failed to take any reasonable market share with Ubuntu on the desktop, so they're trying mobile while at the same time making stupid decisions that ruin their desktop-focused distro even further. Shuttleworth should just give up and leave Linux to its niche, rather than ruin the direction it's taking.

    There's nothing wrong with Linux remaining in its niche of geeky and nerdy users. It's worked out well so far.

    • by gmuslera (3436)

      For something most of people that use it don't exactly buy it, is not unreasonable that is not shown in market share, where sales are taken into account, instead of actual use (and count as sales preloaded OSs in not sold/used yet devices, even if then will be installed over with something else).

      And Ubuntu Touch will take a while till it have some actual sale, even if, when is stable enough, gets installed in a lot of existing devices [ubuntu.com]. Only will appear in the map of the "market share" when some vendor act

      • I think he means marketshare to represent usershare - the actual number of users, well, using it as their daily driver on either desktops or laptops. That's still not increased with any particularly measurable amount since Ubuntu first appeared. There have been more users sure, but there are always more users of everything as people start using computers. It's the slice of the overall pie that's remained disappointing.

        • by gmuslera (3436)
          Is difficult to measure users when you are usually measuring sales, not people actually using it. Indirect hints (like i.e. Steam [webupd8.org] or browsers [w3counter.com] stats) still have to play with the amount of people that follow one trend in one platform vs the amount on another platform (do linux users visit the same sites of the being measured ones? are more or less likely to use steam?), but if we focus in one trend (i.e. in w3counter stats, to have enough historical data) has increased usage over the last years, so, not just
      • Now, if you want to call reality only to what is sold, is up to you, people is free to fool themselves

        Indeed, people are entirely free to fool themselves [ubuntu.com].

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        Sales numbers have no effect on stats reported based I user agent on popular sites like Wikipedia.

        Those sites don't suddenly shack up the world by showing radically different than sales numbers in their traffic reports.

        What other excuses would you like to try to pretend Linux is magically more popular than it is

    • It's worked out well so far

      I beg to differ, check this [canonical.com] out!

    • Shuttleworth should just give up and leave Linux to its niche

      Linux > Ubuntu.

      Besides, people switched to Mint a while back.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        Besides, people switched to Mint a while back.

        I didn't switch because an update fixed my problems, as usual.

        If one fails to I'll switch to Mint, but so far Ubuntu is still working well enough for me to where I fear a switch.

        Who are these people? Did they actually switch en masse?

        • And do they really have no clue on who is doing the work and why reducing income from Canonical is the wisest move ( by not using Ubuntu ( firefox/mozilla/google deal, amazon deal), by not buying CD or stuff on the store, etc ) ?
          Even if most of the work come from Debian, and upstream from others company, switching to Mint and then pushing it is just wrong.

        • Who are these people? Did they actually switch en masse?

          Ask these people [pingdom.com].

    • I would actually like to know what metrics you're using for this.

      I've taken a look at http://stats.wikimedia.org/wikimedia/squids/SquidReportOperatingSystems.htm [wikimedia.org], and it seems that, while it's not a perfect metric, Ubuntu is the only Linux OS (except android) which is actually creating more hits per month since this time last year.

      Sure, this is not perfect, but considering that Fedora, Arch, and SUSe are all down and Ubuntu is up, it looks like Ubuntu is getting stronger.
      • A disturbing trned is that Blackberry has as much hit than Ubuntu. Given how few people with Blackberry i see around me, that's kinda a eye opener to the bubble most Linux users ( and me too ) are living in.
        In fact, the fact that almost no one use Xubuntu to go to wikipedia, that's the biggest part is for "linux others", the fact there seems to be more opensuse users than linux mint users are also interesting, in the sense this totally contradict the perception of some people.

        • The thing is that the preception *here* is completely different to the perception over at sites like OMG!Ubuntu! This place has a hard core tech audience who seem to like things done their way or not at all. As soon as something Ubuntu related gets posted, everyone here starts arguing against it. However, OMG!Ubuntu is a site that has had to constantly change its hosting over the last few years because with each new release, the founder is finding that the current set up can't deal with the new influx of tr
  • Android (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 09, 2013 @11:13PM (#43681835)

    The thing that keeps me from being excited about even the idea of this is that there *is* an open Linux-based environment for phones, and it's called Android. Google runs the development and has a closed license on apps like Maps, Chrome, etc., but, again, there *is* an open Linux-based environment for phones.

    There are plenty of places Ubuntu could add value. They could build an alternative to the non-open 'with Google' ecosystem--imagine if Cyanogen were developed with the backing of a larger group like Canonical. They could reinvent some bits of UI like the launcher/keyboard/task switcher. (Amazon hacked up their own ecosystem and UI, just with a buy-from-Amazon focus rather than an open-source focus.) They could do some crazy difficult engineering to get desktop Linux apps running alongside Android .apk's.

    Whatever they do, reinventing the foundations of Android isn't where the juice is.

    • Re:Android (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MrEricSir (398214) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @11:33PM (#43681915) Homepage

      I don't think it's fair to place the blame for this on any one company or project, but it's been disappointing to see how inoperable all the smartphone OSes are so far.

      It's particularly disappointing when it comes to open source phones, since interoperability was always one of the purported benefits of open technology.

    • Re:Android (Score:5, Insightful)

      by camperdave (969942) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @11:57PM (#43681999) Journal
      I'd like Android a lot better if it weren't so intimately tied to Google. I managed for a decade with my Handspring Visor without any online presence. I don't see the need for my calendar and address book and other data to be strewn across servers that I have no control over. The less of a digital footprint, the better: Less spam, less hacking attempts, less headaches. But Android is pretty much a lame duck without a Google account. So, linux phone without the Google apron strings? Bring it on!
      • Exactly. But more Balkanisation and even more duplication of effort is not the answer.

        Why not do something like CyanogenMod where they can keep Android's strengths but fix its weeknesses? I'd also love to not have to involve Google's servers with everything. I missed that the most about the iPhone. But Android is finally shaking off that unfinished feeling, and Ubuntu is 5 years behind.

        • Except the Ubuntu phone is on to a fairly good concept here: smartphones are getting powerful enough to become desktop PCs. This is an obvious area where you'd actually want a desktop OS running - or at least very compatible - with the phone.

          Where they may get tripped up is the trend towards augmented reality type systems, but that's a ways off and there's plenty of low-level work to be done (since AR falls more into the desktop OS design scale then the phone one).

          • smartphones are getting powerful enough to become desktop PCs.

            The thing is that desktops have improved in the mean time as well. You can get a high end 8 core desktop with heaps of ram and storage for considerably less than a high end smartphone.

            I know which I'd prefer to use if I was actually going to be at a desk.

          • by enos (627034)

            Android is Linux too.

            They just recognize that a phone isn't a server or a desktop; it has different constraints. The input methods are completely different, Watts matter, responsiveness matters, etc. The OS is not the limitation. Sensibility is.

            I don't see what Ubuntu brings to the table that Android hasn't brought already.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        But Android is pretty much a lame duck without a Google account.

        There are basically two big features you miss out on without a google account. One is the Play Store. But by definition, you don't want to use this, if you don't want Google tracking your habits. The other is maps, but there are alternate maps apps. So basically, I don't think there is any truth to this assertion. The only things you give up with your Android phone if you don't use google are things which are by definition "using google".

        Until 2.3.7 it was horribly hard to not share location information wit

    • Re:Android (Score:5, Insightful)

      by prefec2 (875483) on Friday May 10, 2013 @04:16AM (#43682789)

      As a person, a group of people, or a company, I can do with my time what I want. If I want to develop a second open source phone OS. It is my pleasure or nemesis. If you like it use or contribute to it, if not don't. The same applies to Firefox OS or any other project heading in that direction. What some people miss out in open source is, there is no centralized plan to gain world dominance. The plan is freedom. This includes freedom of choice, but is not limited to it. I also can decide that I want to collaborate with others or that I want to make something completely different. Sometimes these differences are in nuances to the public, but they mean everything to me or my group or my company.

      Sometimes I have the feeling, that people blame others just because they choose different paths. Yes I know this results in fragmentation. And too much fragmentation is bad for interoperability and therefore bad for the OSS movement, but multiple phone and tablet operation systems and UIs are not a problem as long as they all support open communication standards. In the end fragmentation often resulted in new standards on data exchange and communications, which allowed us to work together, but still try out our own ideas.

    • Re:Android (Score:4, Informative)

      by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday May 10, 2013 @09:08AM (#43683977) Homepage Journal

      The thing that keeps me from being excited about even the idea of this is that there *is* an open Linux-based environment for phones, and it's called Android.

      There are many good things about Android, and I enjoy it and would probably not replace it with Ubuntu if it were offered to me. However, more competition is still a good thing.

      There are plenty of places Ubuntu could add value.

      And this is one of them. One benefit would be having a more standard kernel on your phone, which would permit the use of more software. Today, phones are more powerful than machines I was using as a desktop not very long ago. I would like to run desktop software sometimes.

      Whatever they do, reinventing the foundations of Android isn't where the juice is.

      They aren't! The foundations are the same, the Linux kernel! And they're doing less reinvention of that than has Android!

  • by OhANameWhatName (2688401) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @11:28PM (#43681897)
    So millions of 'not zealots' discovered the hard way how much they hated Unity on the desktop and Canonical missed the most important opportunity (in 10 years) for Linux on the desktop by rolling out an entirely new desktop paradigm at exactly the same time as Windows Hate was being forcefed to consumers. Windows is now backtracking, Canonical is slogging ahead. "We can do it! If we test it enough, we'll get it right!".

    Nobody except zealots cares what's running on their phone, they care that it works. So the only people who will bother flashing their phones across to another OS (apart from whatever it came with) are people who tinker with their toys. Some of those tinkerers are tinkering with Android and now (at some un-named time in the future) some of those tinkerers will start to tinker with Ubuntu. And some (unknown) time after that, Ubuntu might actually manage to get a handset onto the market with a stable, working, feature filled operating system on it. And until that time, the Ubuntu developers are playing catch up trying to keep up with the likes of Google (for those not in the know, Google has multitudes of business units and huge influence on the interwebs) and Apple (apparently recently judged only the second richest corporation in the world).

    Call me pessimistic, but does it even matter anymore what the Ubuntu developers are doing? Does a Ubuntu mobile phone have any future, and for that matter, does Ubuntu Linux or Canonical?
    • Canonical simply doesn't have the resources or indeed, the attitude to succeed. They haven't had any real successes since they were formed. Sure, Ubuntu is definitely the most popular Linux distro, but they still have yet to return a profit. If it weren't for Shuttleworth's stubborness on funding a white elephant the company would have dissolved years ago.

      I'm pessimistic too, but only because it's basically required to remain sane when looking at all the tech companies these days. It's also necessary to be

    • Nobody except zealots cares what's running on their phone, they care that it works.

      So, in other words they do care what is running, since you can't separate the "what" from whether it works.

      Also, even ignoring that, I think you are completely wrong.

      For quite large values of "works" Android, iOS, whatever runs on the blackberry 10 phone and even Windows Phone all work. As in can make calls, texts and connect to the internet and can run a variety of apps to do various things.

      The hardware on the high end is pr

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Call me pessimistic, but does it even matter anymore what the Ubuntu developers are doing? Does a Ubuntu mobile phone have any future, and for that matter, does Ubuntu Linux or Canonical?

      I've read numerous anecdotes here on slashdot about how people put their grandmother (or whatever) on Ubuntu and the user was very happy and able to understand the operating system and navigate. What nerds want does not necessarily matter to anyone else. If Ubuntu would not let you install another DE then you would have a point, but you don't have an argument here because Ubuntu not only makes it possible to install another DE with a single command or a few mouse clicks, but they also offer you installers w

  • by aws910 (671068) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @11:36PM (#43681925)
    If Ubuntu touch is anything like the desktop version of Ubuntu, then I can expect:

    * Daily update nags

    * Several hours of reconfiguring software after each update

    * Changes to the user interface that you didn't ask for

    * Loss of previous functionality after each update

    Ubuntu was my first Linux, and it was great for a time, but they just play too fast-and-loose with new software. They've unapologetically wasted many hours of my time on many fronts - I still have nightmares from when they switched me to unity without my consent. Seriously, if I wanted OSX, I would just go and buy a mac. I fear for these poor phone users in advance!
    • I take it then that you're no longer using Ubuntu, so what are you using instead these days?
  • Ubuntu is a opensource software,seems to be popular with many users,based with linux,will it stable in touch phone. I've no idea will this phone has a market,does people change their iphones to ubuntu? Nowadays,touch phones are made of polycarbonate sheets [china-pc-sheets.com],i think that would be safer then other materials.
  • How is porting Unity to Qt proceeding? Because in its current state Unity is such a horribly slow piece of shit that it won't give a good experience on mobile. Try it on an Atom netbook and experience the pain. On a similar machine, most basic functions of Windows are fluid and just fine.
  • "Wait. Other Linux developers don't eat their own dogfood?" That's right.

    Hubris much?

    You do realise that a large percentage of open source projects are started with the intention of filling a need that is currently not satisified by other software? (Novel concept, I know!). And therefore, there is an imperative to "dogfood" as soon as possible.

    Granted, those open source projects weren't led by an asshole dictator with a commercial imperative. And hey, I've been unfortunate enough to try Unity. Given that precedent for "usability", dog-fooding in this case may well be a pa

  • I can't even find a SIP phone app in the Ubuntu 13.04 repository that works!

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