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Zzozzach

Ubuntu mobile

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This looks really exciting. Even Microsoft can't claim to have the same level of integration across all platforms. Heck, I reckon it would even entice Master Scythe to ditch his Symbian phone!

 

Ubuntu goes mobile, eyes business users

 

Linux-based smartphone OS built with security and management in mind.

 

Linux distributor Canonical has launched a long-rumoured Ubuntu operating system for smartphones in a move that provides fleet managers another rock solid choice in the enterprise.

 

The gesture-based Ubuntu mobile interface retains the 'Unity' look and feel of Ubuntu's desktop OS.

 

Canonical demonstrated at the launch the ability to turn a smartphone running Ubuntu into a full-fledged Ubuntu desktop PC by simply docking the smartphone with a keyboard and monitor. In what could be the OS’s key differentiator in a highly competitive mobile market, the docked phone can act as a thin client for Remote Desktop applications, allowing users to stream Windows apps from corporate data centres.

 

“We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client, and phone functions,� said Canonical CEO Jane Sibler. “We also see an opportunity in basic smartphones that are used for the phone, SMS, web, and email, where Ubuntu outperforms thanks to its native core apps and stylish presentation.�

 

Another enterprise-striking feature is the ability to manage - down to the kernel level - every app that is installed on the phone using existing enterprise management tools such as Landscape.

 

“It's the full Linux, it's essentially Unix in your pocket. That means all the security stories that are true of desktop and server Ubuntu are true of the phone. It means the multi-user story is there. It means the application containment story is there, using Linux containers and virtualisation. It means the parallel SMP [symmetric multi-processing] multi-core story is there from the beginning. You can do things with Ubuntu devices on the high end that just wouldn't be possible with other mobile OS’s,� explained Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu.

 

The Ubuntu mobile OS also supports the Android kernel and drivers, which enables the OS to run on current Android tablets and smartphones. Canonical notes that unlike Android, Ubuntu does not have the overhead of a Java virtual machine and allows the OS to deliver much better performance even on low-end hardware.

 

The firm plans to initially release the mobile driven OS as a free download for installation on any Samsung Galaxy Nexus phones in the coming weeks, with support for other Android handsets and tablet computers to come soon after.

 

The company is also planning to ship the first Ubuntu handset at the end of 2013, but no manufacturing partners and supported carriers were named in the announcement.

Edited by Zzozzach

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It's about time we got some proper mobile OS's, the amount of processing power we have now is wasted on Android/IOS IMO.

Wish they sold these over here, I still miss the keyboard my Nokia N900 had...

It would be a perfect match.

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"Canonical notes that unlike Android, Ubuntu does not have the overhead of a Java virtual machine and allows the OS to deliver much better performance even on low-end hardware."

 

Yeah, except Android doesn't have the overhead of the JVM either, because it doesn't use a JVM. It uses it's own virtual machine called Dalvik which has been optimised for mobile hardware. Also, Android uses native calls where appropriate, and allows developers to do the same. There is no "wasted power" when using iOS or Android, you can take advantage of the hardware just as well as you could any other OS.

 

Canonical seem to think they're onto a winner here, but given the quality of software on Ubuntu for desktop, I don't expect much from Ubuntu on mobile. Any OS which relies on a framework which can only be extended in C++ can burn in a very special, very hot fire.

 

The only feature of this OS that offers something more than Android/iOS/WP is the ability to run a desktop machine from it once docked, but we need devices with docks first.

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I love this idea purely because I'm a bit "meh" about Android these days. I love my Nexus 4, but I want a new UI to play with.

 

This Ubuntu mobile looks great. Like Android with more polish than Windows 8.

 

The ability to dock it and turn it into a PC is just awesome though in practice, I'm not a linux guy so would only use it for (very) basic things.

 

Kind of wishing I still had my Galaxy Nexus now :(

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One interesting extension of this is you could run windows app with wine on a phone. i would get something for Ubuntu Phone but i have a laptop, a gaming rig, a hiapad hi802 and an ibook already. my dad would kill me.

 

" but given the quality of software on Ubuntu for desktop, I don't expect much from Ubuntu on mobile.", cyberglitch, i'm offended

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Why, did you write software for ubuntu?

I'm a tester for ubuntu and use it near exclusively. i will admit powerpc is broken, but that's a dev problem

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Why, did you write software for ubuntu?

I'm a tester for ubuntu and use it near exclusively. i will admit powerpc is broken, but that's a dev problem

 

Cyb3rGlitch only likes things that involve Java and Android.

 

Edit: I will however agree with him that just about everything involving C++ can burn in a very special level of hell.

Edited by Xen

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xen: perfect description of cyberglitch, afaik. and i agree with you on C++

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I almost installed this on my Nexus 7 as Ubuntu supports more 'real' games but I discovered it doesn't support Youtube thus I decided against it. As that was my original intention to watch Youtube videos particularly Khan Academy videos on it so Ubuntu would have defeated the purpose of it.

 

Once they get that sorted out I'd be more then willing to port my Nexus 7 over.

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I almost installed this on my Nexus 7 as Ubuntu supports more 'real' games but I discovered it doesn't support Youtube thus I decided against it. As that was my original intention to watch Youtube videos particularly Khan Academy videos on it so Ubuntu would have defeated the purpose of it.

 

Once they get that sorted out I'd be more then willing to port my Nexus 7 over.

why didn't play youtube? you need either chrome(not chromium) or the restricted-extras to play it but other than that.

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Why, did you write software for ubuntu?

I'm a tester for ubuntu and use it near exclusively. i will admit powerpc is broken, but that's a dev problem

 

Cyb3rGlitch only likes things that involve Java and Android.

 

Edit: I will however agree with him that just about everything involving C++ can burn in a very special level of hell.

 

Err no. Java just happens to be the language I use most, it's far from the language I prefer (but also far from the languages I hate most). The only reason I prefer Android over its competitors is that they're all 'me too' bullshit with very little innovation, bar iOS.

Edited by .:Cyb3rGlitch:.

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The only reason I prefer Android over its competitors is that they're all 'me too' bullshit with very little innovation, bar iOS.

Is that right.

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The only reason I prefer Android over its competitors is that they're all 'me too' bullshit with very little innovation, bar iOS.

Is that right.

 

This is what I honestly believe. I've seen nothing from Blackberry OS, Ubuntu Mobile, Tizen or any other obscure OS projects that offer anything over iOS or Android. The only thing I can think of is Ubuntu's dock for desktop feature, which was a better idea when it was integrated into Android itself.

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if blackberry can make a decent phone again they will have many business buyers still and give ubuntu mobile a chance. never heard of tizen though

Edited by noskcaj

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if blackberry can make a decent phone again they will have many business buyers still and give ubuntu mobile a chance. never heard of tizen though

Pretty much MeeGo re badged and maintained by Samsung as a backup plan.

Think they removed QT out of it as a big "screw you" to Nokia.

Doomed to fail, no dev's are interested.

 

MeeGo is still being developed as Mer and now SailFish by Jolla.

 

The new blackberry phones look like they stole Nokia's Swipe UI (N9 MeeGo/Maemo)and they even use QT.

If they were to release a slider qwerty I would probably buy one, but looks doubtful...

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The only reason I prefer Android over its competitors is that they're all 'me too' bullshit with very little innovation, bar iOS.

Is that right.

 

This is what I honestly believe. I've seen nothing from Blackberry OS, Ubuntu Mobile, Tizen or any other obscure OS projects that offer anything over iOS or Android. The only thing I can think of is Ubuntu's dock for desktop feature, which was a better idea when it was integrated into Android itself.

 

Did you ever own a Symbian OS phone?

If you're claiming 'no new features' in a phone OS, then you have no-one but symbian to really look to as the original king of innovation.

Lets see, what did my S60 have, that we still rely on today in other phones.

 

-app store

-TRUE multitasking

-100% stable core OS (in my experience, 3rd party apps are another thing, but depends on who they're from)

-Video Steaming support (RealPlayer on symbian is still the nicest video player I've ever used. Just like VLC, it played anything!)

-ROOT access by default

-Reliable and useful GPS software and chipset (Oh N95, how perfect you were.....)

 

And I'm sure there is more.

While you may think my knowledge on Android is sub par, I'm only ignorant in using it as a phone OS, as a tablet, I've used it for a very long time. Even had a play in cooking my own roms. You likely know more, but I do at least have a clue.

 

"Edit: Also worth note, blackberry OS offers one huge thing. BES support. Along with BIS support, and incredible compression. You can browse all day on a BIS connection and use bugger all, and the latency is nothing! No phone seems to offer easier Over the air configuration than Blackberry with a BES server. My 2c. /edit"

 

 

Curiously; did you ever use Meego? Talk about a nice phone OS. If only they beat androids prime time to the market, I think the 'popular OS' would be very different. And if you google a few creditable tech blogs I'm not the only person who feels that.

 

 

In my mind, android has 2 (though probably only 2) major letdowns.

1. It doesn't handle hardware buttons well in my experience. Things like the ChaCha or my BoostDroid (i got it for $20 for a try, its interesting); they just dont like being used in keyboard only mode. They expect me to touch the screen all the time.

2. A 'One Size Fits All' solution never feels polished, and the shortcomings are often unfixable without recompiling your own version. (things like the 'MEDIA' rescan bug, still can't fix that)

 

Point 1. is getting better with every release. I have a full size keyboard and mouse for my tab, which work well, but I cant make my mouse pointer bigger, and often the keyboard will miss a letter while the webpage refreshes a dynamic frame (the keys arent missed when using the software keyboard).

Point 2. I'm subscribed to the bug tracker for this issue, but there is still no fix. One 'corrupted' media file, and your phone will constantly scan the SD card draining the battery VERY quick.

 

 

My point is, Ubuntu offers IMO, more to the future of phone OS' than Android, or especially iOS did, when competing against the early S60. Remember when iphone couldnt even pseudo multitask, yet S60 had done it since like 1999?

 

Phone OS' really are a case of different strokes, different folks. and I can see where Ubuntu offers some significant advantages. Full size software suites alone are a possibility that android doesn't offer; what about WINE emulation? Its quite an exciting endeavor IMO.

 

if blackberry can make a decent phone again they will have many business buyers still and give ubuntu mobile a chance. never heard of tizen though

Im waiting for Windows8Phone to come out with a candybar qwerty phone and make blackberry go "oh shit". The threat is there.

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Symbian? Really? They might have had every feature under the sun 'first', but all that means shit when the UI/UX and ecosystem was so dismal that people only ever used them as feature phones.

 

Ubuntu Mobile has the problem that people want it to be a desktop OS on a phone. Fuck that shit. Anyone that wants to run full desktop software on their phone is borderline insane. Desktop software was designed for desktop interfaces. When you try and shoehorn the atrocious history of open source desktop software onto mobile, you get a big fat mess that users will never touch. Heck, most users never wanted to touch that shit on their desktop machines in the first place. Why WINE? What possible piece of Windows software would you want to run on a phone? Unless you're going to connect your device to a keyboard/mouse and monitor, the entire premise of running desktop applications on a phone is stupid from a UX standpoint, not to mention the performance/battery hit you'll most certainly get. Even on a tablet it makes no sense. No thanks.

 

I think we have different views when it comes to mobile. I believe user experience and utility make an OS. So far only iOS, Android and to an extent WP8 offer this. I don't care what feature set these other OSes claim, I (and the market) want something this is snappy, usable, powerful and pleasurable to use. They don't want to run desktop apps on a mobile device, they want light weight native apps that actually work.

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Symbian? Really? They might have had every feature under the sun 'first', but all that means shit when the UI/UX and ecosystem was so dismal that people only ever used them as feature phones.

Ecosystem?

Really, the OS had the largest ecosystem for a long time.

 

The UI would of been an easy fix if they didn't start to self destruct around 2008, the N900's UI was supposed to become the new UI for all Nokia phones until the infighting killed it...

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It didn't help that due to the mere fact that MeeGo was neither Apple or Google, it attracted the Slashdot FOSS sperglords instead of the big name developers like Nokia would have hoped.

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agreed Hitman.

And I really don't know what people disliked about the Symbian interface as a whole.

It had ONE major flaw, ONE. If you wanted to adjust any sort of 'core' setting, the menus were in weird places. Otherwise, it had an app list, and a launcher, the OVI store functioned well, and a task manager, all shit thats considered 'normal' by todays standards. People like to forget how long it was the ONLY OS worth considering.

 

Not only did it have those features FIRST, it had them reliably FUNCTIONAL first. all the points I listed were 100% reliable from my NGAGE onwards (the NGAGE was my first Symbian).

 

Cyber, I think we have the same destination, with different maps.

I agree user interface can make or break a device' popularity. Its why I find touch screen phones so painful.

Fingerprints, covering the screen as you use it, no tactile feedback, it ruins using a handheld anything (how often do DS games use the touch screen eh? Its rare), though as you saw I'm going to try one of the new 'big' screen phones and see how it goes. The only one I've owned before that was a 4" ICS phone, WAYYYYY too small. Tried to type a document for work and the spelling mistakes were EVERYWHERE.

 

Blackberry as a whole may be on the out, but if you find a Blackberry Torch user, in my experience they've all been thrilled. Large touch screen, onscreen keyboard, with the option to slide out a keyboard.

If you have any chinese friends who wholesale (my best mates family does), find out what the wholesale numbers (or even retail sales) for these are.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Ultra-Thin-Slid...=item27c951b987

They're HUGE, mind bogglingly huge. there is a demand for a hardware keyboard on large phones.

 

Regarding Ubuntu, The point isn't if there is a list of desktop software I'd use (which there is, btw, I would personally use a LOT) its that the option being there would be amazing. I'd expect ubuntu to go Windows8 style and have an 'app store' aimed at touch screens in the future.

 

I have confidence because the UNITY UI is by far the easiest, most reliable shell I've ever used. It may be 'limiting' on a desktop system, because of its simplicity, however that shell alone is mobile friendly (try it on a tablet :D)

 

<apple rant>

For me, the MOST painful OS to use, would have to be iOS. Its truly 'chaos'. Unpredictable to the end.

I cant find the operating systems copy and paste commands anywhere. Unless its built into the 'app' I'm in as a 'menu' The OS seems to lack basic copy paste (symbian would use the pencil button to force a menu), on android Ive been trying a few 'taskbar' apps which allow this and it works, but I cant figure it on apple iOS. Copy and paste a table or a picture from a webpage to a document seems hard if not impossible without downloading, and inserting, and usually reformatting.

Frustrating, quite time consuming additional steps.

 

Multitasking, though available, I find unreliable.

You have ONE hardware button, and you never know if its going to actually minimise the app or quit\suspend it.

Everyone I know (myself included) kept disconnecting when using WebMessenger, every time they minimised the browser on the ipad, because it wasnt 'minimising' as such. (android does this sometimes too, damn auto kill), another thing Symbian would never do. Happens to a few other apps too, on iOS, any IRC app seems to disconnect on minimise, even in browser applets.

</apple rant>

 

Another pet hate (though this is likely a 'me' thing, I dont feel this is the norm) is that the operating systems never seem to include anything anymore.

Back in the day, if your phone was good, it could do 'things'. Now, if I hear "Oh there's an app for that" I just wanna punch someone. Unit conversion for example, has been on every dumb phone, blackberry, and symbian phone I've owned. Android and iOS seem to lack basic things like this. Wheres my maps? QR code reader? wheres my Snake\Solitaire? Where is my PTT options for phones FFS? I find it annoying to have to dig through apps for things that are 'the norm' on any other OS.

As you say though, thats a case of different strokes. I dont expect you to share my feelings, but I hope you understand them.

 

Desktop power, with some touch based apps has a lot of potential to make your phone behave exactly like a computer user would expect, rather than a tween smart phone user would expect. The apps may not be there now, but the potential is overwhelming.

 

It didn't help that due to the mere fact that MeeGo was neither Apple or Google, it attracted the Slashdot FOSS sperglords instead of the big name developers like Nokia would have hoped.

Agreed to an extent. Ive had a lot of good luck with open source. I use the gimp, open office, pidgin, and a bunch more and find them better than paid alternatives.

Anyway, thats why I said it needed to push BEFORE Android was a viable option. It could have done it if they'd only had futuresight, but they waited, and android killed it.

Use it for a while. Its quite nice.

 

WebOS is another one I thought was fluid as ever. My girlfriend has a WebOS phone (its fucking TINY!) and its one of the most useful ones ive ever seen OOTB. Battery is good, its snappy, the 'basic' apps people would normally add are built in, I hope OpenWebOS does something...... But eh. Poor HP. Another example of Great product, horrible uptake (Hi Betamax cassettes).

Edited by Master_Scythe

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Meh. Go to google Play store online and add the apps you need to your device once. Ever.

 

Done.

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