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Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system, has announced a new version of Ubuntu designed specifically for smartphones. Ubuntu for phones is based on the Linux kernel and uses the same Unity user interface that Canonical has developed for the desktop, which the company says should make it immediately …
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"the company says should make it immediately familiar to anyone who has used Ubuntu before." - im sure the 2 of them will be very pleased.
Anyway, someone already beat them to getting a full desktop OS onto a phone and released Windows RT on a mobile.
Yet more Linux fragmentation in the market place - this is likely to be a failure.
But how many times do we have to hear of this second coming?
Every year Linux is expected to take over from the mainstream. Every year I'm left feeling disappointed.
Agreed. They should have taken note what a disaster the Win 8 UI has turned out to be and worked on a completely separate paradigm, like Apple and Google did from the start. Different screen dimensions, different primary input methods require different underpinnings!
I'm thinking the bastard child of Clippy and Siri . . .
"You appear to have been having an affair and your partner has found out. Would you like to:
- Look up florists
- Look up lawyers"
and tuts every two seconds if you don't answer.
Got a router, TV, BluRay player, Cable box, PVR, or PHONE.
Then you already have Linux.
Linux is already quite "mainstream". It just hasn't displaced WinDOS.
Once you ditch legacy WinDOS apps anything is possible. Although chances are that the future vision of this concept will be based on x86 chips because corporations simply can't get over their Windows habit.
It won't because the mainstream is pre-installed computers from PC World, Argos and the like.
When netbooks with Linux loaded on them were given away with mobile broadband contract many of them were returned as people wanted Windows and couldn't use the Linux distro on them.
It is not the UI which makes Android what it is. It is the IPC paradigms and specifically the whole idea of intents and activities. That allows loose coupling and interaction of applications without them having to run each other in an "embedded" fashion like the accursed Microsoft OLE.
That is actually already present in modern Linux both KDE and Gnome3 are built around that concept. In fact they are more "mobile-ready" than Win8 by far. Once this foundation is in place (and it is), adjusting the UI via a theme is a mere technicality.
In any case with 60%+ of the devices out there having a ready and available linux kernel getting this done is a mere technicality. It is also not quite "entering the crowded space". The space is crowded consumer-wise. It is not that crowded from a hobbyist/developer perspective.
What do you mean by 'legacy'
Linux may be the dominant OS in the forms you describe, but they are viewed by the public as appliances, not computers. You don't need to know anything about Linux to operate your PVR, but knowing how to operate your PVR won't be of any use if you then decide to install Linux on your PC
That said, I think people still view their phones as appliances, and so Ubuntu for phones should have as much chance as anything else (probably not a hope in hell, given the dominance of Android & iOS, and the fact that every executive wants to be able to use his/her iPad as a business device). Good luck to them, though.
Windows 8 also adopts the different paradigm UI, the difference being the OS offers both UIs (not-Metro, and desktop/windowed) in the same OS, rather than being completely separate operating systems. This is distinct from Unity, where it really does seem to be the same UI for everyone. (Though personally, the things I hate about it are nothing to do with it being for touchscreen, but things that don't make sense in any context, like the new scrollbars that are a pain to click.)
And it wouldn't surprise me if we see some kind of ChromeOS/Android integration in future (see http://www.zdnet.com/with-google-readying-its-own-nexus-chromebook-will-it-marry-chrome-os-to-android-7000007987/ ). Same with Apple to be honest.
Of *course* the Linux OS tweek freaks keep proclaiming the oncoming "Year of Linux!" - it suits their personal delusions of grandeur.
Linux will NEVER gain an appreciable spot of OS desktop market share. Linux fans constantly deny the reality: IT'S NOT THE OS, STUPID. IT IS THE APPLICATIONS THAT RUN *ON* THE OS.
And since Linux has no 'killer' business-level application support - Photoshop, InDesign, ProTools, industry-specific custom apps, etc - it will never gain a foothold. "Just use WINE", the Linux gurus state. Great! Just install a OS not specified by the developer, simply out of sheer stubbornness, in order to get your desired application actually working yet still expect application tech support! Brilliant!
Millions of business machines run what they run - Windows - because that is where the needed applications lay. The millions of custom, industry-specific apps written in Windows guarantees that Windows won't be going far for quite a long time, delusions of grandeur not withstanding. A business will not pay for the investment of changing to a new application base - off the shelf or custom - simply because some OS makes some type of promise of improvement. The amortization. nor the guarantee of the actual improvement, of this pathway simply isn't there.
But that will never stop the "Year of Linux!" dreamers, will it? They've been going on for YEARS. The Betty Ford clinic awaits them.
In the netbook era I was tortured by people who bought 'one of them there netbooks' and wanted 'that there windows on'.
This, despite Linpus on my own netbook being exceptionally quick, and perfectly acceptable to use, and all Linux distros able to load a browser for their inane facebook updates or youtube videos of cats.
Before we all start...
...would it not be actually rather fun if this translated into a real thing I could walk into a phone shop and buy? Especially if you are in the UK....
OK, you can start now.
Do they really think that they can out do the all of the likes of Google, Apple and Microsoft. Well, ok maybe not the latter one after their latest releases. I would think that the inhabitants of the Chocolate Factory might have something to say about this (When they stop rolling around on the floor with laughter that is)
As the article says they have met with a lot of opposition to their 'Unity' interface. Most of the people I know who were Ubuntu fans have deserted it for Debian, Mint and even gone into the RedHat camp.
I guess this is another of Canonical's 'Grand Plans' to make money. I'd give them a 1.5 out of 10 chance of actually doing this.
I will raise a glass to their efforts though
I don't think they're trying to 'outdo' google or apple. What Canonical seem to be doing, quite cleverly, is recognising there's an existing Linux kernel available on the world's most prevalent Mobile OS and then leveraging that to make Ubuntu accessible to even more people and in a way that for some of them will make great sense.
Stuff carrying a phone, laptop and a bloody tablet. Just carry the phone in your pocket and grab an HDMI dock for presentations.
Count me as one of those straight Ubuntu users who is taking Mint for a spin (and liking it) after being subjected to Unity. Leave it to Canonical to jump into the phone arena with a product that its own users don't like.
Sounds like a PadFone
It doesn't matter how well they do this, or how good it works, all it will take is one update from Google to kill this off instantly.
All they need to do is make Android do TV/VGA out through a dock, so turning it into a mobile Chromebook, at the very least. Some would say that Android can already do this, as the new HDMI Android stickcomputers prove, simply pair it up with a bluetooth mouse/KB, some apps to allow access to the underlying system/cmd line, and its a fairly functional computer already.
You don't need an HDMI dock to drop your phone into; just a networked projector-- then push the display from the phone to the projector. All the pieces are already in place (X, etc.) to be able to do this...
Then you can keep the your phone in your hand to use as a remote and for viewing the notes for the presenter.
I'm still waiting for someone to make this: http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/android .
That webpage doesn't appear to be for the actual product, but a plea for anyone wanting to make it - and as far as I can tell, no one has. Which is rather sad - whilst perhaps a bit of a niche usage, this would give a great edge to a smartphone, and could see Ubuntu see a far greater audience. It would be the only phone/operating system capable of doing it. Some have suggested that in ten years' time, our computers will be our phones that we just connect to a larger screen and keyboard when required - it's sad to think that the technology could exist now, but nobody wants to market it.
It sounds like a good option if you can install it along side Android on a phone so you can boot into Ubuntu for when Ubuntu would be better than Android but the lack of apps means i doubt its ever going to make for the only OS i would run on a phone.
lack of apps
tl/dr: lack of useless apps
OK. I've got to out myself on the other side of the public opinion here: I would welcome this.
I tried the first Unity interface and hated it and it went after 2 days. 3 months later I tried again and still hated it and replaced it with xfce. When 12.04 came around I thought "wait, give it a real chance, man, you hated Windows 95 too and it was quite usable in the end" and promised to keep it at least 4 weeks on my everyday laptop. And I started to hate it less. It's different, OK. But not inferior; and some things actually work better for me using Unity. I now think it's rather nice. I find it less confusing and more intuitive than going from any other, essentially still "Xerox Star"-like, GUI to The-Interface-Formerly-Known-As-Metro of Windows 8. I do understand that a lot of people dislike it big time, but I think that it's actually a "change dislike", not something specific. I'm breaking a lance here for Unity; give it a real try.
Oh, and by the way: The Amazon search integration i s pants, but as it's possible to turn it off I don't see the problem! We're all doing the same thing when we install a new Windows on a PC: If we don't scrap IE altogether, we go through the settings and nail up the holes. Same thing, I think.
But back to mark's comment about the lack of apps.
Yes, you are right. there will be less apps on Ubuntu mobile. Techland once counted the number of "fart" apps in the Apple AppStore and came up with over 1100 (!), all of which will be missing from Ubuntu mobile (I can live with that.). And just how many "I can drink beer/ latte/ wine/ whatever-it-is-that-Bear-Grylls-drinks with my iPhone"-Apps does one really need? Some of the more popular time-and-byte-wasters might even be ported, I'm thinking of the likes of Angry Birds here. While it's not useful, it's at least mildly amusing.
Other than that it would run stuff from the Ubuntu software repository, which is not bad at all for useful stuff (and most of the useful stuff even for free). And that would make it better than Windows RT, which does not offer the same compatibility to it's desktop equivalent.
Just, as always, my own personal opinion on this; feel free to disagree, but try to keep an open mind about it . . .
If you find any typos, you can keep them, cheers.
the lack of apps means i doubt its ever going to make for the only OS i would run on a phone.
Lack of apps?? Are you out of your tree??
Yes, lack of apps. Or do you think that all the Linux apps that expect a keyboard and mouse will work just fine on a touchscreen? If that was true, Microsoft's previous tablet efforts from a decade ago would have succeeded.
Or do you think that all the Linux apps that expect a keyboard and mouse will work just fine on a touchscreen?
Watch the two videos here: http://www.webupd8.org/2013/01/ubuntu-for-phones-announced.html
You will notice that the HUD interface that Ubuntu has been developing will allow applications to work, even using voice recognition.
Anyway it looks good to me and I'm not interested in fart apps etc.
The bigger failure is that the technology hasn't existed to put a full x86 PC into a light tablet, so the "tablets" were large and heavy. The "tablets" we see today are really just renamed media players or oversized smartphones that have been around for years.
With the Windows 8 tablets, the technology to make a small full x86 PC may now be here, though even so, it's with compromises (poorer battery life, still heavier than ARM devices - Clover Trail devices fix that, but then you don't get the processing power of Intel Core, so it's more like ARM in that respect too).
That, and the fact that only one company got vast amounts of free advertising for their large phone, sorry, tablet, even before it was officially announced - which is why Android 10" tablets have struggled, too, nobody knows about them.
... how does the 'computing and graphics power' of a modern high end Android phone compare to a similarly priced laptop? Going one better, take an Android smartphone plus a mouse and keyboard and LCD monitor, then compare with a laptop of equivalent total price. How would that 'computing and graphics power' compare?
I think the laptop will be a lot more powerful on floating point performance, and still a good bit better on integer. The graphics will not be up to too much on a smartphone, but still enough to run video in a good resolution.
Ever tried a RaspberryPi? Plenty powerful enough for office tasks and a bit of homework and research, even enough for a bit of entertainment. And that is powered by a single core ARM @ 700 MHz.
I think that a modern high-end smart-phone (think of a quad-core system @ 1.3 GHz like the LG Google Nexus 4) is plenty powerful enough to work with as long as you're not expecting to replace your CAD workstation with a mobile.
But you wouldn't use a Range Rover to take your kid 1500 yards to school . . .
"Ever tried a RaspberryPi? Plenty powerful enough for office tasks and a bit of homework and research, even enough for a bit of entertainment. And that is powered by a single core ARM @ 700 MHz."
Yes, I have. It's absolutely useless in a desktop environment, and especially for office work and web browsing. If you said command line python tutorial, maybe.
My cell phone on the other hand, with a decent dual processor and quadruple memory with an OS designed for it can actually run a web browsing. But for office work? Not really.
> But for office work? Not really.
How high a percentage of CPU idle do you want while it waits for key strokes ?
Linux machines typically run at single digit utilization running typical office tasks. But then they don't have Norton's chewing up every CPU cycle that it can grab.
I have two raspberry pis. They work fine for XMBC but the Rasbian desktop is slow as hell and the midori browser doesn't support video.
Good luck getting homework done when it takes an age to get wikipedia up or watch a youtube video. When the accelerate the X server graphically I expect this to change but as is you CANNOT use one as a desktop computer. They make AWESOME servers though.
Thanks for posting this. I set up my RPi at the weekend, and was worried that I was doing something wrong (Class4 SD card not fast enough, for example). Will probably be experimenting with some alternate OS builds, and looking forward to learning as I go (my Linux knowledge pretty much fits in a thimble, at present).
6Mhz is enough for word processing - so the RasPi is more than ample :)
If there's something between a niche and nothing at all, then that's the market share that this will have unless Ubuntu manages to conjure a fully formed and very well stocked app store at launch. Happy to be proved wrong, but atm this just has FAIL written all the way through it.
Or an Android emulation layer, so you can run stock Android apps.
Yeah, I re-read the article looking foe mention of that, but couldn't see it. If an Ubuntu phone could pretend to be an Android phone, then some people would buy it- or at least not reject it if their company hands it out to them. Technically, how difficult would it be to have this running smoothly?
Not entirely convinced by this but good on Canonical for giving it a go, with the uptake of VDI this could be the start of something great...or just a flop
"Not entirely convinced by this but good on Canonical for giving it a go, with the uptake of VDI this could be the start of something great"
The start of something great would be welcomed. But 'great' and 'Ubuntu' really don't sit comfortably in the same sentence.
Am I wrong in thinking they already tried this with a dock a while back !
I'm sure some were getting excited about it.
That was a thing they made that installed Ubuntu inside Android. You docked the phone and it fired up Ubuntu. It was a precursor to this that they demo'd at last year's World Mobile Congress. Even back then they were talking about this full replacement OS. Glad to see it finally arrive.
$ uname -a
Linux Nokia-N900 2.6.28-omap1 #1 PREEMPT Fri Aug 6 11:50:00 EEST 2010 armv7l unknown
Ubuntu for Android was just demonstrated, not completed. Canonical wanted phone manufacturers to buy support and trademark licenses from them.
I guess that never happened since nothing was announced in almost a year, and no source code ever released.
This new "Ubuntu for phones" seems to be the same kind of arrangement, except that they have reimplemented more of the stack. The blog post does not say that any manufacturers have signed up, only that Canonical is "ready to start working with partners".
If the image The Register used to illustrate this article looks familiar, it's because it's actually the same image used to promote Ubuntu for Android last February.
That isnt Meego, its Maemo 1.3 Fremantle. Meego is the merger between Maemo and Tizen on the N9.
Disclaimer: I have the N900, got the same string except the date is Aug 8 for me.
You mean Maemo and Moblin - Tizen is a newer OS that in turn is meant to be a successor to Meego.
You are correct, what a fool I am...
To be fair, there seems to be a few projects that have sprung up around Meego(Sailfish from Jolla, Mer etc).
I've been thinking of this for a while, I've got a Nexus 7 that works fine with an ancient full sized Trust wireless keyboard and mouse, I've got a nice piece of marble that would make a great docking station, all I'm waiting for is a cheap Push2TV clone so I can plug it into the 40 inch tv in the living room. When I come in I could drop the Nexus into the dock and use the keyboard/mouse on the coffee table, when I go I just pick up the Nexus and it's a charged up standalone tablet again.
I won't be using Unity though (it's awful), I'm in the process of moving the family computers away from Ubuntu, I haven't yet decided on Mint or Bodhi (Bodhi is looking good cuz it still fits on a CD)