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back to article Ubuntu for Galaxy Nexus phones to arrive in February

Ubuntu main man Mark Shuttleworth says plans are on track to produce smartphones running a mobile variant of the Ubuntu Linux OS by October 2013, but developers should be able to start working with the platform even sooner. A version of Ubuntu for smartphones that runs on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus handset is expected to be …

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Anonymous Coward

What separates Ubuntu for phones from either of those efforts, however, is that Ubuntu phones will be able to dock with keyboards and monitors to become desktop workstations, allowing users to carry a single device that acts as both a PC and a phone.

Exactolutely™

"Monitors" including any old HDMI TV B-)

Me wants. NOW!

Why never a mention of Linaro ElReg?

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Thumb Up

Agreed

This is the future, IMHO.

A phonePC with:

- local and cloud storage

- thin client capability for those intensive CPU/'desktop' apps.

- fat wireless bandwidth

I can't wait to see that.

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Re: Agreed

Yes, It's the future.

I already thought it in the past.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hopefully they don't dumb down the UI too much

Eh? You feeling OK Eadon?

As I understand it, upon connecting a monitor you're presented with a full Unity desktop environment. **AWESOME**!... shirley?!

It's (F)OSS! Real (F)OSS entering the market! Interesting, diversifying, utility enhancing, (F)OSS!...

Why the ambivalence? Does !Android = meh? Are you really just a Google "shill"? After all that shrieking "SHILL" at the sheeple the irony would be sickening.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hopefully they don't dumb down the UI too much

Who cares about the UI.

What I need is an OS for which I can actually build interesting stuff. I have 3 projects which need a demo platform where you need to mess about with the low level networking and IO on the terminal device. I cannot do that on iOS or Android because the bastards do not allow me that level of access and MSFT is completely out of the question. So now I finally have a platform on which I can build the demo versions :) Hurray :)

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Re: I cannot do that on iOS or Android

Why not, on android at least? Could you not toot the phone or even download the source and build your own? Not sure what exactly you are trying to do but the same on a ubuntu phone I can't see being different on andriod which is afterall another linux distro at the heart.

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Meh

Lets just hope someone writes a decent window manager for smartphones.

And no - please don't mention the name "Unity" - pleeease!

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the Ubunt phone interface is really good

if you want to see it watch the video http://www.ubuntu.com/devices/phone

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Anonymous Coward

This would be good

if we had a standardised wireless docking station through which various phones from different manufacturers could connect to mouse, keyboard, monitor, network etc. If it were small enough, then in some cases a phone + portable wireless docking station could replace a laptop.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This would be good

Bluetooth already has mouse & keyboard covered and there's HDMI for the video... so no real need for a dock at all?.. Just a power supply and HDMI cable?

I can see it replacing a lot of peoples laptops and a lot of desktops too.

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Happy

Re: This would be good

The Motorolla Atrix 2 smartphone, now about $300 has a dock with HDMI, 3*USB, 3.5m speaker, not sure what resolution you get. But try getting one if you don't live in the world, I mean USA. Also each time I look at Motorolla's website it's different, can't see the dock today. Some websites sooo annoying to use. Do many other smartphones have HDMI and docks?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This would be good

The Moto doesn't present you a with full desktop OS once you connect the appropriate accoutrements does it? The Ubuntuphone does... just plug in the appropriate peripherals and voilà - a real computer!

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Re: This would be good

Weren't there a couple of Android attempts at something like this? The Padfone and something that Motorola put out?

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Re: This would be good

>Do many other smartphones have HDMI and docks?

A fair few have microHDMI and USB OTG- which can be used for mice, keyboards and memory sticks. The LG-built Nexus 4 does not support USB OTG (though early promotional materials suggest Google thought it would) so this might explain Canonical's decision to use an older Nexus handset.

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Re: This would be good

>The Ubuntuphone does... just plug in the appropriate peripherals and voilà - a real computer!

All good until you have an incoming call, then realise that you haven't got your headset to hand...

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Devil

Re: This would be good

"I can see it replacing a lot of peoples laptops and a lot of desktops too."

Err, sorry, no cigar.

There is a fundamental problem here - the phone UI is designed for touch and _NONE_ of the remote UI methods including BT input devices is touch oriented with multitouch support. So the idea of hooking your phone to a screen will wait for the day when you can either remote to a touch-screen or when multi-touch input from a screen works correctly as a remote input device on the phone.

By the way, desktop will not be the first victim on that date. The first victim will be the venerable car stereo as it will become totally surplus to requirements. What's the point of having a car stereo when you can remote the phone onto the car console (with all the UI still working correctly)?

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Irk
Megaphone

Re: Car stereo

Aren't we already at this point? My car's stereo might as well just be an AUX jack for my mp3 player or phone.

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Expansion

Will this be limited to only one or two specific phones or will it likely expand to others. I can imagine that it is no mean feat to support a multitude of phones.

Also will the operators be able to block someone using alternative OSs?

What would be the advantage to a none developer. ie Joe Public ?

I would love too see XDA becoming involved...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Expansion

What would be the advantage to a none developer. ie Joe Public ?

Non developer?...

I'm not sure many of them would need any other sort of computer any more. For the odd "productivity" job, just plug their phone into the telly and grab a keyboard and they're away... fire up LibreOffice or Gimp or whatever and get on with it. Bit of a return to "the golden age of home computing" in a way.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Expansion

" For the odd "productivity" job, just plug their phone into the telly and grab a keyboard and they're away... "

Err that might work great for the few people who actually live alone, but anyone else would get a serious ear bashing from the other half/kids if they cant watch TV because Dad needs to get on with a bit of work on his phone attached to the main TV in the house.

Seems a stupid idea to me. Tablets have the screen resolution to be able to get serious window estate on them these days and you can be social with the rest of your family doing whatever they want to do in the same room. Or just stick with the retro laptop/netbook.

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Re: Expansion

>serious ear bashing from the other half/kids if they cant watch TV because Dad needs to get on with a bit of work

Quite a few households boast a second TV in the kitchen or bedroom. The amazement shown by the family in Back to the Future when Marty McFly lets slip he has two TVs is a bit 1955.

But yeah- you've either got to dig some keyboard out of a drawer, or carry one around with you. Neither ideal.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Expansion

The 2nd tv thing was why I specificly mentioned being social... rather than being anti social and going and sitting in a bedroom etc out of the way.

Plus location of TVs in bedrooms/kitchens may not be suitable for working at - kitchen worktop too high for comfort, maybe same with bedroom tv.

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Happy

Nice but....

The Galaxy Nexus doesn't have and hdmi out which is rather annoying. However, Ubuntu is yet another reason I won't be upgrading for the time being.

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Re: Nice but....

Can't you just use a MHL adapter in the microUSB port? Even the official HDMI dock costs less than £20.

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Linux

I know of several penguins that currently have an iPhone simply because they are waiting for this. Looks like I will be buying an old nexus soon, as although I am not a penguin it looks like a great concept.

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Linux

UWB Monitor

With bluetooth taking care of the K & M we just need a UWB enabled smart phone to do the V.

This would be a good starting point for a monitor. http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/monitors/366613/samsung-syncmaster-c27a750

Pair up your devices at home and at work. get in drop your smartphone on a charging mat and everything is up and working. you cold even put these wireless KVM solutions in your hot desking area or in a cafe, on a train excreta.

I like this. The only reservation I have about it being a ubuntu phone (typing this on ubuntu) is after watching the video from the link above where he mentions the use of the phone as a shopping experience and their recent invention of sending amazon search results to the desktop (I'm on the LTS so do not have this feature) is that it may try to do too much in the background to attempt to sell you stuff. I know the need to make money but as I have spent some time getting used to unity (yes I like it, like me it's simple) and such like I would pay a few quid for each upgrade. Not as much as they want for the per seat full support package mind.

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Anonymous Coward

great for linux geeks...

Seems this will be great for linux geeks (once they get over the fact its nasty ubuntu rather than a more pure linux for the die hards...).

But how is it ever going to reach mass market appeal? it isnt. With no mass market appeal there will be no apps for it.

Even if there is a bit of market appeal by somehow signing up a major manufacturer, I still cant see the major app vendors being keen on coding for so many platforms. Microsoft is struggling enough to get devleopers interested as it is.

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Re: great for linux geeks...

Canonical were talking about business deployments (I know of a couple of businesses that issue Linux laptops or bootable Linux USB sticks for the purposes of connecting to the company network) as being what they had in mind for this.

App support? Well, it runs anything in the repositories that runs on ARM, doesn't it? You won't be trying to use Libre Office via the touchscreen, but with traditional mouse and keyboard. Curious that no Reg article mentions whether or not Android apps can run under Unbuntu- but if they can be made to run on BlackBerry's new OS, I would have thought Ubuntu could be persuaded. Thoughts?

My understanding is limited, but can't the really geeky users will just replace Unity with their preferred DE? It seems strange that as an outside, one just hears lots of noise about Linux GUIs, just as there is about Win8 Metro... anyone even moderately geeky will just install work-arounds, no?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: great for linux geeks...

The Linux and open source approach has proven that it works, with regards desktop environments. People were not impressed by Unity / Gnomee 3, so alternatives spring up. There are plenty of alternatives to Unity. You could easily install them on any Ubuntu installation without much hassle. Linux Mint is a fine example of how forking benefits the user, with their excellent Cinnamon interface, or MATE for those who prefer Gnome 2. Or Xubuntu. Or alternatively KDE. Nothing is forcing anyone to use Unity.

Metro however is a different kettle of fish. Where as it is possible to bypass it with a lot of messing around changing file associations, and 3rd party tools, the fact that registry hacks were removed from the preview versions of Windows 8, suggest that Microsoft don't want people to do this. There is presumably nothing stopping them from disabling 3rd party programs which bypass it, in future iterations of Windows, should they want to. It is clear Microsoft want Metro to eventually become the default user interface over time.

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Anonymous Coward

"Why that 16-month-old device and not something else was not immediately clear"

Neil, your hack colleague has published an article about wasteful practices around IT purchasing.

Your "Why that 16-month-old device and not something else was not immediately clear" observation would suggest your approval of such practices.

There is nothing wrong with "that 16-month-old device".

If you really think so, then your demonstrating just how butt-f*cked you are by the advertisers.

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Stop

Cyanogen

Basically this is going to have to compete with Cyanogenmod (or similar). And once I have a terminal app, and an SSH client, what more do I need for a proper computer?

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Go

The 16 month old Device

"Why that 16-month-old device and not something else was not immediately clear"

Who cares??? Why have to release a phone for every new OS? I LOVE the fact that a phone I already have could run this if I want it to! Seems to me it makes good environmental sense to show people that this OS can run on something you already have and you don't have to wait to get a new phone and thus add to the electronic landfill in order to get on board with it if you want to.

Biggest thing that excites me about this is getting to have the entire screen at my disposal instead of having to lose the top and bottom to Android's UI buttons that are always pinned there. As I watched the keynote address and they showed the Nexus phone basically doing full screen with all of those apps, it made me pick up my phone, turn it on, look at it, and think, "Hmmmm...would be nice to have that full screen all to myself!"

I am debating on whether or not I will give it a go on my phone. I already am running it unlocked and with a stock image of Jelly Bean, but this raises an eyebrow and makes me wonder...

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stream Windows applications from corporate servers

I was doing that with VNC on my PalmOS Treo back in the stone age. Already a solved problem.

-A.

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