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back to article You'll NEVER guess who's building the first Ubuntu phones in 2014

The first smartphones running Ubuntu will ship this year, Canonical now says – although the Linux vendor's hardware partners are hardly the first companies you might guess. In January, Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon said that getting major carriers on board with the upstart mobile OS was "longer-term," and that the first …

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Trollface

Hope the contract includes upgrading the website to mulitingual support

I don't fancy trying to find the appropriate support pages on the bq website if it all goes wrong. Good on them though for picking a European builder as well as a far eastern one.

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Re: Hope the contract includes upgrading the website to mulitingual support

Just get it from Ubuntu.com then.

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Facepalm

Re: Hope the contract includes upgrading the website to mulitingual support

http://www.bqreaders.com/gb/

Did you try?

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Re: Hope the contract includes upgrading the website to mulitingual support

Silly me. There I was thinking that I spoke English as EN. Besides how are you supposed to guess there are other languages available when they don't show any pretty flags.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hope the contract includes upgrading the website to mulitingual support

Except if you go to http://bqreaders.com/ and look at the bottom, there's a pretty little Spanish flag you can hover your mouse over. If you do that, it shows up a list of flags.

One of these has "United Kingdom" next to it that then changes to "United Kingdom (Great Britain)" when you select it. (I'll let them off on that one)

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Re: Hope the contract includes upgrading the website to mulitingual support

Flags are actually wrong for languages.

Which flag do you show for English that won't offend (Irish, UK, USA, Malta or other Nationals that speak English but their language isn't listed)?

What flag for German? (Austrians, Swiss and some others might have it as language of choice. Swiss have 4 languages).

French isn't just in France. Nor Spanish in Spain or Portuguese in Portugal.

Sites should put the name of the language in that Language instead of stupid flags.

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Thumb Up

Re: Hope the contract includes upgrading the website to mulitingual support

I ran into exactly that issue when designing a site template for an Irish government department a couple of years ago. They were not happy with the Union Jack.

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Re: Hope the contract includes upgrading the website to mulitingual support

Flags may be wrong for some languages (although it's not clear to me which) but not for English. It's called English for a reason - i.e. that it is a language made up by the inhabitants of England.

They should show an English flag and if anyone doesn't like that, they are free to go and make up their own language and use that instead and stick their own flag next to it.

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Re: Hope the contract includes upgrading the website to mulitingual support

They should show an English flag and if anyone doesn't like that, they are free to go and make up their own language and use that instead and stick their own flag next to it.

<pedant>

I don't think I've ever seen St George's Cross as a language option. Union Flag perhaps, but that's not exactly "English".

</pedant>

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Re: Hope the contract includes upgrading the website to mulitingual support

Sadly, neither have I but they should use the St George's Cross. That's the English flag and it's the English language. Apart from anything, the Cross of St George is one of the most attractive flags there is. The Union flag is a ugly mishmash and most UK citizens can't even tell which way up it should go.

If a schoolboy can't draw a flag in 10 minutes using no more than a ruler, a pair of compasses and a box of coloured pencils, it's a crap flag.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hope the contract includes upgrading the website to mulitingual support

> Flags are actually wrong for languages.

Yes we know¹ but in this case I'm going to guess (from the 'gb' bit) that we are dealing with a localisation and not an internationalisation issue. Therefore, the flag is probably acceptable.

PS: Spaniards are well aware of the difference between States, nations, and languages, having a diversity of the latter two².

¹ Unless the flag represents a language or a community feeling a strong identification with a particular tongue.

² And perhaps a duality of the former, depending on how the Catalan referendum goes.

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Anonymous Coward

I immediately guessed Nokia

Can't believe I was so wrong.

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Pint

I'm excited!

But I couldn't find an (even approximate) date in the article. Any idea when we can get our hands on one of these puppies?

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Go

Re: I'm excited!

I'm actually not excited for the first run of Ubuntu phones.

I'm excited about the second push of cloned Ubuntu phones that provide the phone-slash-desktop experience (as in, dock the phone, full desktop experience) that have slightly less polish and specs but are half the price. Fingers crossed that Ubuntu phones are successful enough that this second push happens shortly after the first push.

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Re: I'm excited!

as in, dock the phone, full desktop experience

I've always liked the idea of a mobile device you could plug into a desktop cradle / laptop body.

I wonder why it's been tried so rarely, never successfully? Even Motorola's try (which produced many approving noises among critics IIRC) apparently flopped. The concept looks good, what does it take for people to buy in on it?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm excited!

Office. Specifically MS Office. Once you can get that, your average office worker can be equipped with the tablet in question.

After that, theres just the need for mobility at work to be demonstrated. That's also lacking in most cases!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm excited! No, not really!

Do you get paid by MS? Software (other than MS) for word processing,

spreadsheet data and presentations has been available for many years,

even for versions of windoze. Hint, NO MS tax required!

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Re: I'm excited!

"The concept looks good, what does it take for people to buy in on it?" - not sure, although I rather like the idea itself though. One thing I can see being a problem is a lot of people use some sort of case on their phone: docking a cased phone might be challenging, especially if one would like the dock to hold the phone fairly securely.

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Re: I'm excited!

Yes in theory today there are phones that don't even need a [smart] dock!

The "dock" only needs to provide power and allow 4 x USB peripherals. BT or USB keyboard. USB or BT mouse, optionally ethernet USB adaptor instead of built in wifi. Use a USB portable HDD for "backup". HDMI to decent screen.

The main issue seems to really only be the OS and some decent applications that work fine with keyboard / Mouse and are not touch screen only.

Support of windows and not just full screen on 1920 x 1080, 1920 x 1200, 1600 x 1200, 1440 x 720, 1024 x 768 as minimum screen modes.

My existing oldish Sony Ericsson Xperia is powerful enough and can do HD on HDMI, USB clients and BT keyboard. Just needs a suitable OS.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm excited! No, not really!

Though this is true, companies won't use it. A major barrier, one not that discussed, is simply that office workers are intensely status conscious. As a result, even if Libre Office meets their needs perfectly, they will feel discriminated against if they don't get "real" office. One large company I did a little occasional work for had people for whom it was a huge status symbol to have an admin account for their desktop. I am sure this is common. (I didn't normally get to see non-IT staff,this was an exception.)

Then there are the millions of documents with poor formatting that only work properly in the current version of Word. I've seen documents with headers part of which was bound to the page and part of which was bound to the first paragraph, for instance, and in which font formatting was nested to hell and back.

No MS tax perhaps, but a huge conversion job and a lot of pissed off workers.

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Re: I'm excited!

Given what the RaspberryPi can do I am looking forward to getting one of these and going into ./configure frenzy. My only concern is if there is a pen with the device - some of these app are going to work fine in but picking the menu items will be a bit tricky without sharpening the finger.

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Re: I'm excited!

Don't be daft - its ARM so VB wont run so you may as well run Libreoffice and avoid more than doubling the price of the phone for an MS office license ... and a hub for extra memory.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm excited!

> Office. Specifically MS Office

Forum seems to be broken. A post from the 90s has slipped through.

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Re: I'm excited! No, not really!

Seriously, you don't need to be 'paid by MS' to suggest that Office (of the MicroSnot variety) would be the killer app for this to be taken up.

Regardless of how 'inferior' it might be to the many alternatives out there, the point is that MS Office accounts for the vast majority of WP/SS/presentation software packages used in business, and it's what probably 90%+ of people use at work every day, so the suggestion that it would encourage people to move to the platform is not entirely left field, is it?

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Re: I'm excited! No, not really!

It's true, people attach status to all sorts of funny things.

Office itself is an abomination, with all sorts of weirdness, such as captions being just mark-up and not a component of the table or figure they relate to. That results in the oh-so-not-funny picture-included in the table of figures.

The amount of time I spend messing around trying to get table columns to line across different tables so it looks nice on the page isn't funny. Then there is the, "your table header background is not quite the same colour as the company standard" and the, "Your i7 quad-core still can't keep up with Word's requirements." I'm beginning to look at at vim and troff just so I can concentrate on content for a while. Don't even get me started on the unsuitability of Word as a source-of-truth repository for technical documentation.

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Anonymous Coward

High end devices? so they expect people to buy a premium phone that has absolutely none of the usual apps that are available on all other platforms (yes, even WinPho!)

mmmmmmm'k

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wasn't there talk of the Ubuntu phone being able to run android apps?

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Crap, if I want Android apps, why'd I buy Ubuntu :)

The whole point of these relatively open companies is offering honest alternatives, unlike WhatsApp sellout from the same day's news (sorry, but I am just too upset by that monopoly news that I have ordered a tinhat on eBay just now).

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I'd like one because it doesn't have the apps and proprietary bloat on it. Phone + Ubuntu sounds ideal to me.

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Bronze badge

High end devices? so they expect people to buy a premium phone that has absolutely none of the usual apps that are available on all other platforms (yes, even WinPho!)

My guess is that they don't really expect to sell phones to "people" at this point, but to developers – who will hopefully be enticed by the concept of a "real" Linux-phone. These will start writing apps, mostly for their own use, but more importantly they'll grow familiar with the platform. As the number of skilled developers increase, Ubuntu will become a more accessible option for larger handset companies, who already have all but forgotten how to write a mobile OS (if they ever knew at all) and might be weary of GMS licensing costs. Initially I'd expect it to be used in budget models, and slowly but surely climb up the model line ladder.

So if my crystal ball is not failing me, Canonical's plan is to sell the platform to developers first, then to companies, and only finally to "people", as in the common-or-garden punter in the street. Whether it'll work is anyone's guess, especially given Mozilla seems to be going along much the same route, but it's not without logic.

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See?

this is what happens when you use linux

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Linux

Re: See?

"This is what happens when you use Linux"

What does happen? Care to elaborate? You can't just leave us hanging!

Socialism? AIDS? Space monkeys? Freedom of choice?

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Re: See?

what access to several hundred thousand free apps that haven't been built around googles 'need to look in your panties' android system?

These things will outperform the RPi by leagues and you can do shitloads with that. Most will just require a simple rebuild for your phone and you're away. I reckon within 2 years of these things coming out you will be able to have a complete enterprise system in your pocket, or a full video recording studio. Rackarrack alone will be £600 worth of guitar effects pedals that you will be able to connect direct into the full blown recording studio...on the same phone. You will even be able to sing through AT1 and make yourself a star.

This is turning a phone with computer support into a computer with phone support.

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Heh

I actually know of Meizu. Their phones are a decent enough spec and low enough cost that they sometimes get featured on Android related sites, usually with a comment along the lines of "wouldn't the world be grand if someone imported this into Europe".

It seems a little unfair to lump them in with the "pop-up" Chinese manufacturers who produce iPhone lookalikes containing ancient ARM SoCs and (bizarrely,) analogue TV tuners.

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Of course we've heard of Meizu...

The Meizu M8 phone received a lot of attention in the popular gadget blogs (Engadget, Gizmondo etc) a few years ago, due to its uncanny resemblance to the iPhone.

http://www.engadget.com/tag/meizu,m8/

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Anonymous Coward

Mmmmm. Bacon....

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Sooo bypassing the US market then?

Unless slapping on a Ubuntu sticker works for Canonical as it does for Apple...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sooo bypassing the US market then?

Now that's funny!

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Too costly

From what I remember of the chatter a month or so ago, these phones are going to be too costly for me. Even though my Jolla has decided to turn itself off (on the odd occasions that it actually condescends to charge and not flash a blinking red light at me) whenever it feels like ... I'm still not going to touch one of these things.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Too costly

I think buying a Jolla was a very brave decision.

If a Ubuntu phone has the capabilities of the old Nokia N900 without the horrendous downsides - the awful resistive touchscreen, the soft phone symbols that periodically disappeared, and the self-destructing micro USB (I had two of them...) it would well be a very different proposition.

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Re: Too costly

Buying a Ubuntu phone is a very brave decision as well. Making the mobile space somewhere not beholden to Applesung, Googlesung and Microsoftkia is a good enough goal to me. I still want a Jolla for me, but its going to be awhile, like another four to six months or so, before I think of buying a new phone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Too costly

Blackberry OS 10 is the new Jolla.

10.2.1 is actually pretty good and I have zilch exploits android apps running.

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I wonder if you'll be able to use it to make voice calls with.

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Coat

Never mind that!

Can i wipe it and install a Proper Lin.... oh.

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Hmm

http://www.bqreaders.com/gb/products/aquaris-5-hd.html

Dual sim, Android 4.2, sd slot 16GB, slightly slow but otherwise OK cpu - might give that a go for 200 german beer tokens!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm

The 5.7 looks even more interesting, but as a small tablet that makes occasional phone calls. It appears to have a big, fat replaceable battery that is dirt cheap, and a 1080p IPS screen with a 5.7 inch diagonal.

What's the catch?

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Re: Hmm

Catch?

You only appear to be able to buy it in Portugese and Spanish.

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Headmaster

"a global presence in China, Hong Kong, Israel, Russia and Ukraine"

Is that like I've got a global presence in England cos that's where I is at?

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Re: "a global presence in China, Hong Kong, Israel, Russia and Ukraine"

New york, Paris, and Peckham

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