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Thread: Ubuntu Phone, Tablet Developer Preview Released

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  1. #1
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    Default Ubuntu Phone, Tablet Developer Preview Released

    Phoronix: Ubuntu Phone, Tablet Developer Preview Released

    The initial Ubuntu Phone/Tablet Developer Preview images for the Google Nexus 4, 7, and 10 devices are now available for those wanting to try out this touch-optimized version of Ubuntu Linux...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTMwODI

  2. #2
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    I'm really curious about the display server. What is it afterall? How do they achieve driver suport?

    According to Ubuntu Wiki, it seems they use an "andoid layer", which is pretty much the low level stuff from CyanogenMod 10.1 (who said canonical doesn't use upstream). This "android layer" is what must be adapted to run on other devices, so it seems ubuntu should fairly easely support pretty much every device supported by CyanogenMod.

    So, if this understanding is correct, "ubuntu touch" or "ubuntu phablet" as it is being called and "ubuntu desktop" are still pretty different beasts, since the desktop still runs on X and the touch uses whatever android uses... I wonder how this is all going to come together?
    Last edited by Figueiredo; 02-21-2013 at 12:18 PM.

  3. #3
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    Does any consumer give a crap about this yet? Or is this just for nerds? It's definitely not for Freedom fans, since Ubuntu is hardly a full Free OS even on the desktop.

    It's even later to the party than Windows, which ain't doin' too well, and Apple+Google already killed all the other competitors. The only device to even threaten Apple is Android, and as a software developer, iOS is still way more lucrative. Many of those Android tablets/phones are just cheap "smartphones" that people disinterested in smartphone features buy because they want Facebook; most people actually interested in interesting apps on their phone buy iOS devices, hence there being a much larger rate of purchase on iOS than Android despite there being way more Android phones than iPhones. The best this phone can do is cut into that value-less Android market, and only very barely.

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    I'm very much interested in this. IMHO, the mobile market right now still have a reasonably large niche to be filled:

    -iOS cripples devices by being too locked down to be usefull to those who actually want to use their devices to the fullest;

    -android is open enough to enable more use cases, but devices are usually crippled by buggy ROMs or old versions due to being quickly abandoned by the ODMs. the community is somehow able to mitigate some of this, but still you never know how many updates your device will se before it is EOL'd;

    -WP mixes the fails of iOS with a very tiny marketplace.

    There is a very clear space for a OS which does what android does, but better. I've said in this forum before: Google should require that ODM's mainline their code in a google branch and maintain the code themselves.

    Since google does not care, the community has taken it to themselves through CM and similar efforts, bu there is so much the community is able to do without specs.

    In order to be marginally successfull all that canonical has to do is to do android right. If they maintain the code and update the devices themselves, advanced android users and corporations will be all over these. Obviously mom and pop will still by whatever salesmen put in front of them, but already CM boasts a pretty impressive user base. If someone is kind enough to get the numbers, I wouldn't be surprised if CM itself has a larger user base than WP.

  5. #5
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    Been playing around with this for an hour on my Nexus 7, and it is quite underwhelming. A lot of the features don't work correctly on the Nexus 7. I think more stuff will work on the Nexus 10, but even then, there is still a lot missing. The voice control doesn't work, landscape mode doesn't work, sidestage doesn't work, the music app does nothing, the available for download apps don't do anything, etc.

  6. #6
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    Interesting...they're using a fork (https://code.launchpad.net/~phablet-...ras/llibhybris) of libhybris (https://github.com/stskeeps/libhybris), which allows running drivers compiled for bionic on glibc systems.

  7. #7
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    Since they use CM 10.1 for the low level Android stuff it might be easy to port this to other CM enabled phones.
    They'll release a guide for that tomorrow.

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Porting
    Last edited by blackout23; 02-21-2013 at 03:05 PM.

  8. #8
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    Looks like they're not deviating too much from desktop Linux. The're using NetworkManager for wireless.

    Btw, root images are available here: http://cdimage.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-tou...antal/mwc-demo

    The file names correspond to the device codenames found here: https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/drivers

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Figueiredo View Post
    [...] (who said canonical doesn't use upstream). [...]
    People don't complain about Ubuntu not *using* upstream, but not commiting to it how we would expect it from a big project like this, especially considering kernel-commits.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by frign View Post
    People don't complain about Ubuntu not *using* upstream, but not commiting to it how we would expect it from a big project like this, especially considering kernel-commits.
    I was actually reffering to the critics that say they fork too much and must control every project. I agree on the commit side, even though I have no idea how much they do commit and how much would be considered acceptable. However, most open source projects are too loosesly guided, and most times, forking seems to be the only solution to achieve a coherent result. After all, if the project suceeds, it becomes the de facto standard, much like XFree86 and X.org.

    What is funny is that people were complaining so much about they not sticking to upstream when they seem to be, just not to GNU upstream but CM, which by some people's metric has a larger userbase than desktop ubuntu maybe even WP.

    I just hope canonical is able to do this one thing: to maitain the damn code for the supported devices. Obviously someone will release a dalvik VM to run on this and it will become every geeks wet dream.

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