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Ubuntu Smartphone Shipping In October

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the just-in-time-for-clergy-appreciation-month dept.

Cellphones 102

An anonymous reader writes "Smartphones running the open source Ubuntu operating system will be available to customers beginning in October 2013, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth told CIO Journal. Ubuntu will be available on a full range of devices, including desktop and tablet computers, potentially providing corporate IT executives a way to reduce the number of devices they purchase and manage, and would allow users to access all manner of corporate data through a single, pocket-sized device. 'You can share Windows apps to the phone desktop,' said Mr. Shuttleworth during a meeting in New York Tuesday." Jon Brodkin adds, "Canonical is taking community input on what the core applications (e-mail, calendar, clock/alarm, weather, file manager, document viewer, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter) should look like. The best aspects of community proposals will hopefully make it into Ubuntu phones when they finally hit the market sometime toward the end of 2013 or beginning of 2014. Take a look at the best designs Canonical has received so far."

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102 comments

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Uh huh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42813963)

And who will be shipping them? Last year, they claimed TVs with Ubuntu TV would be shipping by the end of the year and that never happened.

root (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814005)

gives a whole new meaning to "rooting" a phone. I'd wait for some other schlubs to do the public testing, thanks anyway.

I'm sorry, but (3, Insightful)

EliSowash (2532508) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814013)

I just can't get excited about this. Ubuntu on PCs isn't the holy grail of desktop computing, and between Droid and iPhone, I'm not sure what new-shiney Ubuntu brings to the smartphone table. Does that make me a bad person?

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814111)

This is Ubuntu's attempt at remaining relevant.

Re:I'm sorry, but (5, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814409)

As long as they allow us to run KDE they'll remain successful.

Re:I'm sorry, but (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814113)

Every single article about an iPhone, a Windows phone, or even half the ones about Android phones all include the same responses. You will always find "what we need is a real Linux phone!" in the coments, and it will always be marked +5: Insightful.

Well, here it is, a real Linux phone, and as the cynics warned, now the line is "it should be compiled off of Mint" or some variant thereof.

Re:I'm sorry, but (0)

smegfault (2001252) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814669)

Did you honestly expect something else?

Re:I'm sorry, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42817969)

The secret to understanding this is to realise that there is more than one Slashdot reader, and therefore more than one opinion in comments.

Re:I'm sorry, but (5, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814205)

They never intend to be a big player, as best as I can tell, merely another option for corporate phones that don't end up being play things with untrustworthy software installed.

I think another option in the market is a good idea. Google is getting a bit too big for their britches and the carriers have way too much control of what you can do with your own phone.

We don't all run Apple or Microsoft computers, so why should we run only Apple or Google phones?

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

EliSowash (2532508) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814341)

We don't all run Apple or Microsoft computers, so why should we run only Apple or Google phones?

I thought Open Source was the motivator on the desktop. Which, you have with Android. Eh, I just don't see the point of another choice [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I'm sorry, but (4, Insightful)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815147)

As someone with an n900, Android is not nearly as open as many people think.

Re:I'm sorry, but (3, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42818387)

As someone running an AOSP ROM, I disagree. Your carrier's ROM may be crippled and shit, and they may be cagey about the drivers, but Android is open.

Re:I'm sorry, but (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814293)

Holy grail it may not be, and it's not about new shiny. It's a step up from what we have, and it's open enough to interoperate with other closed platforms without much trouble. Because choice and flexibility are good.

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814483)

I'm interested, though I'll probably get what I want when Jolla releases their handsets later this year. I'm completely uninterested in platforms like iOS that serve Apple more than the user, or Android where entire wheels are reinvented for the sole purpose of catering to the laze and malfeasance in pretty much every handset vendor and US carrier today.

Re:I'm sorry, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42819459)

I got the impression that Jolla weren't interested in catering to the desires of open source enthusiasts, and their devices won't be any more open than required by the licenses of the software they use. Assuming the Ubuntu phone makes it to market I expect it to be more open to users than whatever Jolla comes out with.

Re:I'm sorry, but (4, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814547)

I'm not sure what new-shiney Ubuntu brings to the smartphone table

The ability to use a single codebase, in any language, to run on your desktop AND on your phone?

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815343)

The ability to use a single codebase, in any language, to run on your desktop AND on your phone?

I think you misunderstood. He asked what *Ubuntu* brings to the smartphone table.

Or if you are unaware, your UI on Ubuntu phone will need to be in QML to be usable. So you don't get a choice.

And before you claim "you can still use other blah blah blah", you can on Android as well. I can write C++/QT and have it run on desktop and Android today (or python, or perl, or scala, or javascript, or whatever). It just sucks on Android, just like all those desktop apps are going to suck on Ubuntu Smartphone.

Re:I'm sorry, but (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816263)

As long as it is compiled for the processor the phone runs (i.e. ARM processor) any linux program should run. If is not in QML probably won't be as integrated with the "desktop" as programs meant for it, but should run. Maybe more interesting, you have QT/QML in your desktop, so programs for the Ubuntu Mobile will run in your desktop, and same for other programs meant for QT/QML (i.e. BB10 programs if recompiled in Linux, or sailfish, or kde plasma active), and if that pair of libraries are available for Android or even for iOS, could run on those platforms too.

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

kllrnohj (2626947) | about a year and a half ago | (#42824629)

Any Linux program runs on Android as well. The problem is when you leave the realm of "Linux program" and start writing *useful* apps which need more than a kernel.

And FYI, there is a *MASSIVE* difference between "runs" and "usable". *None* of your existing GNU/Linux desktop apps will be usable on a smartphone. Not a single one. There are zero existing apps for Ubuntu smartphone. Apps will need to start a new UI basically from scratch.

Re:I'm sorry, but (0)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815375)

The ability to use a single codebase, in any language, to run on your desktop AND on your phone?

So Ubuntu brings to the table what Microsoft has brought to the table for about a decade? Interesting strategy. And look how well it's worked for Microsoft!

Re:I'm sorry, but (0)

div_2n (525075) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816059)

Really? is that what you think? So you could take a binary from XP and run on CE? How about from Windows 8 and RT?

Let me help you out -- no and no.

That's exactly like what Ubuntu is striving for except that it's exactly the opposite.

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

Junta (36770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816231)

And you think a binary for x86 Ubuntu desktop is going to run on an ARM Ubuntu smartphone? Now if you say 'but they'll have dev environments that are processor agnostic', but that's also precisely the value prop of Windows 8 vs. RT in the scenario where 'metro' is used.

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42817439)

ubuntu is a debian derivative, so applicable.

Nearly everything available on x86 is available on ARM, MIPS, Alpha, PPC, Sparc, etc. with Debian.

I run Debian on my phone (both a full version in a chroot, and natively a debian derivative, maemo [n900]), and on four different arm boards (three different SOCs), one PPC, a Sparc system, as well as two AMD64 boxes (this list is from home; a lot more quantity / diversity at work).

So, yeah. nearly everything on your x86 Debian derived ubuntu box will run (with no effort on your part; already packaged) on your (name that processor) Debian / Debian derived ubuntu box. As long as this ubuntu phone has a proper xserver, all will be fine. This ecosystem is _nothing_ like windows which is apparently where your experience is.

That said, running something like openoffice / libreoffice on my phone is painful as hell. gnumeric and abiword are _much_ better performing on the phone, but none of these UIs are designed for touch or even stylus, so after the initial novelty wore off, I don't really play with these type applications on my phone anymore. I do have a full toolchain on my phone that is handy, but the biggest battery eater you will ever see.

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

Junta (36770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819975)

So my experience is all Linux based, but practically speaking that is all the open source software that is embraced by the distribution vendor with the vendor having full source. For example, most ppa repositories in ubuntu are only compiled for x86, even though they are generally open source because no one is doing a build server for other platforms. Let's exacerbate the issue by assuming a successful endeavor would have commercial, proprietary applications along for the ride (e.g. Netflix). The vendor must do builds per platform. You say debian so you can whip out all the less prolific architectures, but this is Ubuntu, you won't find a Ubuntu for Alpha because Canonical doesn't bother maintaining that build infrastructure. The original point was that MS enabled use of a single *codebase* even if the vendor must recompile. *IF* true (I haven't actually bothered doing much Windows development at all, much less their mobile efforts), then you are conceding the same scenario is there: common codebase, unique builds. Linux is more convenient by having a much wider breadth of software in the distribution repositories, but the value prop for third party commercial projects is actually similar in this specific regard.

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816351)

Really? is that what you think? So you could take a binary from XP and run on CE? How about from Windows 8 and RT?

The incompatability between ARM and x86 affects both Ubuntu and Microsoft. Ubuntu is not magic.

At any rate, it seems you don't know what the word "codebase" means. It refers to source, not binaries.

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816613)

You're joking with this post, right? How will an Ubuntu Phone run x86/x86_64 binaries?

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814759)

Maybe this thing could be good for hackability and we could put another distro on it, like maybe a close Maemo relative?

Re:I'm sorry, but (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815063)

I'm an android user, but only because I hate the rest. that said, I'm not at all in love with android, its design, its 'usability' and its poor app and o/s stability.

more choices is better and if you don't like apple or android, what are your options? dumb phones?

bring on more choices. I'd be happy to drop android for another. I have no dog in this fight but the usability issues I have with android make it a frustration exercise most of the time for me.

Re:I'm sorry, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815121)

Yes.

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

thelamecamel (561865) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815207)

between Droid and iPhone, I'm not sure what new-shiney Ubuntu brings to the smartphone table.

Unlike an iPhone, you don't have to hack into your expensive new smartphone in order to use applications that have been deemed too powerful for the average user, or to access the filesystem.

Unlike Android, you can be confident that if you turn off the online search, your phone will not send lots of data about you to the world-champion data-miners.

I have been waiting a long time for something like this.

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

Junta (36770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816277)

Unlike Android, you can be confident that if you turn off the online search, your phone will not send lots of data about you to the world-champion data-miners.

Oh really? [markshuttleworth.com] Face it, any corporate sponsored endeavor looking to compete with Google is going to resort to some of these tactics to extract profit since their ability to actually charge for the product itself is pretty well tanked. I will say I'm perfectly willing to believe Android can be easily outdone in terms of UI functionality (hell, Palm did it with WebOS). App and manufacturer ecosystem is going to be a severely uphill battle. Canonical's past announcements have left plenty of room to doubt the viability of this announcement (Ubuntu TVs anyone?) so I'm not getting my hopes up that Ubuntu is the one to deliver me from the relatively mediocre android experience.

Re:I'm sorry, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816505)

I'm not sure what new-shiney Ubuntu brings to the smartphone table.

Perhaps the new things are not shiny. Perhaps they are things like, "your phone belongs to you after you buy it, and you can run whatever software you want on it without needing Apple or ATT's permission."

Perhaps they are things like, "a software ecosystem whose entire purpose is not to harvest every shred of data about you."

Re:I'm sorry, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816643)

And how is Canonical going to stop the phone manufacturers or carriers from doing any of those things? They'll have no leverage.

Re:I'm sorry, but (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42818975)

Ubuntu on PCs isn't the holy grail of desktop computing, and between Droid and iPhone, I'm not sure what new-shiney Ubuntu brings to the smartphone table. Does that make me a bad person?

I and many others like to complain about Ubuntu. There's plenty to complain about. Unity. Walyand. Pulseaudio back in the day. Eyewateringly complex and slow system scripts. Bizarre packaging fetishes. Weird patches on programs. Etc.

But basically we love to complain. And the complaints about ubuntu, while legitimate are minor. It is still a decent version of GNU/Linux and despite my whinging it is not even near bad enough for me to consider switching out the OS on working machines. It's still GNU/Linux, it still runs X and is still open.

So while Ubuntu is not the holy grail of desktop computing it's still pretty standard desktop Linux and as a result head and shoulders above everything else except other desktop Linuxices.

What it brings to the phone or tablet is to turn that portable computer with a cell radio into a proper portable computer with a cell radio. Like the Nokia N900. It's basically a fully functional computer in your pocket that can do EVERYTHING your desktop PC can do. I mean sure, you might want things a little optimized for he different input tech, but you still don't have to compromise.

Want the GIMP? It's there. Etc... I used to own a Zaurus 3100, running OpenBSD and I did actually do a bit of image manipulation on it in the GIMP. In fact I actually did a lot of real work on that machine. I can't do the same on my much more capable andriod phone because it tries so hard not to be a proper computer.

To late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814047)

When Windows phone 7/8 came out people said they were to late. Two years later, is the Ubuntu Smartphone OS to late to be successful?

Re:To late? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814677)

It's not too late.

Last year, of the 1.8 billion handsets sold 700 million were smartphones.
By the end of the decade over 2 billion handsets will be sold annually, and all of them will be smartphones.
That's a 1.3 billion units per year market to be tapped out.

I'm not confident on Ubuntu's success, though.
They have no Manufacturer deals, no distribution deals, and more importantly, no carrier deals.
They're not "not likely to win" they are "not even competing".

WP8 doesn't fail because they're too late, they are failing because carriers hate MS's bullying tactics, and they hate Skype with a passion.
Carriers want an alternative to Google and Apple though, and it will probably be Tizen.

Obsolete (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814059)

If you're announcing a phone this far in advance, it will be obsolete by the time it ships.

Re:Obsolete (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815299)

Did they announce the phone or simply that they are going to produce a phone with Ubuntu on it.

Re:Obsolete (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816281)

My PC hadn't Ubuntu preinstalled when i bought it. October could be the date of the firsts phones that have Ubuntu bundled get released, but probably you will be able to install it in some existing phones this month (i.e. in google nexus).

This might be taken as a stupid question: (-1, Offtopic)

bogaboga (793279) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814067)

So which environment is it running?

1: Gnome: [ ] 2: KDE [ ] 3: Other [ ]

Thanks!

Re:This might be taken as a stupid question: (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814117)

Unity.

Re:This might be taken as a stupid question: (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815049)

I think it is Other.

Re:This might be taken as a stupid question: (2)

elashish14 (1302231) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815869)

I believe it's using Qt and that they're working closely with the KDE Plasma team, however, I'm pretty sure they are not using KDE or Plasma. However, if you are interesed in a KDE tablet, I believe you can find more information here: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/01/new-kde-tablet-to-liberate-linux-enthusiasts-from-walled-garden/ [arstechnica.com]

security (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814107)

is a concern of mine, is this going to be open source? if not there is no reason to purchase such a joke.

Re:security (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814155)

Unlikely that the hardware drivers, etc will be. The rest, most likely.

Easily rooted and changed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814115)

... or GTFO!

Exchange (3, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814133)

It's a non-starter without seamless Exchange access. That's the #1 function of my phone. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Re:Exchange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814661)

I think you are the only one. On my business phone, Exchange access ranks way below Angry Birds.

Re:Exchange (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814739)

I can't say that I've even used Exchange in my 30 years of life and 18 years of computing...

Re:Exchange (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816287)

... and you can be sure you are not the only one.

Re:Exchange (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#42817315)

my 50+ years of life and 30+ yrs of computing shows that PHB's use exchange and the engineers use regular old email (wanted to say sendmail, but we have gotton beyond that, right?)

Re:Exchange (1)

SourceFrog (627014) | about a year and a half ago | (#42824843)

This makes sense once you understand the Exchange's big draw is the calendar stuff. PHB's spend half their lives trying to arrange 'meetings' so they can 'discuss stuff', while engineers spend their lives trying to avoid meetings so they can get real work done.

Re:Exchange (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42821259)

We just switched and so far it sucks. I'm not sure what we were using before, but it performed better and worked seamlessly with Outlook. Now I have to log in everytime I switch networks. Calendar integration is supposedly a cool feature, but honestly it hasn't made a difference and my Google calendar is better. Outlook is a good client, but Exchange feels bloated.

Ya that's a bigge (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815097)

Many companies like to use Exchange for e-mail and calendar functions. Given that, having it integrate on your smart phone is important.

You can argue all you like that companies shouldn't do that, they do, and that is what matters.

Re:Exchange (1)

Mars Saxman (1745) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815249)

I'm not even sure what "seamless Exchange access" means. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Re:Exchange (3, Informative)

DogDude (805747) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815537)

seamless:
Perfectly consistent: a seamless plot in the novel.

Exchange: The most widely used email/scheduling/office management server software on the planet: http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/en-us/default.aspx [microsoft.com]

access: verb (used with object):
To make contact with or gain access to; be able to reach, approach, enter, etc.: ie: Bank customers can access their checking accounts instantly through the new electronic system.

Re:Exchange (1)

jafac (1449) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815817)

Exactly - and the Ubuntu vendors are probably not going to install an unremovable version of Exchange. Instead, they're going to install an unremovable version of GoGolf, and Amazon Shopping.

Re:Exchange - Not buying in... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816593)

Well, my employer is a 100K seat global Exchange shop, and I don't "allow" it on my phone even though its WinMob 6.5 can do it just fine (unlike newer versions), and the corp IT policy allows it on that and on iPhone and Android 2.2+. My problems are that such access requires a too--cumbersome password (not just a 4-digit PIN), and quick lock timeout, plus the fact that about 85% of the email I get is "corporate spam" I have no use for (use lots of Outlook filters to send straight to trash, but most only run from the Outlook client when my PC is running - unlike our prior Lotus Notes that would run our filters on the Domino server), and the calendar entries are ridiculously verbose to view on a small screen (esp annoying is the wordy "boilerplate" disclaimer that Daylight Saving time offsets are not reflected in the event times on the item when in fact they ARE, and to it goes...).

I opted out of letting them control MY phone (cheap bastards are expecting BYOD to save a few bucks) by not even trying to access Exchange. I just manually put put terse reminders on my calendar for the dozen or so events I really need out-of-hours reminders for (I am on the corp PC most biz hours, and a lot of off-hours, too, for global intranet support), and if I must, I can view the full email and calendar info with Outlook Web Access (OWA) with most browsers over the open Internet, even from my personal Linux PC's. Works for me.

I also have a Dell Streak 5, rooted, and on cheap T-Mobile data plan, but it is mostly just a beltable data consumption device for me. I would like to see an alternative to Android and iOS (and WinMob 6.x) that would have the PIM functionality of WinMob 6.x, but a GUI as elegant and usable as my old Handsprings and Palms (T|X was sweet - just needed a few more capabilities). Ah, the joys of resistive screen writing with a stylus or fingernail (and, no, I am NOT being sarcastic - I hate the "twitchy" capacitive screens that my blunt fingertips keep misfiring on and smearing up.)

YMMV

Re:Exchange (2)

Engeekneer (1564917) | about a year and a half ago | (#42818325)

Well, I don't know about that. It depends on the target market. If it's a consumer phone, who cares about exchange?

Bitcoin (0)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814173)

one thing for sure - I want a bitcoin app that lets me pay quickly (or send money) just by scanning the qr code.

Re:Bitcoin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814389)

Just FYI, on Android there's Bitcoin Wallet [f-droid.org] . Free software.

No bloatware (2)

msk (6205) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814203)

Don't install any bloatware and don't lock the bootloader or the SIM.

Re:No bloatware (1)

Merk42 (1906718) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814403)

Depending on ones definition of 'bloatware' the only way Canonical would satisfy them is if it came with nothing installed at all.

Re:No bloatware (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814753)

Oh - Ubuntu Server?

they better hurry up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814249)

Since the advent of multirom its easy enough to get any linux with an armhf repo to run on android devices and distos like bodhi have profiles for tablet/mobile as well as desktop.

For under $250 delivered we can get a chinese tablet with 2GB ram, 32GB Nand Flash, SDcard slot (upto 32GB) and a retina display of 2048 x 1536 px. with an quad core processor.

Not only should ubuntu hurry up but they better make it good.

Re:they better hurry up (1)

riondluz (726831) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815401)

I'd love to see an E17/Illume WM/DM replace harmattan/freemantle on N9 and meego devices.

Ubuntu: just give me a full "pocket-PC" that works well as a phone/radio that i can control like all my other devices. Bonus points for speech recognition and synthesizer (arctic/cmu?)

Arrows on keyboard (3, Insightful)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814277)

I saw there one example of a terminal session. And that reminds me - one thing that aggravates me on ipad (jailbroken) when using midnight commander in terminal is that the arrows keys are missing! I cannot event use the bash history.

We definitely want the arrow keys on keyboard when in terminal mode.

Re:Arrows on keyboard (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814585)

I have Hackers Keyboard installed on android for just that reason.

It's android 2.3 (Gingerbread) keyboard, but with all of the keys (including under the Fn menu F-keys, SysRq Num Lock etc.

It's a touch small, but usable on a phone (I only switch to it when using SSH because of this). It offers easy keyboard swapping too.

Re:Arrows on keyboard (2)

Jorgensen (313325) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814797)

So.. Ctrl-N and Ctrl-P ain't working for you?

Re:Arrows on keyboard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816571)

At least one of the SSH apps, VSSH has a substitute for arrow keys that works pretty well.

He said what? (1)

6031769 (829845) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814279)

'You can share Windows apps to the phone desktop,' said Mr. Shuttleworth

He said that? What did he actually mean to say, do you suppose? Hopefully something which even vaguely makes sense.

Re:He said what? (4, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814377)

Probably means it comes with the vnc (and/or tightvnc and/or rdesktop) client installed, whereas on my phone and tablet(s) I had to install it.

I find the idea of a "tech phone" with useful preinstalled stuff instead of crapware to be an intriguing idea. No angrybirds or facebook in rom, but gimmie a VNC / rdesktop / ssh client (preferably one that isn't harvesting logins and phoning home with them to the telco mothership). You could carry this to comic extremes like stereotypical techie background and theme instead of the blah they push to the masses.

Re:He said what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814381)

He might be referring to some sort of Citrix functionality.

Awesome... (3, Interesting)

Panaflex (13191) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814287)

As someone who has lived and worked in iPhone and Android land since the beginnings, I'm excited to see something new. Don't get me wrong - I like my iPhone and android for what they are - but having the option of getting into the code and fixing the stupid is a great incentive for me to switch.

I am super excited (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814369)

I am super excited to have a phone that can break itself every six months! I look forward to huge and pointless changes to the UI with every update!

Ubuntu on the desktop is still acceptable to me because I can install whatever desktop I want and tweak the UI to match my needs. Does that same option exist on a phone?

And the point is? (1)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year and a half ago | (#42814515)

What exactly is an Ubuntu Phone going to offer that I can't get with an iPhone or Android? Or Win8 Phone or Blackberry, for that matter? Maybe something like this will do well in international markets, as a cheap smartphone alternative or something, but I can't imagine much else.

Re:And the point is? (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815055)

What exactly is an Ubuntu Phone going to offer that I can't get with an iPhone or Android? Or Win8 Phone or Blackberry, for that matter? Maybe something like this will do well in international markets, as a cheap smartphone alternative or something, but I can't imagine much else.

Well, in the West, the smartphone market is pretty saturated. However, in China and SE Asia there is a huge opportunity for growth. If one were to capture a significant portion of that market, it would be very profitable, assuming one had a business model that was profitable. I'm not sure Ubuntu Phone does. OTOH, the phone manufacture using Ubuntu Phone may very well.

Re:And the point is? (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815203)

A REAL ssh client for starters. The ones I've seen for Android and iPhone suck so harshly it's hard to quantify. Not only do they not run full screen in a terminal, they don't support port forwarding, remote X, tunelling, socks, etc.

A proper package manager that lets you add your own PRIVATE repositories (and those of your friends, startups, etc).

Proper VPN support.

ALL of the above is available on the n900 that came out over 3 years ago and are still missing from all other mobile operating systems.

Re:And the point is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815269)

Everything i can currently do on my N900, only (hopefully) better!

Re:And the point is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42815487)

Go talk to some non-technical users and it will become clear. The big selling point I keep hearing from people who own iPhones is the integration. They love having iPhone, iCloud and their laptop all running the same OS with integrated software. Ubuntu will be in the same feature set, providing a similar mobi;e+cloud+desktop stack. Plus, one assumes, Ubuntu will be open source and able to run popular open source software. This gives them a similar product as Apple, but with more openness and at a (I assume) lower price.

Re:And the point is? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815641)

sudo apt-get and flash that crashes every 10 seconds

Re:And the point is? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42816209)

The ability to run "normal" Linux apps, and a standard Linux environment. This was the promise that Nokia failed to deliver with the N9 and Meego, since they sold their souls to Microsoft just as the project was done. I'd buy one as a backup phone if it was reasonably priced: if it's done properly it may be a better system to use than my Nexus 4 for some of what I do.

I would be interested if: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814543)

1 - it didn't ship any queries off to a third party. I don't care that it creates revenue - you only do that after I give permission (this is one of the prime reasons I don't use Android based phones either, or WhatsApp, or iWhatever stuff that needs a foreign cloud service to work).

2 - it was NOT based on "Ubutu", but on Linux. There is a difference, and I'm not exactly a fan of Unity. I'd be more interested if someone from the Mint team was involved :)

No Major Carrier = Death (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814615)

They could release the greatest phone OS known to man packed with rainbows, unicorns, and oral favors and it will not make it beyond a fraction of a percent of the market without a major phone carrier to allow it access to the mainstream consumers.

Re:No Major Carrier = Death (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814671)

Only in the USA. The rest of the world is not so beholden to the telcos in their country. The rest of the world permits you to buy your own phone, plug in a SIM card and play. Why such a convenient system does not obtain in the United States is baffling.

Now to get Xubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814659)

Will there be a Xubuntu version with an interface that doesn't suck?

Any chance of QWERTY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42814795)

Is there any chance, at some point, possibly in the near future, maybe there might be a Ubuntu phone with a physical qwerty keyboard?

I'm in the UK and there are exactly no options for a smartphone with a physical keyboard, I have the last one that was (maybe still is) available, which isn't very good, the Samsung Galaxy Y Pro. The Samsung Captivate Slide looks tolerable but i'd have to spend a lot of £ to get one shipped over from the US/Canada. The spec's are not good enough to justify that as well as probably not being able to update it to ICS once I actually get hold of it.

So please, i'm begging, someone, anyone to come out with a pro/power-phone with a physical keyboard, not a £400 fashion accessory thats selling point is being intuitive enough for a 4 year old to use.

IF they really want to succeed (1)

CB-in-Tokyo (692617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42815791)

They need to address the needs of the corporate market. If you can make solid phones and have them integrate well into a corporate environment, offering the features corporations needs you are not just another provider, you are solving problems.

Features I think they should have;

Built in remote management features and "Mobile Device Management Software." This is always a top priority and usually a costly solution.
Make it simple to push approved patches, software, and updates. Make it simple to remote wipe and remote install phones.
Anti Virus.
An easy way to flag Personal vs Corporate calls.
An easy way to separate Corporate vs Personal App purchases.
Centralized accounting of corporate calls and app purchases.
A method for joining Active Directory domains.
IPsec and OpenVPN capable.
Easy file sharing for corporate file shares.

And of course security.

Existing phones (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816333)

And when will be installable versions of Ubuntu Mobile for existing phones, and for which ones, besides Galaxy Nexus [androidandme.com] ?

I don't think it will be available for the N9, at least, not very soon (nokia drivers) but for (other) popular Android phones it could be released before october.

Re:Existing phones (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816363)

True. This seems the exact polar opposite of Ubuntu now - they provide software, you provide hardware.

Everyone has several old phones kicking around - if not they're dirt cheap used. A version of Ubuntu that would install on existing hardware would be popular - and build Canonical's business. Then, *if* that was successful, then they could look at producing their own hardware.

But - if they are switching to producing their own hardware - where is the Canonical/Ubuntu laptop?

Converged Phone/Laptop Device (2)

slaingod (1076625) | about a year and a half ago | (#42816543)

So for me the interesting idea is all about reducing the number of devices I need to maintain. Whether it is chrome os/android or ubuntu, or whatever, my interest is in having to maintain as few devices as possible.

Right now I have
Windows x64 Box #1: Old workhours/gaming/media desktop, mainly used for torrents, news, and to use Photoshop, etc when necessary.
Windows x64 Box #2: HTPC with Windows Media Center ('free' guide listings, works with cable card premium chans) (also important not to do too much besides HTPC for stability on this box)
Ubuntu x64 Laptop #1: Main device I use on a daily basis for dev work, etc.
Windows x86 VM on Ubuntu: Windows VM I use for photoshop, and other windows/osx only apps and for old drivers for scanners etc that dont have x64 drivers
Android Phone: My phone
Andoid Tablet: My tablet

I would love to have at most one or two OS instances I have to maintain. A Padphone/Phabet with Laptop dock, etc. may be the converged device that I can use in the future for my full dev stack.

Shuttleworth is not Canonical's CEO (1)

javipas (1086007) | about a year and a half ago | (#42818443)

There's a little mistake in this article. Mark Shuttleworth stepped down from his CEO position [markshuttleworth.com] in 2009, to "focus my Canonical energy on product design, partnerships and customers".

What OS will they be running ? (1)

TractorBarry (788340) | about a year and a half ago | (#42818765)

If the latest desktop developments from Ubunut are any indication then I'm betting this phone will feature a standard desktop interface something like Gnome 2.0 or Mate.

A keyboard and mouse will be required to get the best experience :)

Re:What OS will they be running ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820149)

what about power management, too? android started off being horrible, now it's good. how can they just drop ubuntu onto a phone and expect it not gobble up power? i don't get this here. you have android and ios written for mobile. what is ubuntu doing?

Core apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42818827)

First of all, Youtube, Facebook and Twitter should not be core apps. Don't bloat the thing before it's even released.

Two carriers also announced (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819049)

Two carriers will support the Ubuntu Smartphone:

Unobtainium Telephonics
YouCantHearMeNowNorEverPhone, LLC

Only scatter-brain squintsville crowd cares ... (1)

noshellswill (598066) | about a year and a half ago | (#42819259)

Who will buy that Shuttlekok crap? iboiz  & cheap triks have already emptied their wallets.  For the rest of us ... a phone makes ... telephone calls, and a screen less than 27" isn't worth watching. For any reason. Anytime. That's smart. EOF!

Alternate name: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42820169)

Amazon Phone

Updates (1)

octav14n (2835645) | about a year and a half ago | (#42820871)

I hope Canonical have learned of the miserable job android did. A version fragmented UbuntuPhone-marked will be killing UbuntuPhone before it even starts. I hope those scrap-apps Samsung, ZTE, ... like to add to Android (which isn't removeable) will also be prevented on UbuntuPhone.
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