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CES: Jono Bacon Talks Up Ubuntu for Phones (Video)

Roblimo posted about a year ago | from the a-smart-phone-for-human-beings-and-other-creatures dept.

Ubuntu 93

One of the more interesting conversations Tim Lord had at CES this year was with Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon, who was showing off the Ubuntu Phone that is supposed to be released later this year. According to the Ubuntu website, it "delivers a magical phone that is faster to run, faster to use and fits perfectly into the Ubuntu family." Big words, but if Ubuntu parent Canonical can live up to them, the mobile phone market may soon have an interesting new operating system competitor to shake things up.

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93 comments

His name's Bacon (1)

EliSowash (2532508) | about a year ago | (#42822423)

So what he has to say must be important. (But I still don't care about Ubuntu phones)

Why not to care but to keep an eye out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42822843)

You see, when a billionaire (or whatever he is) gets involved with anything, one has to wonder how he is going to recoup his investment. Ubuntu (Unity included - IMHO) is a pretty damn good OS. But folks who have money like that don't open up their pocket and say, "Here! Dig in and take what you want!"

They didn't become rich by being sweet and nice.

So, what's my point?

Ubuntu phone is going to monetize Ubuntu. Got an Ubuntu Desktop? Got an Ubuntu phone?

Fuck yeah! Advertizements -sell personal data- sell demographic data?

See Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, and every other Internet "Free to use" service for a precedent.

Fuck'n A! I think I just talked myself to go back to Slackware!

Re:Why not to care but to keep an eye out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42834165)

I switched to Debian for basically all my Linux needs, partly because of Raspi and partly because I think the same way you do about where Ubuntu is headed - this ever-so-helpful Amazon search right on the desktop is sleazy.

Re:His name's Bacon (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year ago | (#42822971)

If Shuttleworth has any marbles left in that gaping ego-void in his head, he'll call it the Bacon. Crispy, Streaky, Rainbow, the version names just take care of themselves.

Re:His name's Bacon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823181)

So what he has to say must be important. (But I still don't care about Ubuntu phones)

HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS THE BACON'S TALKING TO ME NOW! I knew it! I always knew the bacon would evolve sentience and come back for revenge on us all! None of you believed me! You all laughed at my hours of preparation every day! You scoffed at my roast beef BLTs! You openly mocked my use of sausage patties as a breakfast meat! But who's laughing NOW?!? I knew the bacon would rise up! This is the first step! I warned you all! I...

Oh, the guy's name is just Jono Bacon. Hrmph. Probably isn't even pronounced the same way. You win this time, Bacon.

He had me at "bacon" (1)

MoFoQ (584566) | about a year ago | (#42827333)

He had me at bacon.

At least he doesn't have a middle name that sounds similar to "want" or "like"

It will be interesting to see another platform in the mobile market but we'll see if it will fly or not.

Sounds like WinPhone 8 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42822469)

Not wanting to sound like an arse but Windows Phone 8 already has a lot of the personal features he's talking about. You can pin music (artists, albums, playlists etc) to the home screen.

Re:Sounds like WinPhone 8 (2)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#42822533)

You make a good point. I would also add that an Android developer could make an app that puts widgets on the home screen, or bookmarks to urls that the app can recognize. Therefore, the mechanism exists to develop Android apps that can pin anything you want to the home screen.

So what does Ubuntu phone offer that is compelling. Especially compelling to OEMs (eg, HTC, Sony, Samsung) and compelling to mobile operators (AT&T, Verizon, etc)? And what is compelling to end users that the competition cannot easily replicate?

Re:Sounds like WinPhone 8 (2)

unrtst (777550) | about a year ago | (#42823419)

So what does Ubuntu phone offer that is compelling. Especially compelling to OEMs (eg, HTC, Sony, Samsung) and compelling to mobile operators (AT&T, Verizon, etc)? And what is compelling to end users that the competition cannot easily replicate?

I rag on Unity just about any time there's a chance, but I'm actually excited about this.

IMO, after you get the radios working, the apps out there for phones are really really simple. My phone (an HTC EVO Shift 4g) is often sluggish, and the OS and mandatory apps take up a ton of the available space. Something like this has the potential to provide a very full featured and light weight OS/apps that are nice and snappy. This matters a LOT in the mobile area. The less power you need, the less batter you use up. You can't simply keep throwing more power into the phones to accommodate things, because it comes at a big cost.

What's the matter to OEMs? They'll (potentially) be able to produce a feature comparable device for less money, or tweak out more speed and free space and free ram from the same hardware.

This is similar to what Meego and Symbian had going for them. The Nokia / MS thing killed much of that momentum. It *could* be picked back up (there is at least one company trying to do so), but so could this. IMO, something like this is a very very good thing.

There are plenty of things i can NOT do with my android that I would (likely) be able to do with a phone that is more purely GNU. A bunch of that could be resolved by rooting my phone, but that still leaves things, and it's not as easy to port things to it.

I think there's plenty of room in the market for this (or something very similar). The poor reception of Windows 8 phones is not an indicator that this will fail. There are also many other price, performance, market, control, customization ability, etc differences. This would be a better comparison to Nokia's previous phones, but more advanced, and those were profitable.

Re:Sounds like WinPhone 8 (1)

jafac (1449) | about a year ago | (#42826271)

I'm not too excited about putting an unremovable Amazon.Com AD into my pocket. Really, I am *not*.

I have 12.10 on my laptop.

Yes, I have *REMOVED* the amazon crap from my lens bar, both by installing the special removal package, and dconf settings. And somehow, they still keep popping up on my toolbar.

Happily for me, KDE 4.10 came out yesterday, and I'm happy with that so far. . .

Re:Sounds like WinPhone 8 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42832091)

I rag on Unity too, but would also choose this over any of the other offerings. Go!

But WHY? (2, Interesting)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#42822491)

Sure, geeks like us will like it.

What benefit is it to mobile network operators to offer Ubuntu phones over, say, Android phones?

What benefit is there for an end user to buy it instead of, say, an Android phone?

What benefit is there for an OEM (eg, Samsung, HTC, etc) to manufacture an Ubuntu phone?

It's like the game Blackberry and Microsoft are playing trying to get into a market with entrenched players. (Apple and Android) If there are apps and cool phones, users will buy. Developers will write apps if there are users. OEMs will build devices if users are going to buy. How do you get the ball rolling?

If you have billions of dollars, you can try to buy your way into the market. Microsoft tried that with the Kin phone and failed. (Remember that one?) In the end, they didn't sell that many, so the loss per phone was only about $125,000 or somesuch. Microsoft is trying again, but things are not looking good.

So given all that, WHY will Ubuntu phone be successful? For what business reason? What is the business case to OEMs, to mobile operators, to end users? What benefit does (or will) it have over existing ecosystems (iPhone, Android, etc)? Even if you can name one, is it a benefit the entrenched players cannot quickly replicate?

Re:But WHY? (1)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | about a year ago | (#42822573)

They're doing this because a lot of the changes to Gnome 3 were ostensibly to improve the experience on tablets. Since Android is putting the squeeze on tablets now, Ubuntu is trying to see if they can get an edge in on the phone market.

Re:But WHY? (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#42822907)

Yes. I understand why they are doing it. But per the things I pointed out, what makes Ubuntu believe they can possibly be successful? My real question is not WHY are they doing it, but WHY do they think they will be successful? (And I suppose, that leads back to the first question . . . why are they doing it then?)

And FireFox for that matter. I think the idea of FireFox OS is way cold man! But just because I like it doesn't mean it will succeed.

Re:But WHY? (1)

Kenja (541830) | about a year ago | (#42822751)

Licensing? Lots of phone makers for the India and China markets dont seem to like the Android license. Of course the only thing they lose from not agreeing to the license seems to be access to the Google Marketplace.

Re:But WHY? (2)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#42822979)

So if India / China market OEMs don't want to agree to Android license and therefore lose access to Google Play marketplace, what advantage does Ubuntu Phone, or FireFox OS have? Android development still has a lot of momentum behind it. Amazon has demonstrated that you can create your own new Android app marketplace. It seems that going with Android, but skipping Google has a lot of advantage over either Ubuntu Phone or FireFox OS. OEMs are already familiar with how to put Android on their phones.

So I still don't see how Ubuntu Phone (or FireFox OS) can get any traction.

Re:But WHY? (3, Interesting)

Kethinov (636034) | about a year ago | (#42822847)

What benefit is there for an end user to buy it instead of, say, an Android phone?

The key value proposition to users is making your smartphone your primary (perhaps even only) computer by enabling you to to plug a monitor, keyboard, and mouse into it. And if they're really smart, they'll make a kick ass laptop dock for it so it can become a laptop too.

If they do that, then I'll be able to replace my wife's Android phone and her aging MacBook Air at the same time with the same device. She's not interested in faster hardware, but she'd definitely like not having to worry about sync'ing data between her phone and her laptop anymore.

If her phone and her laptop are physically the same device, then she can literally take her work with her at will in an effortless fashion without having to sync it with some clumsy cloud service first.

Re:But WHY? (2)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#42823075)

Android already works as a desktop OS, to some degree. If you've used a Google TV box, particularly the nice big keyboard / trackpad of the Logitech Revue, then you see how Android supports a mouse / trackpad and keyboard. Similarly if you have an Android tablet convertible like Asus Transformer.

It seems like the major thing lacking is applications that work with the new touch input, and that replace existing non-touch applications from the desktop. The most obvious being "office" applications. I have seem some efforts already at porting LibreOffice to Android. When or how well it will work remains to be seen.

What Android does not do is multi-window. Samsung has done some work on this on their Note phones where you can have two apps running side by side. So the potential is there.

While I've heard of Wine on Android being worked on, it would seem that Windows Phone / tablets, etc have an advantage if you want legacy applications. But then it seems that the legacy applications only run on the tablet, and the expensive one at that. So if you're waiting for rewrites of legacy apps for Windows, then that's no different than waiting for rewrites for other platforms.

So you could make a case that Ubuntu phone could run legacy apps, like Windows 8 Pro tablet, but why? And furthermore, unlike Windows, what Ubuntu apps would people be wanting? And wouldn't they want new apps designed for touch instead of the legacy apps anyway -- thus giving Ubuntu no advantage over Apple / Android / Windows / Blackberry?

Re:But WHY? (2)

Kethinov (636034) | about a year ago | (#42823243)

Android just isn't there yet for this. Not many existing phones can transform into a mouse/keyboard driven PC experience competently, and even fewer have a laptop dock capability.

And as you mentioned, the dearth of high quality desktop-caliber apps (like LibreOffice) is a huge problem that would need to be resolved as well along with the lack of a true window manager for a mouse-driven desktop experience.

Not to mention the update woes. Unless you buy a Nexus device or are willing to tinker with custom ROMs, the vast majority of Android phones don't get OS updates either 1. at all or 2. in a timely manner.

None of those problems are acceptable for a laptop/desktop OS experience.

Something tells me Ubuntu can be frankensteined into a competent mobile OS more easily than Android can resolve the above problems.

I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but I'm cynical.

Re:But WHY? (2)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#42823341)

I think you're right. I also think Ubuntu is much more of a dream for tinkerers. I just can't see it being successful.

Thinking about a phone that is very close to a real Linux distribution, that I can get root access to, boggles the mind with the possibilities of what could be done. A lot of cool things have been done on Android, which is on Linux -- but it is a far cry from a real Linux distribution.

Re:But WHY? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823845)

(The Nokia N900 is about $100, you can try it cheaply. It is great.)

Re:But WHY? (1)

Kethinov (636034) | about a year ago | (#42824119)

The "one device, multiple contexts" thing I think rises above the tinkerer niche. But only if Canonical does it right.

Here's what I think would need to happen for Canonical to reach mainstream success:

1. They'd have to ship a powerful smartphone that can transform into a tablet or a laptop using a shell peripheral, as well as support a desktop experience using an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor. That way one device can be your smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop all at once.

2. It would have to be an awesome user experience in all four contexts. All apps would have to have responsive designs capable of adapting to the context transforming while still dealing with the same user data.

3. OS updates must continue to work as they currently do in Ubuntu. I get them from Canonical. Cell phone carriers should not be allowed to be involved in the process for the same reason my ISP does not decide what updates I install on my desktop or laptop.

4. Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc have to not beat Canonical to it. MS already has the Surface product which is teetering in that direction, but isn't quite there yet. So we know the big players are interested.

What worries me is I think there's a good chance that Apple, Microsoft, or Google will deliver #1 and #2 first, which will kill Canonical's chances. But if miraculously Canonical did it first, I trust them to deliver #3. I don't trust their competitors to deliver #3. Least of all Google, sadly.

Re:But WHY? (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about a year ago | (#42829781)

The "one device, multiple contexts" thing I think rises above the tinkerer niche. But only if Canonical does it right.

Here's what I think would need to happen for Canonical to reach mainstream success:

1. They'd have to ship a powerful smartphone that can transform into a tablet or a laptop using a shell peripheral, as well as support a desktop experience using an external keyboard, mouse, and monitor. That way one device can be your smartphone, tablet, laptop, and desktop all at once.

2. It would have to be an awesome user experience in all four contexts. All apps would have to have responsive designs capable of adapting to the context transforming while still dealing with the same user data.

3. OS updates must continue to work as they currently do in Ubuntu. I get them from Canonical. Cell phone carriers should not be allowed to be involved in the process for the same reason my ISP does not decide what updates I install on my desktop or laptop.

4. Apple, Microsoft, Google, etc have to not beat Canonical to it. MS already has the Surface product which is teetering in that direction, but isn't quite there yet. So we know the big players are interested.

What worries me is I think there's a good chance that Apple, Microsoft, or Google will deliver #1 and #2 first, which will kill Canonical's chances. But if miraculously Canonical did it first, I trust them to deliver #3. I don't trust their competitors to deliver #3. Least of all Google, sadly.

5) They'd actually have to ship a stable bug free Mobile OS and if their desktop distribution is anything to go by they have a ways to go in that department.

Re: But WHY? (1)

RoboJ1M (992925) | about a year ago | (#42827573)

My nexus 4 has wireless display (miracast). If I can use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse combination that's pretty close to being a desktop. Of course Ubuntu will have productivity software out of the box. Libreoffice and such. And weren't they going to run side by side anyway? And would my phone be a Steam Box with Ubuntu on it? Because that would be epic. Download half life 2, miracast, kbd and mouse.

Re:But WHY? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#42823609)

Ubuntu phone can presumably run any application for Debian armel.
That's tens of thousands of high-quality open-source applications. That compares very favorably to the thousand ad-riddled crapware you have on Android.

Re:But WHY? (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year ago | (#42824283)

For the record, Windows RT (which runs on the cheaper Surface tablets and a handful of other devices) can run most legacy Windows apps just fine, so long as they are either re-compiled for ARM or are written in .NET (with no x86-specific dependencies). It requires running a fairly user-friendly unlocking tool, and is quite unofficial, but it works. There's also a project that will (already does, for some software) allow loading an x86 EXE on RT, dynamically recompiling it to ARM, and then running that. This is obviously much slower than compiling for ARM in the first place, but it's already possible to play some legacy Windows games and run some other software (just using the x86 binaries).

Windows Phone, on the other hand... not so much. Although it was eventually discovered how to run third-party EXEs (not simply sideloaded apps, but full-permission executables) on WP7, no such hack is yet available for WP8 to my knowledge.

Re:But WHY? (1)

Sepodati (746220) | about a year ago | (#42822881)

Why does it have to offer some benefit above and beyond what's out there? It just has to be as-good and provide another option for those looking to buy a phone. Not all Andriod phones are equal, so another option out there (from an end-user perspective) would be nice.

I understand from a business perspective, though, there has to be a PROFITABLE benfit to producing and supporting these phones. As long as it's "as good" though, why wouldn't a few OEMs test the market with it?

Re:But WHY? (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#42823155)

For end users, the applications are the big feature of a smartphone. So a new player like Ubuntu Phone that doesn't have applications is not that good of an alternative unless it has something really compelling -- that the competitors cannot quickly copy.

Re:But WHY? (1)

Sepodati (746220) | about a year ago | (#42823293)

True, but the OS has to be built in order to even attempt to build an application repository. Kind of a chicken-and-egg scenario, although you're guaranteed no applications will be built if the OS never is.

Re:But WHY? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year ago | (#42825633)

People have been saying that for decades. That's why we all use Ti 99/4a computers; it was the one platform with the greatest number of applications, so it's all that anyone ever bought, so it's the only platform it makes sense to develop form, so it remains the number-of-applications leader, so it's still the only computer any of us ever buys. It's a vicious cycle!

I get what you're saying and it really does make sense. And yet it's always been wrong. For some strange reason, the computer in your pocket isn't a 99/4a, and it also doesn't run MS-DOS, and strangely, it doesn't run PalmOS either. I don't know why; I just know that's how it is. You tell me why, and you'll have spotted the hole in your own argument.

Re:But WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42827055)

What? Ubuntu has zillions of applications. Anything available on Debian is available on Ubuntu.
And that's without adding other repositories.

Re:But WHY? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year ago | (#42822883)

Answer cheat sheet: None, freeeeedom, none, yes, it won't, none, none, none, freeeedom, freeeedom.

Partial credit for answering "Shuttleworth believes that he's got a Jobs Reality Distortion field" to any question.

Re:But WHY? (2)

gshegosh (1587463) | about a year ago | (#42822919)

I like how you can plug the Ubuntu phone to a display and maybe a mouse and keyboard and it becomes a full desktop computer. I do believe that phone CPUs are getting performant enough to pull this off and for most people it will have enough computing power. Of course, there are drawbacks such as what happens when someone steals the phone with all your data or shitty battery life. It will probably not have enough public appeal to become mainstream. But the idea itself is quite nice IMO.

Re:But WHY? (-1, Troll)

osragati (2835751) | about a year ago | (#42823423)

http://www.cloud65.com/ [cloud65.com] my co-worker's step-aunt makes $67/hr on the laptop. She has been without a job for 9 months but last month her check was $15184 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site

Re:But WHY? (1)

unrtst (777550) | about a year ago | (#42823697)

What benefit is it to mobile network operators to offer Ubuntu phones over, say, Android phones?

It's not an either or question.

 

What benefit is there for an end user to buy it instead of, say, an Android phone?

What benefit is there for an end user to buy a Droid Max over a Samsung SIII? This is going to come down to marketing, price, production quality, oooh shinny, etc. To most people, it's iPhone or some-other-smart-phone-made-by-company-X. To people that know much (ie. someone that knows whether Ice Cream Sandwich is newer than Jelly Bean), they'll know what this is and what its benefits/drawbacks are.

What benefit is there for an OEM (eg, Samsung, HTC, etc) to manufacture an Ubuntu phone?

It's another way to compete and grab some of the others market share on a profitable product. Every big phone maker has Android phones now, and some have Windows phones, and then there's Blackberries, then the gazillion different types of feature phones, and then dumb phones. Oh, and there's the iPhone, which only one company makes. This fits in the gamut, and could be the ticket for some company to make a comeback (maybe someone like RIM, Nokia, or maybe a new player - possibly a cell company).

It's like the game Blackberry and Microsoft are playing trying to get into a market with entrenched players. (Apple and Android) If there are apps and cool phones, users will buy. Developers will write apps if there are users. OEMs will build devices if users are going to buy. How do you get the ball rolling?

The ball is already rolling. Develop on your ubuntu desktop or ubuntu vm. No giant java stuff to install. No requirement to own a Mac or run Visual Studio (someone will tell me some other ways to do things I'm sure - whatever).
Porting the big name apps won't be an issue (ex. netflix, flash, gmail, etc), and most of the must haves are there or easily built (dialer, phone book, email, sms/mms, browser).

Microsoft is trying again, but things are not looking good.

Someone took a chance on iPod when there were loads of other music players. That worked.
Someone took a chance on Android when iPhone was THE smartphone. That's paying off.
RIM was doing great before with their take on things. Now they're not so much.
Nokia had a great run with Symbian - how did that work so well with those other players in the market?
Things come and go. Just because one company tries and fails, and tries again and doesn't own the market overnight, doesn't mean someone else won't be able to pull a profit.

So given all that, WHY will Ubuntu phone be successful? For what business reason? What is the business case to OEMs, to mobile operators, to end users? What benefit does (or will) it have over existing ecosystems (iPhone, Android, etc)? Even if you can name one, is it a benefit the entrenched players cannot quickly replicate?

IMO, I think it has a chance. There's a better chance it'll not do so well. There's a really really good chance that the first version won't last forever and will eventually be replaced entirely (like every tech ever). There's plenty of reasons for entrenched players to give it a shot. They're doing their best to make it easy to put on phones, and even to cohabitate with android. If it's low cost to add, and it's a feature that could win them a little bit more market, then why wouldn't they at least try? And what if it's great?

Re:But WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42825155)

What benefit is it to mobile network operators to offer Ubuntu phones over, say, Android phones?

You could just as easily flip that question around. The bland answer is that they'll have no reason to, and no reason not to; it'll all be the same to them.

A more interesting answer would be that mobile network operations should soon be out of the picture. Just as I never bothered to ask my DSL ISP what desktop PCs they offer, I think we'll soon be in a situation where most people don't ask their GSM ISPs what handhelds the offer. It'll be easier to just get on Amazon and order something for a total price that is less than the the "subsidized" up-front cost of carriers' phones. As of early 2013 it's not quite there yet but you might be shocked at how close it is. I bet by this summer, up-front costs of handheld PCs will have falled to the point that that ISPs' offerings become competely irrelevant.

What benefit is there for an end user to buy it instead of, say, an Android phone?

He's not terribly specific, or maybe even persuasive, but he did get into that a little:

The other thing that we've noticed is that people don't love their Android phones. .. I use it to do my stuff but I don't love the experience in it. And I think there are a lot of people out there who love the design and the experience of Apple products, but they don't want to get locked into the Apple jail

Basically, he thinks there's a reasonably good chance that you don't like anything that's currently on the market. So if he can make a phone you don't hate, then you'll buy it. The basic idea is that Android is a *sigh* tolerable compromise OS which people currently settle for, with lots of regrets, because "at least it's not totally horrible." Or maybe that's just me talking. ;-)

It's like the game Blackberry and Microsoft are playing trying to get into a market with entrenched players.

No! If you think that, then you totally don't understand. Those two guys are basically the same as Apple. They're off the table and no one believes any of the three of them are ever going to make anything decent. This is all about sucking less than Android.

Even if you can name one, is it a benefit the entrenched players cannot quickly replicate?

Probably not. Apple, Microsoft and RIM won't be able to, but yeah, anything Canonical can do, Google can do.

I'm not sure that matters, though. Any phone which finally rates as "good enough" will necessarily be forkable. In a way, the only way to come out on top, is to acknowledge that you can't ever stay on top.

Dock it! (3, Insightful)

emblemparade (774653) | about a year ago | (#42828825)

I'm surprised that the biggest deal about Ubuntu phone isn't mentioned!

You'll be able to plug this phone into a dock (or otherwise connect it to a big monitor, keyboard and mouse) and use it essentially like Ubuntu desktop. There, you'll be able to run all your usual desktop applications as well as your phone applications, on a big screen with full resolution. (The do need to be built for ARM, but already most of the software in the Ubuntu Software Center has ARM versions.)

Nobody does this yet. There are dockable Android phones, but Android is not a desktop OS, and the experience on a desktop is quite miserable, both in terms of UX (mouse support is awkward) and in terms of available applications.

Phones are powerful computers! It's silly that we carry all that power around with us and yet can't apply it towards the usual desktop experience. I see the Ubuntu phone as finally being able to bridge this gap.

Even more: I can imagine desktop applications that make use phone features. GPS is not something we usually have in laptops, but phones have it, and there can be cool desktop apps that make use of it. And there's tilt-control: I can imagine big desktop games making use of tilt: the phone will become something like a game "controller" (even though the entire computer is inside, too). And, of course, you have cellular internet built in. In a way, phones, as hardware, offer more features than desktops, and app developers will surely take advantage of it!

I'm very excited about this feature, and hope to see it fronted more as one of the big advantages of Ubuntu phone!

Re:But WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42829331)

android can go fuck it self, stupid locked down piece of shit. i know you lot can't get enough but i think it's one of the worst OSs out there. It promise so much but barely delivers an acceptable system. OK so it's not as bad as ios, but is that really a triumph.

Re:But WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42831645)

Trust reasons. I simply don't trust MS, Apple, or Google remotely as much as I trust Ubuntu. I would love to see Linux storm the market and have a Mint Cinnamon phone some day too but maybe that's one bridge too far. An Ubuntu phone isn't. I would definitely buy this and it isn't anything to so with an productivity gains of any kind - its about supporting a platform that I think will ultimately benefit people much more in the long run. With the arrival of Windows Phone 8, I've never been more disappointed with the big players. Apple are ok but they don't offer enough variety - it's always just a single phone. Android are ok but they don't offer a decent full-fledged desktop client OS - only thin client/cloud - not into it. Only Ubuntu look like they can give me what I want - an experience I can back across the board - computer, phone, tablet - all secure - all more than just thin client. Yes, I still feel a little off that they have become more corporate in working with Amazon but I guess they have to. It's time for me to pick a side. I let my guard down and have an Android now but regardless of whether I'm limited to a Samsung Nexus (still a great phone), I'd still get it and keep it for as long as its usable. It's something I would only trade in if I had to. Best of look with it Mr. Shuttleworth I say and you certainly have my full support. Go forth and conquer all. As soon as I can get one unlocked I will absolutely do so!

DOA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42822503)

Windows users don't care about Windows phones and aside from a few hobbiests, no one will care about Ubuntu phone.

Re:DOA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42822889)

I care about the Ubuntu phone, and I'm a hobby, maybe a hobbier, but definitely not a hobbiest.

I see them in a strong 6th place... (1)

FuegoFuerte (247200) | about a year ago | (#42822521)

Right behing Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Symbian.

Give them a year or two, and enough advertising budget, and maybe they can hit 0.1% overall market share.

Maybe it'll be an all-out game changer, but so far it's taken companies with billions of dollars in the bank to pull that off in the mobile space.

Re:I see them in a strong 6th place... (3, Informative)

scorp1us (235526) | about a year ago | (#42822707)

While BB10 can use Android BB10 is also using QML, the same as this phone.
QML is overall better doe mobile development, while Qt people work on bringing QML to iOS and android. Soon one runtime will run on them all, including Ubuntu Phone

Re:I see them in a strong 6th place... (1)

nightfury (2826503) | about a year ago | (#42823063)

I'd push them to 7th, right behind FireFox OS. At least most people have HEARD of Firefox, and it will run on much cheaper hardware.

Re:I see them in a strong 6th place... (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#42823121)

> Right behing Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Symbian.

What about FireFox OS on a phone?

1 / 2: Apple / Android
3 / 4: Windows / Blackberry
5: Symbian
6 / 7: Ubuntu Phone / FireFox OS

The 1/2 and 3/4 and 6/7 places may switch between players or be close, but either way it doesn't look good for the 6th or 7th place players.

Re:I see them in a strong 6th place... (1)

cbhacking (979169) | about a year ago | (#42824361)

Android overtook Apple long ago, but otherwise that looks about right. I think Symbian is currently ahead of Blackberry, but Symbian is also officially a retired platform, while Blackberry just released a major new OS, so Symbian will fall behind quickly. Placement between Blackberry and Windows Phone remains to be see, but; WP8 moved before BB10 and I believe there are still more WP7 devices than BB9 devices so the logical upgrade path for those users is going to favor Windows Phone. Still, the combination of everything below Apple (including stuff you didn't even mention, like WebOS and Maemo/MeeGo) is going to be less than Apple for the near future, and the combination of everything less than Android (including Apple) is going to be less than Android for a good while as well (yes, they currently have a strict majority of smartphones).

Magical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42822535)

Yes please use wrong words to sway the feeble-minded.

magical (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42822579)

I thought Apple had a patent on magical phones, or is it just a trademark?

Re:magical (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#42823187)

Apple's patent only applies to magical phones that have rounded corners. And only magical rounded corners that were filed down by genuine unicorn horns.

I doubt they will pull it off (1)

Therad (2493316) | about a year ago | (#42822659)

If nokia couldn't make meego fly, i don't think canonical will succeed with a linux system either. As almost every market tend to be 2-3 heavyweights and not much more.

Re:I doubt they will pull it off (3, Insightful)

scorp1us (235526) | about a year ago | (#42822727)

Nokia pulled the plug on meego before the product even hit the market. The N9 was not released in any WP7 capable market. It was guarenteed to tank on business reasons due to the MS agreement, not due to lack of Nokia trying to make a new platform but failing.

Re:I doubt they will pull it off (2)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#42823619)

But Nokia didn't even try to make Meego fly.
And it still was more successful than their Windows phones despite not having spent a single dollar on marketing.

I want a Linux phone... (1)

whargoul (932206) | about a year ago | (#42822797)

...about as much as I want a Windoze phone. Not at all.

Re:I want a Linux phone... (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42822815)

So stick to your iPhone. Let us have our choice.

Re:I want a Linux phone... (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about a year ago | (#42823261)

I'll stick to my Android phone. I don't begrudge you your Ubuntu Phone or FireFox OS phone. In fact, I deeply hope they will be successful in the market. I would like a Linux based phone that is more free than Android. I just don't expect either one to go anywhere. I cannot see any reason they can succeed.

Re:I want a Linux phone... (1)

socceroos (1374367) | about a year ago | (#42825885)

Carrier control.

Have you ever noticed how your carrier has a host of crappy half-made services for video, music and other entertainment but it never really catches on because of the alternatives? With Ubuntu Phone, the carriers can have their services front and center as the point where users get their movies, music, magazines, etc. This is a big selling point for any carrier that has been trying to get in the software game.

Interested for two reasons: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823285)

1) Perhaps Ubuntu will come up with a few good, new ideas.
2) Every device with a *nix OS means one fewer with an Apple/Microsoft OS.

That is just plain good for consumers.

Re:Interested for two reasons: (1)

JonJ (907502) | about a year ago | (#42823525)

Isn't iOS and Mac OS X *nix based?

Re:Interested for two reasons: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42832675)

Mac OS X is actually a certified UNIX in its own right (it's BSD-based). Without going into the grisly details, iOS uses some of the same underlying Darwin foundation, but is designed as a mobile version and is (obviously) more limited.

Ubuntu to revolutionize the smartphone industry (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#42823475)

Just like how it tore up the PC industry.

Think about it...

just a little more...

now you get it.

Re:Ubuntu to revolutionize the smartphone industry (1)

socceroos (1374367) | about a year ago | (#42825947)

Currently 10M+ desktop/laptop users. That's not bad, if you ask me. Tore up the PC industry? No. But it has made a difference.

What, no love for Ubuntu? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823499)

I'm surprised everyone is very negative about this. Am I the only one who wants this? I suppose if you are an MS or Apple zealot, you already have what you want but I run Linux as my full time desktop and use it for all of my cloud servers. I LOVE linux. I have several Android devices and love them too but I do find them limiting. I wouldn't use Android as my desktop OS and I don't think things sync perfectly across devices (except for google services). So, why not have the same OS on my phone as my desktop? Oh, sure, you'll probably say get a Mac or Windows if I want that. But let me ask you this? Who do you trust more? Apple or Microsoft or Google? Now throw Ubuntu into the mix and maybe you think about it different. I know I do. I want, to whatever extent possible, a community open source OS on all my devices with "the cloud" as the glue. From the mainstream devices, Google is currently closest to meeting my needs, Apple second, nobody's in 3rd for me. I really really want this. Any fellow nerds coming with me?!

Re:What, no love for Ubuntu? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about a year ago | (#42823651)

The problem is that Ubuntu fell into disgrace since 12.04.
Before that it was indeed a very cool OS that could have taken over the desktop market. The whole ordeal is just sad.

Re:What, no love for Ubuntu? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824789)

I don't know about that. There were a couple things wrong from the get-go. First, the name is stupid. African languages are a poor choice for names. When you think of Africa what often comes to mind is the Lion King (gay Disney movie), black people, HIV, and Ebola. Shuttlecock spent a little too much time in wiggertown I guess. Had he traveled the world more he might have realized what a poor choice "Ubuntu" was. Second, the desktop wallpaper was shit colored brown. Again, Shuttleshit should have got kicked in the balls for that one, but too many gave him a pass on that.

Re:What, no love for Ubuntu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824835)

Well, I dumped Ubuntu when they tried to make their desktop work like a phone but if they actually put it on a phone... maybe...

Re:What, no love for Ubuntu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42829253)

Ubuntu, despite all its faults, is still GNU/Linux. I wouldn't think twice before choosing it over other operating systems. Plus, it paves way to have other distros running on phones, which would be amazing. I really hope it works.

makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823785)

to be ready when phones' computing power equals that of the laptop i am currently typing in (w520 32g gb ram i7vpro)
by then, all other current alternatives will fall short

i have already seen this on ubuntu tv (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42823875)

sic

Unity interface : sour experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824089)

The amount of trouble that Ubuntu has caused me with their Unity GUI has cost them all of the loyalty I had to Ubuntu.

The chances of me buying a smart phone with the Unity GUI is very small.

heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824267)

Jono Bacon? Read the reviews on Practical PHP and MySQL: Building Eight Dynamic Web Applications before drinking his Kool Aid.

He's already written off (1)

atomicxblue (1077017) | about a year ago | (#42824315)

Jono has drank so much Canonical koolaid, that he's been written off in my book. Read some of his blog posts -- he's become almost as egotistical as Shuttleworth at times.

What about the Upgrade/Version Problem with Droid (1)

detain (687995) | about a year ago | (#42824503)

Great video Ubuntu, but while saying the new OS will support all existing android based phones among others, you didn't really go into any detail. Most android companies throw together a set of patchs to get the android environment working with their specific hardware, so we wind up with a ton of slightly different android patched kernels not very compatible with eachother. In supporting a range of hardware how do you plan on dealing with this issue? Will there be seperate repos for each phone or will there be a generic ARM repo ?

Re:What about the Upgrade/Version Problem with Dro (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#42830273)

Handset manufacturers can easily add their own repositories just like many of the netbook manufacturers have been doing for years. If they want to upstream their drivers, all the better.

Re:What about the Upgrade/Version Problem with Dro (1)

detain (687995) | about a year ago | (#42830403)

So in other words, the ubuntu phone supports nothing. Its up to manufacturers who already dont update their phones to take on the responsibility of writing compatible kernel patchs for another phone os they wont make any money off of?

Re:What about the Upgrade/Version Problem with Dro (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about a year ago | (#42841259)

Yes, and neither does Android. Ubuntu Phone is not being made for the manufacturers, it is being made for the users and promoted to the manufacturers. In fact, right now they have Ubuntu Phone running on the Android kernel, so it is already 100% compatible with most Android phones.

Unless open drivers or specs are provided for the chipsets, the manufacturers are going to be on the hook for driver updates (which are required for kernel updates) no matter WHICH operating system they use.

I'll be impressed when... (2)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about a year ago | (#42824531)

Advertisements for a cool new smartphone OS do not revolve around cloud, tweets, facebook, and slews of neatly bundled commercial services and integrated local/web search.

A real OS would provide a packaging option that included coming installed with nothing not even a phone dialer or SMS app. It should just focus on providing facilities to allow secure, effective communication and integration between apps and the users workflow. It should NOT define what that will be apriori.

The reason we don't have any good smartphone OS's is because too much value would be left on the table if one were to be designed where the user comes first and the value chain comes second. Ubuntu is being corrupted by its own success.

Re:I'll be impressed when... (1)

usagimaru (2327148) | about a year ago | (#42827635)

Ubuntu reached its success by having a good selection of default apps and a relatively smooth user experience.
How does launching a smartphone OS with the exact same philosophy constitute "being corrupted by its own success."?

Ubuntu for phones does come with a predefined interface, which many people may like. If they give you access to a real package manager (they've said it will not initially ship with a phone Software Center) what would be stopping you from changing your user experience?

Incorrect Platform Metaphor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42824655)

And in the spirit of Ubuntu designing their operating systems for a different platform, this phone-based platform will herald the return of the mouse-driven interface. Gone are the large square application icons. Everyone will have to tap on a small icon in the corner of their screen, which brings up a menu that programs can be started from. For greater flexibility, holding down the 'alt' phone button and the 'F2' button will open up a run dialog, from which the user can tap out (using their on-screen keyboard) any application by just giving its name. A terminal program will also be provided, with stunning 1.5mm-high text in a 8cmx8cm window that reports various useful progress and warning messages when running programs, such as 'okular(10212)/kdecore (KConfigSkeleton) KCoreConfigSkeleton::writeConfig:'.

Native Android! (2)

slacka (713188) | about a year ago | (#42826453)

As someone who suffered with a laggy HTML5 based WebOS Pre, then loved his silky smooth 3GS, but left the walled garden for a Galaxy S2, I am thrilled about this. My S2’s H/W by all accounts blows my old 3GS out of the water, yet I still find the experience more laggy than my 3 year old 3GS. I’m sure much of this is the Java VM holding Android back.

Also, I really like the idea of a gesture based UI. So far the reviewers have loved the Blackberry gesture based UI.
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/02/review-blackberry-10-is-better-much-better-late-than-never/ [arstechnica.com]

If there is a build for the S2, I will definitely flash it. The chance to have the open platform of Linux/Android with the native speed of IOS is worth at least trying out.

Re:Native Android! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42833143)

Yup. Ditto. As a former Nokia Communicator refugee, I'm still using a factory-unlocked, Jailbroken iPhone 3GS because I simply can't justify the cost of upgrading to a new handset. I would've got an N900 when they were released, but they were (a) rare, (b) pricey and (c) lacking the 3rd-party developer base of something like the iPhone, & I got sick of the comparatively limited software availability (even with things like nmap, etc. available, it's nice to have a large number of end user-type apps). Admittedly, a Linux phone might have these problems as well, of course, but at least Ubuntu seems the most likely distro for minimizing that risk.

Going with an Android handset would mean having to find replacements for all my apps (many of which I purchased). I could just write off a set of replacement app purchases as part of the cost of upgrading to a newer handset, but I've been unimpressed with the idiosyncrasies of my wife's Samsung Galaxy S and the unpredictability of firmware upgrade availability, & my understanding is that the Samsung handsets are currently still counted among the best that Android has to offer. I'm also not keen on telling Google *everything*.

iPhones work nicely with my Mac, & would run the apps I've already got. However, the iPhone 4/4s uses a screwy, not-widely-used-elsewhere SIM card format, which is a real problem for me as a frequent traveler with multiple SIM cards. I could conceivably trim them down, but then I'd still be buying an older handset. The iPhone 5 not only uses an even more obscure SIM card format, but the docking port's changed as well. Given that one of my iPhone "peripheral devices" is my car, and that I'd be replacing a perfectly serviceable iPhone for a newer one that basically only has incremental feature improvements, I'm just not prepared to drop the thick end of a grand on a new unlocked handset that's even less convenient in terms of following established standards than the one I've already got. Don't get me wrong: I can certainly afford one, but right now, I just don't see the point. Maybe the eventual wide availability of 4G networking will change that, or maybe it'll just be that Apple finally kills off 3GS support & my apps all become obsolete, but I'm not in any hurry right now.

And I'm the early-adopter guy who used to buy more or less all of the new Nokia Communicators as soon as they were released. Maybe this is just an indication that modern smartphone evolution has slowed/matured/stalled at iPhone-esque touchscreen slabs with mostly-closed ecosystems? If so, maybe a new Linux phone OS would be a refreshing change. Or (as I fear is more likely) maybe it'll just be another niche thing with terrible app availability.

Flash videos?? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about a year ago | (#42826713)

It's 2013 and we're on Slashdot. I have to fire up a malware-bait browser because the article submission doesn't embed HTML video? :(

[/Angry nerd rant]

faster to run, faster to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42831551)

He forgot: faster to buy stuff from Amazon.

Developers Developers Developers Developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42833865)

Having poked around in Android development from time to time, the thought of being able to leave the Garden of Bloat for, well, anything, is very seductive. So that's developers sorted out, most likely. Users? I hate users. Who gives a shit what those cretins do.

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