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Ubuntu Touch On a Nexus 7: "Almost Awesome"

timothy posted 1 year,9 days | from the battery-life-is-a-killer-feature dept.

Handhelds 116

colinneagle writes "I installed Ubuntu Touch "1.0" on my first-generation Nexus 7 tablet and have been using it as my main tablet system for the last four days. Here's how it went. First off, the installation was surprisingly painless. I followed the official instructions and didn't encounter a single problem. That being said, the installation is really geared toward software developers, power users or people already comfortable on a Linux command line. If you're not in one of those categories, I recommend holding off for the time being. Once installed, Ubuntu Touch booted up rather quickly — in only just a few seconds (a fair bit faster than Android 4.x on the same tablet). And, immediately, I was presented with a short tutorial that appears the first time the system is booted, which, I might add, has got to be one of the slickest, least annoying tutorials I've seen. But... there were problems. The battery life was, to put it mildly, terrible. Performance has been mixed, and the OS was prone to what I call 'The Pulsating Seizure Feature' a few dozen times over the weekend. In a nutshell: launching apps (and, occasionally, moving between apps) can cause the device to freeze and begin flashing the screen rapidly."

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how about vs. "ubuntu on android"? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,9 days | (#45200749)

is it smoother?

Finally (5, Funny)

lesincompetent (2836253) | 1 year,9 days | (#45200797)

This will be the year of the linux tablet.
Though technically it's always been.

Re:Finally (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45200875)

Not if the installation requires familiarity with the Linux command line. Tablets are designed to require even less computer skills than PCs. The fact that it's "geared toward software developers, power users or people already comfortable on a Linux command line" is not going to help sell this at all.

Re:Finally (2)

Xicor (2738029) | 1 year,9 days | (#45200951)

well, it hasnt officially been released yet. people are just installing the developer previews... which kindof do suggest that you have familiarity with linux cmd line.

Re:Finally (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45201255)

Not if the installation requires familiarity with the Linux command line. Tablets are designed to require even less computer skills than PCs. The fact that it's "geared toward software developers, power users or people already comfortable on a Linux command line" is not going to help sell this at all.

Those who lack the skill to install them will have it pre-installed on their devices. Flashing custom rom on mobile devices was never easy and straightforward . Not for iOS, not for android, not for windows mobile, and certainly won't be happening for ubuntu

Re:Finally (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | 1 year,9 days | (#45205875)

Linux probably makes it harder. I've never flashed a cell phone/tablet, but I've flashed various stuff like an old modem/router, a couple microcontrollers (in school), a Game Boy flash cartridge where you can put a couple dozen stolen game ROMs in there, and of course computers BIOS and various bits of firmware for internal PC components.
All in DOS or Windows : it invariably consists in downloading an .exe and running it, and telling it what image file to flash (and at worst choosing between LPT1/LPT2 or selecting a USB device).

Sometimes flashing is the easy part, with my router I had to edit silly stuff, telnetted in, with some version of vi included in the router (I was knowledgeable enough to use only h/j/k/l, escape, i, :wq and :q!, try explaining that to a lay user). For some cyanogen, mobile Ubuntu, or stuff with silly names like "mer", "peego", "taizen", "openEunux", maybe there's some hard stuff about building an image but that's why you google for e.g. "ubuntu image for nexus 7" and download a ready-made one.
A hard part could be needing to prepare a microSD card (I'm not talking of any specific device, I don't have one) and you simply lack a micro SD card, a SD reader, a micro SD to SD adapter, or you're on linux and have to do it manually with standard tools - on Windows to do such a thing you would download a freeware and click a few things.

Re:Finally (1)

Xicor (2738029) | 1 year,9 days | (#45206231)

you do realize that all android devices and roms are essentially linux, right?

Re:Finally (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | 1 year,9 days | (#45206877)

My router was linux, but flashing it was done from a Windows .exe program on my (then) Windows PC.
Then the messing with the box was to set it up in an unadvertised way (simple bridge wifi extender), but the flashing was Windows based and through USB (PC as host, router as device).

So at least in theory a tablet, which is a linux based computer that can act as a USB device just like that old router, could be very easy to flash. Maybe I'm naïve.

Re:Finally (1)

r_jensen11 (598210) | 1 year,9 days | (#45203627)

Tablets are designed to require even less computer skills than PCs.

Says who? I thought they were different tools for different purposes. Tablets are designed as consumption devices, whereas PCs are designed to be more general-purpose and production devices. There are many people who are perfectly capable of performing the task they need done on a PC, even if they don't know the difference between bash and sh

Just because a tablet is designed to be a consumption device doesn't mean that it has to be associated with Fisher-Price

Re:Finally (2)

Master Moose (1243274) | 1 year,9 days | (#45205637)

Agreed, I can't wait for open tablets that will allow "Real work" to be performed!

Re:Finally (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45201005)

This will be the year of the linux tablet.
  Though technically it's always been.

Linux just isn't ready for the ... tablet.

Re:Finally (2)

gmuslera (3436) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201301)

Being Android the OS with the biggest marketshare on tablets [fool.com] this year could qualify it as the year of the linux tablet.

What ubuntu (and other linux derivatives taking the same approach as it) must do is grow the market share of proper linux distributions.

My New Car (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201225)

I'd like to introduce to my new car. It's almost awesome; except when the engine stalls, or the accelerator sticks at maximum revs, or the doors won't open or the wheels sometimes fly off when I'm going 60mph. But other than that, it's a dream!

Re:My New Car (3, Insightful)

darthdavid (835069) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201481)

Except your analogy is dumb. This isn't buying a new car, this is more like getting invited down to the factory to try out a prototype of a new model they're still in the process of designing.

I mean gee, you'd almost think that this was an unfinished OS running on a Tablet that wasn't specifically designed to run it or something...

Great (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45200801)

I'm looking forward to buying a phone that can run it. Android is not free enough, they use all tricks in their power to prevent forks to have the same functionality especially if that would mean for Google that they cannot collect any more data and pester us with their advertisement. So fuck Android and long life Ubuntu on tablets and phones!

Re:Great (2)

binarylarry (1338699) | 1 year,9 days | (#45200847)

How much freer could Android be? The entire platform is open source.

The only thing proprietary are the video drivers and that's because GPU vendors are douche bags.

Re:Great (1)

Dzimas (547818) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201067)

Proprietary display drivers are a bit of an issue when you're talking about a device that relies on a touch screen for nearly everything. It's a bit like an open source jetliner with proprietary wings.

Re:Great (4, Informative)

substance2003 (665358) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201073)

How much freer could Android be? The entire platform is open source.

The only thing proprietary are the video drivers and that's because GPU vendors are douche bags.

It could be a lot more free. At least it's already clear it's heading in the opposite direction when it comes to improvements from Google based on the article over at Ars Technica [slashdot.org] .

Re:Great (1)

substance2003 (665358) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201091)

Ars is an Apple site (1, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201459)

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/googles-iron-grip-on-android-controlling-open-source-by-any-means-necessary/4/

Ars has been unashamedly an Apple site for so long. Getting them to write anything sensible about open source or Google is impossible.

Re:Ars is an Apple site (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45202019)

Or maybe you could own up to the fact that Google is engaging in more apple-like practices (tighter control) for the good of the product.
Google initially let hardware vendors and mobile carriers do whatever they want and the end result is a fractured, fragmented android ecosystem that's a pain to develop for and sells as many bad devices as good. More importantly, it's much more difficult to make money off of. It's in nobody's interest to have cheap, shitty, manufacturer/carrier abandoned android 2.x handsets that have never seen an update and never will.

Talk all you want, but in the end it's the ability to make money and Apple does it better than anyone else AND people literally line up to buy their products as fast as they can make them.

With each android iteration google locks down and ups hardware requirements, tightens their policy (to their own favor, duh), and makes the platform more clean and consistent. To everyone's benefit, in my opinion. It's making android handsets and tablets better, and they are selling better. I wasn't really a fan of any android device until I got the 2013 nexus 7. It's fast, light, inexpensive, and has a clean and completely pure google product experience free of third party crapware that in my opinion damages the android brand. (Samsung, I'm looking right at you)

Re:Ars is an Apple site (1)

John Bokma (834313) | 1 year,9 days | (#45202151)

Is it true or not that Google has closed several of their apps and letting the open source versions slowly rot away?

Re:Ars is an Apple site (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45202661)

Open.

Source.

Versions.

Your argument is invalid.

Thanks for playing. Idiot.

Re:Ars is an Apple site (1)

mshieh (222547) | 1 year,9 days | (#45203135)

Is it true that you're contributing to the open source versions of the apps so that they don't rot away?

Re:Ars is an Apple site (1)

Microlith (54737) | 1 year,9 days | (#45203165)

Because there's no way for Ars to be legitimately critical of Google and their handling of Android? Not even someone who specializes in writing about Android?

Re:Ars is an Apple site (2)

Carcass666 (539381) | 1 year,9 days | (#45203515)

This isn't cable news, strictly Ad Hominem attacks are generally not very convincing. If you have specific points about the Ars article in question, feel free to make them.

As an Android fan, and a general loather of the walled garden of iOS devices, I am concerned watching Google beginning to steer in the same direction. It is smells like bait-and-switch, especially as components that were once in the open AOSP stack are now closed source apps. There is probably fair debate about what is the "operating system" and what is "value add", but if you couple Google's move to apps along with some of the business arrangements described in the article, it's beginning to feel like old times again.

Remember the dominant operating system when this line came out?

I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further.

Re:Great (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | 1 year,9 days | (#45207119)

This article is interesting and eye opening, it talks a lot too of Amazon replicating many APIs or services for their own Android fork. I wonder if Ubuntu being in bed with Amazon has something to do with this.

Free Beer...not even close (2)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201089)

How much freer could Android be? The entire platform is open source.

The only thing proprietary are the video drivers and that's because GPU vendors are douche bags.

....Android is a mix of a whole bunch of licenses. That are likely to be APACHE (Source for hoycomb anyone) as much as they under GPL...and even Linux is famously a slightly amended GPL License. The first party applications...which in my opinion are what makes Android, are not only proprietary, they work is actually done remotely in the cloud, something RMS speaks badly about for reasons.

That said if you really want to know about free from the lad himself this is Dick on http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/android-and-users-freedom.html [gnu.org] Android which discusses all kind of interesting things including...Replicant a truly free android. As a pleasant aside https://f-droid.org/ [f-droid.org] is an open source app store with open source programs, a must for those more careful with there software, and another feather in the cap of the awesome Android.

Re:Free Beer...not even close (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45201195)

Omg what if your Google overlords hear you saying that android could be more awesome than it is. Quick Tuppe, bash Apple!

Re:Great (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45201123)

How much freer could Android be? The entire platform is open source.

Umm... Android is openâ"except for all the good parts. [arstechnica.com]

Ars is an Apple site (0, Flamebait)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201173)

There is really no point in quoting Ars for anything remotely sensible when it comes to Android. They are a Apple site.

Re:Ars is an Apple site (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45203273)

Sorry you got flamebait for that.

Pointing Android people to Ars for an article on how bad Android is, is like right-wing extremist pointing people to Fox news to demonstrate how bad the democrats are. It's a completely self serving fan base. Ars caters to Apple fanbois because they eat up the crap they read there and use it to validate their position when everyone, outside Apple fanbois, knows the information is extremely slanted and not creditable because they're catering to a niche that needs the validation.

I'm not saying Apple isn't a good company. They have great products for a good portion of the population, just not for everyone, but when you point people to obviously flawed/specialized news sources to make your point, all you're really doing is hurting your own credibility. If I get in a political argument with my Dad the second he say's Fox news I shutdown, discount everything he has to say and move on. I've researched enough of the crap he's parroted from them to know less than half of what he's picking up is actually valid, most of it is just right out lies, same thing in Ars case.

If people don't trust your source, they aren't going to trust you.

Re:Great (2)

gmuslera (3436) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201183)

The market, google apps, bundled apps with your phones, and, well, most of what can be installed with the market are not open source, in fact the AOSP versions of google apps lacks some functionality [arstechnica.com] . With cyanogenmod and f-droid [f-droid.org] as market you get something closer to being open source with the exception that you pointed out.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45202747)

" the AOSP versions of google apps lacks some functionality"

AOSP

Android Open Source Project

Open Source

Open.

Source.

Get it?? Any lacking functionality can be added....by anyone.

Try again, loser.

Re:Great (0)

MacDork (560499) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201231)

How much freer could Android be?

It could be free of surveillance.

Re:Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45203717)

You chose Apple, great friend of Chinese and USA intelligence agencies.

Re:Great (1)

Poeli (573204) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201541)

The only thing proprietary are the video drivers and that's because GPU vendors are douche bags.

Ubuntu Touch uses libhybris to use the same proprietary drivers as android. In that regard it's not more open dan android itself.

Re:Great (1)

RMingin (985478) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201721)

I wish you were correct, but it's not so. While there are a few very open Android devices, the great majority need many binary blobs to function, and not just for graphics. Some need binary blobs for touchscreen, WLAN, GPU, more.

I don't know of any truly free and open devices, which don't require any binary drivers to fully function. I'm sure some exist, but they're not the devices you're thinking of.

Re:Great (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | 1 year,9 days | (#45207281)

I'm guessing the Microsoft Surface Pro is relatively free/open, LOL.
Really, the platform where we always had the most freedom is the PC compatible. More than on a Raspberry Pi for example. Maybe some weird stuff has more theoretical freedom, like Richard Stallman's MIPS laptop (but how many vendors are there for that?, likely just one).

It helps that the PC has so many users, so much reverse engineering, and you can always fall back on pretending you're a 8086 or 486 with a 80x25 text display and do as if your storage were a hard drive from the 80s, even if it's really a USB drive or a mask ROM or an iSCSI target. It's almost impossible to brick unless you overwrite firmware with random crap.

Re: Great (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45207685)

No worries, the PC industry is working very hard to take away those ancient compatibility crufts that you're talking about. UEFI is becoming very common, and there are even some PCs at retail that don't even have a CSM. In five years, you won't be able to buy or build a machine that can boot dos.

Re:Great (2)

Carcass666 (539381) | 1 year,9 days | (#45203369)

How much freer could Android be? The entire platform is open source.
The only thing proprietary are the video drivers and that's because GPU vendors are douche bags.

"Platform" is a big word. While the Android OS is free, there are more and more components of the platform that are getting closed off by Google as they move from the AOSP stack to Google Play apps. See this Ars article [arstechnica.com] for a rather scathing view of Android's "openess".

Re:Great (2)

Foresto (127767) | 1 year,9 days | (#45206855)

"How much freer could Android be? The entire platform is open source.

Let's see... how many of my android devices have come with the complete source code required to modify, rebuild, and run the software that came installed on them, without any loss of functionality?

Exactly none.

And that's the point. The Android Open Source Platform might be Free, but our phones are not running the Android Open Source Platform; they come with derivatives of it that usually depend on proprietary, closed-source differences. The result is that I don't have a reaonsable way to verify that my device is doing what I think it should be doing, or to keep it updated with security patches, or to be sure that I have disabled every bit of privacy-invading crap that hides in those commercial ROM images. The closest I can get is replacing most of the stock software with an open source alternative, which is not the same thing and (if I can manage to find one at all) usually means breaking several bits of functionality that I paid for when I bought the device.

Re:Great (1)

gmuslera (3436) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201081)

You can always install CyanogenMod + F-Droid as market replacement for a more open source Android experience, that supports a lot of devices [cyanogenmod.org] . The device drivers could not be very open, but in the end, Ubuntu Touch is based on android kernel and drivers too (what shortened the path to support a lot of devices [ubuntu.com] ). That approach is also used by Firefox OS, and I think that Sailfish will use it too, and for phones those 2 are good alternatives. Now, for tablets or for attaching a big screen/keyboard to make it behave like a desktop computer the option will be Ubuntu Touch.

CyanogenMod what is going on? (3, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201381)

Except don't expect CyanogenMod to be in the future https://plus.google.com/106978520009932034644/posts/L8FJkrcahPs [google.com] .Ironically because open source is the reason for their assistance they seem to be trying hard to wreck a great model fro them.

https://plus.google.com/106978520009932034644/posts/L8FJkrcahPs [google.com] This is Guillaume Lesniak Google+ post about CyanogenMod's Focal camera app. He doesn't like that licensing changes accompanying the new venture would limit his control. Accordingly, he has removed Focal from CyanogenMod

Ya sure... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45200805)

AWESOME Slashvert!

No Generic OS for Mobile devices yet. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45200811)

Hats off for Ubuntu to make a generic OS for mobile devices... However those problems are big ones. Every device is setup just a little differently as to try to get a competitive advantage over their rivals.
Android is often heavily customized for each device so it runs more optimally, having a generic OS will be harder, because who knows what drivers should be on all time time and what should be on then off then back on again.

PC and Laptop do not suffer as much as they are not so much designed for Power Consumption, But if you had a custom OS on your laptop you may get a few more hours off of it. But most people use laptops for a few hours and plug in when they can. With Tablets they expect to use it all day and charge up at night.

Re:No Generic OS for Mobile devices yet. (5, Informative)

ebrandsberg (75344) | 1 year,9 days | (#45200843)

Cyanogenmod is doing a good job getting a more unified version of Android on many vendor's devices. I have several devices using it and it works well. (http://www.cyanogenmod.org/)

Re:No Generic OS for Mobile devices yet. (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201057)

Mod parent up. Cyanogenmod comes conveniently stripped of Google Apps and can be used as a "generic" operating system. I use CM on my devices without Google Apps and it's very pleasant. Battery life is amazing too as long as you don't have apps running that track you constantly (Facebook and other spyware) in the background.

I have a Gen1 N7 that I use basically just for playing music in the car, and Torque Pro for gauges. Vanilla CM is perfect for it.

Re:No Generic OS for Mobile devices yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45202787)

"Cyanogenmod comes conveniently stripped of Google Apps and can be used as a "generic" operating system."

Durr....

So can AOSP???

Re:No Generic OS for Mobile devices yet. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45207937)

Yeah, but can the average person build and LOAD AOSP on their device? I can, but I'm not in the middle of the bell curve there- not even close.

Re:No Generic OS for Mobile devices yet. (2)

EricTheRed (5613) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201683)

Cyanogenmod is doing a good job getting a more unified version of Android on many vendor's devices. I have several devices using it and it works well. (http://www.cyanogenmod.org/)

I have to agree. Currently running it on a Nexus 4 & 1st gen 7 as well as a 1st gen Kindle with no problems whatsoever.

Re:No Generic OS for Mobile devices yet. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201085)

Nexus is Google's (Asus rather) product. It's the closest to stock android you can get, because it is stock android.

Re:No Generic OS for Mobile devices yet. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201095)

Or Acer? Whatever, point still stands.

Re:No Generic OS for Mobile devices yet. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45205295)

Nope, not Acer

speed is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45200839)

ubuntu 1.0 should boot 4X slower than android 4.0.X, which is logical :P

a record then because (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45200855)

7 seconds to open a calculator app must be a new low in computing history.

Inroads (1)

beardofpixels (2859595) | 1 year,9 days | (#45200887)

I'd definitely consider using this if it were in a usable state ... I tried an early alpha version nearly a year ago and it was much worse than what you describe, so at least by the sounds of it they've made inroads since then. What with all the attention Linux gaming has been getting on the desktop, and knowing how big-an industry gaming is now, it'll be interesting to see if any developers turn their attentions to getting games out for Ubuntu on mobile processing architectures.

Re:Inroads (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45201317)

Really?

I'm mystified why ANYONE would install this on an Android device, outside of curiosity for curiosity's sake (or perhaps for paranoia's sake, if you really don't trust Google.)

The Android experience is pretty smooth and intuitive (at least for stock Android.) It does what needs to be done for phones and tablets. I can easily write apps that use all the features on the devices, for free. And, if I really want to, I can mess around with most of the internals via official distributions or Cyanogen. Not sure why Shuttleworth thinks he can do better or what he thinks he can bring to the table that would result in a better experience.

Re:Inroads (1)

beardofpixels (2859595) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201435)

You've already hinted at possible reasons for not wanting to use stock Android, so really all I would say to elaborate on my earlier assertion would be that Ubuntu Tablet would theoretically provide a more ethical and potentially customisable out-of-the-box OS for my N7 ... but if I found myself with time one weekend, yeah, I'd probably just mess around with Cyanogen.

Re:Inroads (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | 1 year,9 days | (#45205057)

If it supports Gnome 2, (or even LXDE). I will install it immediately. I have too many apps for the stupid icon based interfaces - I want drop-down hierarchical text menus on my N7. Otherwise, its Cyanogenmod for me.

This is not almost awesome... (5, Insightful)

SpoonStomper (1330973) | 1 year,9 days | (#45200889)

Seriously.. "Almost Awesome" ... this sounds a lot like a nightmare and border line unusable.. I can only imagine the headlines if this was a windows device that failed to function. Which by the way windows 7/8 mobile has been smooth since day 1..

Re:This is not almost awesome... (5, Informative)

Xicor (2738029) | 1 year,9 days | (#45200977)

it is just a developer preview. the actual release wont happen until next year. try to compare it to windows 8 preview lol.

Re:This is not almost awesome... (1)

nojayuk (567177) | 1 year,9 days | (#45206517)

I ran Win8 preview on an AMD desktop for several months. Were there any serious problems (flashing screen, bad power consumption on laptops etc.) reported during the Win8 beta? I can't recall anything that got in the way of me doing stuff.

Re:This is not almost awesome... (1)

smadasam (831582) | 1 year,9 days | (#45207659)

I assume you didn't run the Windows 8 or 8.1 previews then. I did and don't recall it having this level of fail. In fact the software ran almost completely reliably. I am speaking of software quality and reliability and not personal preference in the UI design.

Re:This is not almost awesome... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45201071)

Seriously? No really, seriously? This is more like the semi stable nightly i run on my phone (although the one on my phone as had much more time to get more stable), of course there is going to be bugs, and performance issues and says nothing about what the final stable release will be, that said it appears that battery life will be a common theme here that will have to be worked on. And if you think there wasn't a buggy alpha and beta version of Windows whatever, i have a bridge to sell you... Just because you didn't see it doesn't mean it didn't exist.

Re:This is not almost awesome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45201143)

I can only imagine the headlines if this was a windows device that failed to function.

You don't have to imagine, there are enough headline generating Windows device faults to give you a clear picture of reality.

The difference here is you don't have to pay your hard earned dollars for a device that failed to function. So cry all you want about the unfairness of it all, but MS' billions holds them accountable to a higher standard.

Re:This is not almost awesome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45201157)

"Almost Awesome" ... this sounds a lot like a nightmare and border line unusable.

Desktop Linux is "Almost Awesome" for non-power users too.

Desktop Linux... (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201429)

Desktop Linux is "Almost Awesome" for non-power users too.

...is a delight. In context of this article Ubuntu was incredibly successful with its "Linux for Human beings"(I miss that). Ironically unlike Mac and Windows Chrome OS/Android and GNU/Linux(Give it a name) are the only parts of the PC market growing!!!

Re:This is not almost awesome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45202023)

Yeah I remember the other recent Slashdot story about Windows and poor battery life.

So why does Ubuntu have such crappy battery life when Android doesn't? Or Apple's IOS for that matter.

What is Ubuntu doing wrong? Android is Linux based too.

Re:This is not almost awesome... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45203571)

yeah... not really the day 1... microsoft is trying to make work his OS on mobile devices since Windows CE..

"Almost Awesome"? (4, Funny)

new death barbie (240326) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201037)

Have the Ubuntu releases wrapped around, then? I thought we were at "Teething Tapir" or some such thing.

Re:"Almost Awesome"? (4, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201107)

Twisty Tapeworm.

Re:"Almost Awesome"? (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201275)

Tasty Teenager

Damn... was that out loud?

Re:"Almost Awesome"? (2)

stewsters (1406737) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201345)

I can't wait until "Angsty Antlion", "Barbaric Bear", "Cybernetic Crow", and "Deadly Dropbear".

Re:"Almost Awesome"? (2)

umafuckit (2980809) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201809)

Turdy Tablet

Re:"Almost Awesome"? (1)

Provocateur (133110) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201319)

Since it is aimed solely for the geek/develpoper crowd, it might as well be Tablet Schmablet, and not after an animal.

Re:"Almost Awesome"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45201647)

+1 Yay! :)

thx for the love (0)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201053)

ftfs:

the OS was prone to what I call 'The Pulsating Seizure Feature' a few dozen times over the weekend. In a nutshell: launching apps (and, occasionally, moving between apps) can cause the device to freeze and begin flashing the screen rapidly."

oh good, I was afraid that we would have to get through a technology review without taking swipes at medical communities.

Re:thx for the love (1)

cdrudge (68377) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201189)

What swipe at medical communities? The screen pulses and seizes, as in "My computer seized up". It wasn't ever aimed at any medical communities, presumably those who suffer from epileptic seizures that can be induced by flashing screens. Although those that suffer from that condition probably should stay away from this OS for the time being.

Re:thx for the love (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | 1 year,9 days | (#45205397)

What swipe at medical communities? The screen pulses and seizes, as in "My computer seized up".

nopee. I was going to respond with something, but you're just being intentionally difficult so I won't waste my time.

Re:thx for the love (1)

BluBrick (1924) | 1 year,9 days | (#45207245)

To resolve the conundrum in your sig, see your comment.

Tablet yes, phone no. (3, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201151)

I had it installed on my Nexus 4 and it was a heaping steaming pile of crap. Kept dropping data connections and phone calls were full of bugs like not being able to hang up, or the phone app crashing when you press dial.

My favorite was the notification of incoming call just failing to appear until the carrier sent it to voicemail.

Re:Tablet yes, phone no. (1)

Behrooz Amoozad (2831361) | 1 year,9 days | (#45205253)

My problems where the keyboard disappearing until I manually restarted unity or music player working as an answer machine and the phone not ringing(only notifications showed on screen).

Today I installed it again. All the bugs we both mentioned are fixed, data connection works flawlessly, battery still drains faster than android but can keep up for 2 days.

The only issues I have are:
A.a render bug which phoronix says is fixed is mir rendering applications over each other(you can actually see it sometimes).
B.Alarm sucks(can't tell if it works or not, yet;have to test).

Almost what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45201171)

If terrible battery performance and screen freeze/flip-out is "almost awesome" I would hate to hear what "moderately mediocre" would sound like? Explodes in your hand? Shoots lasers out of the USB port into the eyes of unsuspecting children? Votes for Ted Cruz?

Re:Almost what? (2)

SSpade (549608) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201525)

Moderately Mediocre is 12 major releases beyond Almost Awesome, so we'll see it in late 2019.

Re:Almost what? (1)

evilviper (135110) | 1 year,9 days | (#45203561)

Moderately Mediocre is 12 major releases beyond Almost Awesome, so we'll see it in late 2019.

First you'll have to trek deep into the Amazonian rain forest, and discover a new species, so that you can name it a "Red-breasted Mediocre", in order for it to be a possible Ubuntu product name.

Re:Almost what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45202109)

Shoots lasers out of the USB port into the eyes of unsuspecting children?

Now -that- I would install on my N7.

Well... (1)

kiriath (2670145) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201265)

What did you expect would happen?

Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45201667)

I'm super-excited about running a proper Linux on a tablet. The biggest concern I have is what kinds of privacy compromises are baked in. Canonical's monetization of users via integration of Amazon search into the Unity lens thingy* was what finally drove me to other distros.

*(And yes, I know it can be defeated, but that misses the point. I won't use a distro I don't feel I can trust.)

Re:Privacy? (1)

Behrooz Amoozad (2831361) | 1 year,9 days | (#45205313)

That *feature* can be disabled.
swipe right to the Applications scope, In the bottom there is a section called Dash plugins, first item there is Amazon, click on it, click disable.Takes less to do than explain how to do it.

"Almost awesome"?! (1)

scottbomb (1290580) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201679)

It sounds to me like it sucks pretty bad, especially with all those freezes you mentioned. I think Canonical can do a lot better. What you described sounds very disappointing.

"my main tablet system" = "I am a douche" (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | 1 year,9 days | (#45201983)

Tablets are about being a consumer, or in many cases of "free" software, you're the actual product.

Great UI Design (1)

swillden (191260) | 1 year,9 days | (#45202203)

So, when Ubuntu Touch is having a seizure, it kindly induces one in the user as well. How clever! The user will never notice that their tablet has become unresponsive when they're spasming uncontrollably on the floor, trying not to bite through their tongue. As long as the user's seizure ends before the tablet's, the user will remain blissfully unaware that there was any problem!

Re:Great UI Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45206671)

you've got that backwards... tablet's ends before the user's

Re:Great UI Design (1)

swillden (191260) | 1 year,9 days | (#45207387)

you've got that backwards... tablet's ends before the user's

See why UI design is so tricky?

Battery Life (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45202571)

Vanishingly few here understand the problem of battery life on these ARM devices. A desktop OS cannot- repeat cannot ever have a decent battery life on such a device. Why?

Low power ARM SoC devices are designed with MULTIPLE, special purpose low-power hardware blocks, that run as much of the actual processing as possible. Playing an MP3 or video, for instance, is NOTHING like the implementation path on Linux or Windows, even with hardware acceleration. The Android device actually has special pathing for such operations, where hardware solutions independent of the normal CPU cores is triggered, allowing the CPU system to enter a minimum power-state.

DOING NOTHING is another key part of Android. Doing nothing is MEANINGLESS as a Windows or Linux concept. Doing nothing is everything on a mobile OS, where the device is constantly looking for such a time in order to enter the lowest power state for a 'running' device' as quickly as possible.

ARM SoC devices are a new computer paradigm, and this is something old-school nerds cannot get their heads around. Why did Apple HATE Flash on mobile devices? Because Flash CANNOT be made power-efficient - it is a "throw CPU resources at the problem" solution, and a lousy match for mobile devices.

This means that mobile ARM devices will NEVER be a good match for continuous computer processing applications that cannot be handled by dedicated hardware blocks, but how much heavy general CPU based-processing does a mobile device need to do?

Linux on a tablet is moronic. Windows on a tablet is moronic. Go to a laptop format with a MUCH larger battery, and now ordinary desktop operating systems are fine. But the issue of dedicated hardware blocks really clouds the issue. Once, Intel told us we needed their latest CPU chips to play video on our desktops, then to play MP3s. Later still, Intel told us to spend hundreds of dollars on Intel chips if we wished to encode video. Or recognise speech. Or render graphics to the screen. Each of these excuses for heavy, GENERAL PURPOSE, computing elements, like Intel CPUs, has vanished. Doing any of these tasks on your CPU today is the height of foolishness.

Without most people even noticing, computers have split into two camps. The old-school computers that need to run CPU intensive tasks much of the time. And the computer 'devices' that rarely run CPU intensive code for anything but very short durations. The second class are NOT the thin-clients once mistakenly anticipated as becoming the common platform for 'devices'. The second-class are also TRUE general purpose computers, but lack the energy resources to do continuous general purpose computing calculations.

Re:Battery Life (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45206479)

Would you say that Android on a tablet is moronic? Would you say that Android is not a Linux OS?

Display Problems? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,9 days | (#45203127)

Good thing they created Mir to resolve issues that Wayland would have had.

seizure (1)

chizor (108276) | 1 year,9 days | (#45203619)

i frequently have the same pulsation problem with the stock android, so perhaps it is a hardware failure.

hyperbole? joke? (2)

smadasam (831582) | 1 year,9 days | (#45207621)

"Almost Awesome" I think that must have been meant as a joke. Constantly crashing and crap battery life on release software is probably the opposite of awesome...at least for me. Maybe he meant that it would have been completely awesome if it managed to electrocute him or kick him in the nuts some how.
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