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Ubuntu For Phones

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Posted

Honestly the workflow of it seems pretty bad to me, the four corners thing dosn't work very well with the large sizes of todays phones.

The side bar seems like a terrible idea in reality, and reminds me of early Nokia and Samsung phones. The very ones everyone slaughtered. And the one screen seems like a terrible re implementation of microsofts idea, except... Terrible.

It looks like annoys designed by geeks who sat around thinking up cool ideas and made it into a phone OS with no consideration for phone OS usability.

That doesn't really mean anything.

I completely disagree, the swiping looked very intuitive to me after watching the video. WP8 works somewhat similarly and I haven't seen any big complaints about it there.

And regarding nokia, are you talking about meego? Meego didn't fail do to the UI, it failed because nokia barely released a single device with it and hopped to WP8 almost immediately leaving the device pretty much dead in the water.

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Posted

No, olde, first gen Nokia touch devices. And old Samsung devices had the sidebar

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I'm really, really loving the look of this OS. I could very easily see me ditching Android on my Nexus 7 and using this for quite a while. Although, I certainly wouldn't mind if Dalvik VM was ported to Ubuntu Mobile, eiher! Pretty amusing Ubuntu got to use Windows 8's gestures before Windows Phone 8 did, though!

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Posted

Drivers will definitely be an issue if we're talking about installing on a wide range of Android devices.

Its built on the Android version the linux kernel and it uses all Android drivers, shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Also I can't wait to get this on my Galaxy nexus.

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Honestly the workflow of it seems pretty bad to me, the four corners thing dosn't work very well with the large sizes of todays phones.

The side bar seems like a terrible idea in reality, and reminds me of early Nokia and Samsung phones. The very ones everyone slaughtered. And the one screen seems like a terrible re implementation of microsofts idea, except... Terrible.

It looks like annoys designed by geeks who sat around thinking up cool ideas and made it into a phone OS with no consideration for phone OS usability.

That doesn't really mean anything.

It looks really usable to me, don't know what you are on about. Fail? Wow, does everything you type always have to be so extreme? Why would it fail instantly? You are wrong, its only speculation from an usual very narcissistic commenter, hint hint. The abstract comparison to 1st gen phones baffle me, please do explain oh wise one. And get real, MS does a way worse job that implementing mobile OS features, it takes them forever to add the simplest of features which amazes me! And lol, if Ubuntu designers are a bunch of "geeks" - (dont even know what you are getting at here), them realistically the bunch at MS had to be a bunch of old 50'ish men, who sit all day in offices playing the game of what does the market want, when its blatantly obvious, like a slap to the face, but their arrogance clouds and destroys the progress of technology. yawn/ talking cr#p is so easy.... /s

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Posted

I honestly am going to wait until I can actually try it before placing judgement on it. It looks pretty cool.

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It looks really usable to me, don't know what you are on about. Fail? Wow, does everything you type always have to be so extreme? Why would it fail instantly? You are wrong, its only speculation from an usual very narcissistic commenter, hint hint. The abstract comparison to 1st gen phones baffle me, please do explain oh wise one. And get real, MS does a way worse job that implementing mobile OS features, it takes them forever to add the simplest of features which amazes me! And lol, if Ubuntu designers are a bunch of "geeks" - (dont even know what you are getting at here), them realistically the bunch at MS had to be a bunch of old 50'ish men, who sit all day in offices playing the game of what does the market want, when its blatantly obvious, like a slap to the face, but their arrogance clouds and destroys the progress of technology. yawn/ talking cr#p is so easy.... /s

How is MS way of implementing worse than this. Now since this OS isn't even on the market yet and will only be out for nexus devices for download and it's horribly laggy and it's a whole year until they have anything on the hardware roadmap, I don't think you should use this OS as an example of any kind of efficiency.

And back to usability. Firstly launching apps. Ubuntu lets you launch apps either from the horrible and least accessible left side swipe dock. Or from the worst designed mish mash home page ever. Where they tried to copy the information display and usability of the WP tile homescreen. And they failed at both of them. It looks bad and the information is so crowded, it's a terrible info centric area. And for launching apps... Well same issue.

Now give actually argument instead of ad hominem attacks and just saying "it's crap".

You wrote a big post with nothing but ad hominem and reasonless arguments.

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Posted

I quite like the UI, and this certainly makes me more interested in Ubuntu as a platform (if only I could avoid frying my hardware in the process of trying to install it as a dual boot). I'd say it's possibly ahead of webOS as far as practicality and functionality goes, and I like it better than what RIM did for the PlayBook with the edges. Left is effectively bottom on the PlayBook, right is the sides, top is the top corners, and bottom is top. Making each edge do something different seems a bit more sensible than doubling up one (that said, RIM's implementation does work very well for a tablet with two hands).

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Posted

How is MS way of implementing worse than this. Now since this OS isn't even on the market yet and will only be out for nexus devices for download and it's horribly laggy and it's a whole year until they have anything on the hardware roadmap, I don't think you should use this OS as an example of any kind of efficiency.

And back to usability. Firstly launching apps. Ubuntu lets you launch apps either from the horrible and least accessible left side swipe dock. Or from the worst designed mish mash home page ever. Where they tried to copy the information display and usability of the WP tile homescreen. And they failed at both of them. It looks bad and the information is so crowded, it's a terrible info centric area. And for launching apps... Well same issue.

Now give actually argument instead of ad hominem attacks and just saying "it's crap".

You wrote a big post with nothing but ad hominem and reasonless arguments.

again I don't see why the dock is "horrible" or "not accessible". It looks fairly intuitive and easy to use. I quite like that no matter what screen you are on you can easily swipe and pull out the dock. honestly the dock was one of my favorite things about the UI when I watched the video, I'd love to try it in action. Regarding speed and availability, of course that's to be expected since its still very early stages. Early android was notoriously laggy.

The home screen I didn't love, but I think you are exaggerating a bit... the first thing you see is all your apps (frequently used on the top and a button for all apps clearly visible), and they mentioned that the rest of the home screen should is customizable.

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Posted

And back to usability. Firstly launching apps. Ubuntu lets you launch apps either from the horrible and least accessible left side swipe dock. Or from the worst designed mish mash home page ever. Where they tried to copy the information display and usability of the WP tile homescreen. And they failed at both of them. It looks bad and the information is so crowded, it's a terrible info centric area. And for launching apps... Well same issue.

It has one advantage over the WP UI: It doesn't look like complete ass. Given that it's still in an early stage of development of course there are going to be some glitches but I imagine by the time a device actually launches improvement will be made.

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again I don't see why the dock is "horrible" or "not accessible". It looks fairly intuitive and easy to use. Regarding speed and availability, of course that's to be expected since its still very early stages. I quite like that no matter what screen you are on you can easily swipe and pull out the dock. honestly the dock was one of my favorite things about the UI when I watched the video, I'd love to try it in action.

The home screen I didn't love, but I think you are exaggerating a bit... the first thing you see is all your apps (frequently used on the top and a button for all apps clearly visible), and they mentioned that the rest of the home screen should is customizable.

the docks design is just plain bad, and again, looks exactly like older samsung and nokia touch phones. but most annoying, it's on the wrong side of the phone. ok for 3-4 inch phones, but for those who keep buying the new ridiculously large phones... it's unusable with one hand. even on a 4 inch phone, a left side swipe isn't the most practical for the average person, though my giant hands wouldn't have a problem.

It has one advantage over the WP UI: It doesn't look like complete ass. Given that it's still in an early stage of development of course there are going to be some glitches but I imagine by the time a device actually launches improvement will be made.

I find the WP UI looks cleaner and nice than that, and that's a useless advantage when you can't find any info because the UI layout is so messy and mashed together.

personally I take nice clean squares that are readable have a logical layout and gives information directly, over overly rounded corners, bevels and transparency(is there any effect they didn't add) in a mess if a layout so you have to search for the info any day.

Also with that bad performance they're going nowhere, they have android 2.1 performance on low end 100 dollar phone hardware on a modern day nexus...

unfortunately for them, as The Verge pointed out, the major thing that will kill them is a hardware roadmap that's mapped in years, where android makes have failed because their roadmaps where in months..

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Posted

the docks design is just plain bad, and again, looks exactly like older samsung and nokia touch phones. but most annoying, it's on the wrong side of the phone. ok for 3-4 inch phones, but for those who keep buying the new ridiculously large phones... it's unusable with one hand. even on a 4 inch phone, a left side swipe isn't the most practical for the average person, though my giant hands wouldn't have a problem.

I find the WP UI looks cleaner and nice than that, and that's a useless advantage when you can't find any info because the UI layout is so messy and mashed together.

personally I take nice clean squares that are readable have a logical layout and gives information directly, over overly rounded corners, bevels and transparency(is there any effect they didn't add) in a mess if a layout so you have to search for the info any day.

Also with that bad performance they're going nowhere, they have android 2.1 performance on low end 100 dollar phone hardware on a modern day nexus...

unfortunately for them, as The Verge pointed out, the major thing that will kill them is a hardware roadmap that's mapped in years, where android makes have failed because their roadmaps where in months..

How do you know they are 'going nowhere with performance'? Its a brand new OS that isn't even released yet, you are making wild speculations.

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Posted

I said that with the performance they're showing now, they're going nowhere. and this is what they're showing off, it doesn't help that their hardware roadmap is empty for another year, that's just another sign heading to nowhere.

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Posted

The one handed use paradigm is dying. The most popular phones are huge. It's not on the wrong side, because everyone uses two hands anyway.

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Posted

I see this bringing linux front and center. is this the first flavor of linux to go phone?

Depends if you count android as a linux flavor. There was also meego, but nokia ditched it for WP8 it before it ever really had a chance.

:laugh: Yeah, Android is about as Linux as you can get.

Okay, so I made a number of posts over on the omgubuntu.co.uk comment page on this article, and it received a large majority of upvotes, but unsurprisingly upset people.

In my opinion, this is a terrible idea. It's a terrible idea for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it's likelihood of success is probably somewhere between 0 and 1%. The mobile market is cut throat, and the people have spoken in that all the large majority of people care about is Android or iPhone. They have driven nearly every other mobile OS to the grave. Now Canonical, with no mobile experience is supposed to just be like "Hey guy, we wanna play too!"? Not gonna happen. They don't have the experience or the capital to make this happen. Assuming they DID manage to make even a slight dent in the market, our patent systems are so screwed up that it's nearly impossible to step on someone's toes and get sued. When this happens, Apple, Google, and Microsoft have BILLIONS in the bank and more than enough money already set aside for lawyers to handle these things. Canonical would get crushed. Look at the really surprisingly large number of attempts from other companies to build a mobile OS to compete, usually from MUCH larger companies, or companies that have been invested in mobile handsets for years and years, and they can't even manage it.

Now, before you think I'm trying to just discourage them, Ubuntu for Android promised a lot of the best features that an Ubuntu Phone OS would provide. One of the keys being desktop dock mode. Because Android is already Linux, they say they can share the kernel and drivers with it and run Ubuntu side by side. This is a fantastic idea, and it uses the power of Linux to partner together and achieve more, rather than competing with each other in what's an all but guaranteed failure for Canonical. I would FAR rather seem them focus on Ubuntu for Android than an Ubuntu Phone OS. I would use Ubuntu for Android the second it came out, but I don't even have the slightest desire to ditch Android for a half baked mobile OS with no support.

Now, let's talk what we've seen. The design is somewhat unique, I'll give them that, but it's partly unique because it's poorly designed. Everything relies heavily on edges on this OS, which means you can kiss goodbye any case you have on your phone. I have an Otterbox Commuter on my One X, and Android already has a number of side swipe actions (for example, switching tabs in chrome), and I find these gestures very difficult to do with a case on. If an OS relied on that for the most simple of actions, you'd be screwed. So the initial design is already flawed and proving why Canonical needs to not try to jump all the way in, but worth with Android to extend it.

Don't get me wrong though. The future of phones, without even the slightest question, is as our sole computing device. In the future, when phones are fast enough (and the A15 chips area already going to be damn close), you'll have your phone as your only computing device. You'll use it on the go on it's smaller screen. When you get home, you toss it on the coffee table and it links up with your TV/Monitor and a keyboard/mouse and you have your full desktop, etc. To me it's blatantly obvious that this is the future of computing, so I understand where Ubuntu is coming from. They are trying to do exactly this, but they are trying to do it as an outsider in a very difficult market, and honestly a little before phones are ready for it (though they haven't released it yet, and it's likely to come out around the times of A15s becoming standard in phones, but their specs still list A9 as a minimum, but likely because there isn't much alternative at the moment except for the Qualcomm S4)

So in summary, I have mixed feelings about the idea, but I don't think it's the best use of Canonical's focus at the moment. Stick to Ubuntu on Android for now, and maybe if that can gain a little traction, then you can use it to segway into a full Ubuntu Phone OS.

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One, it used to be that the people had spoken and all anyone wanted was an iPhone. Then Android got better. Now you say all anyone wants is Android and iOS, but Windows Phone is picking up steam, webOS had a great following before HP bungled it, millions of people are waiting for BlackBerry 10, and so on. The market definitely wants more than just Android or iOS. Whether Ubuntu is what they want specifically is a different question, but you're completely wrong that the market only wants two.

Edge use might be a polarising issue, but people love it on the N9, and people love it on the PlayBook. It's not bad design, in fact it's very good design. Some people just don't like good design - see the complaints about Metro and Unity for some glaring examples.

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The one handed use paradigm is dying. The most popular phones are huge. It's not on the wrong side, because everyone uses two hands anyway.

I think you'll find that the total market, the giant phones are significantly smaller compared to the sub 5 inch phones, individually large phones sell more than any smaller phone simply because there's less of them so less choice for those who want a giant phone. I also wonder how 7 inch tablets will affect the sales of 5+ inch phones.

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Edge use might be a polarising issue, but people love it on the N9, and people love it on the PlayBook. It's not bad design, in fact it's very good design. Some people just don't like good design - see the complaints about Metro and Unity for some glaring examples.

well, very few peopel have an N9, and the N9 isn't a big phone. in fact today it's a very small phone. the 920 is the regular size phone today. and then you have the ridiculous tab phones.

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The total market is larger for smaller phones now because they've been around for longer and people haven't upgraded yet and because the larger phones are more expensive. People prefer bigger. When the iPhone launched it had the biggest screen, and that was a feature everyone liked.

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The total market is larger for smaller phones now because they've been around for longer and people haven't upgraded yet and because the larger phones are more expensive. People prefer bigger. When the iPhone launched it had the biggest screen, and that was a feature everyone liked.

uh, no they don't, "some" people do, these are the ones now buying the 5+ phones. but the average user don't want those huge phones, heck a large percentage of users don't even want touch phones today and get annoyed by the fat that it's impossible to not get a regular old phone.

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Posted

Would be nice if it had a Transmission app, so I could turn a smart phone into a cheaply run torrent server. Just shame it'll be Wi-Fi :p

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One, it used to be that the people had spoken and all anyone wanted was an iPhone. Then Android got better. Now you say all anyone wants is Android and iOS, but Windows Phone is picking up steam, webOS had a great following before HP bungled it, millions of people are waiting for BlackBerry 10, and so on. The market definitely wants more than just Android or iOS. Whether Ubuntu is what they want specifically is a different question, but you're completely wrong that the market only wants two.

Edge use might be a polarising issue, but people love it on the N9, and people love it on the PlayBook. It's not bad design, in fact it's very good design. Some people just don't like good design - see the complaints about Metro and Unity for some glaring examples.

Alright, lets use some facts here to illustrate my point.

Let's consider the start of Android's life to be around version 1.5, which was released in April of 2009. When it was released, here's what the mobile market looked like:

canalys_global_smartphone_market_by_os_q2_2009.gif

Apple was beginning to be "all anyone wanted" as you would say, but in reality, Symbian had the largest market share by far, RIM was solidly in second, Apple was emerging, and Microsoft was starting to fade a little but still prominent. So when Android was coming onto the scene, there were 4 other major competitors. The market was still fairly open, smartphones were basically still only beginning to get popular with the general public, and Apple and Google promised big changes to the market.

Fast forward to today:

gsmarena_002.jpg

Now smartphones are in every person's pocket. The market has matured, and between Google and Apple, they own 88% of the market, and every other competitor is losing ground. Windows Phone you said? I'm not sure where these delusions that Windows Phone is becoming really popular are coming from as they continue to lose market share.

One other important number missing from that second graphic is the fact that while Symbian and RIM owned 70% of the market back then, that was 70% of a total sales of 38 million. Now Apple and Google hold 88% of 491 million smartphones sold last quarter.

Also, webOS?? webOS never had any decent market share, and you're right, millions are probably waiting for Blackberry 10. Millions out of that 491 BILLION smartphones shipped last quarter probably care about Blackberry.

So maybe we're talking about different market shares here, because the numbers don't match what you're saying. It would be one thing if Ubuntu could sell millions of phones, and that's cool and all. Hell, if I could sell a few millions phones, I'd be happy even if I didn't have a sizable market share, the problem is, as the Blackberry Playbook is probably the best example of, if you only sell a small number, no one is going to build quality apps for your platform. Without quality apps, no one is going to buy your product. I personally think the concept of the Ubuntu Phone OS is fantastic. Sure I didn't like the edge gestures, but looking past initial design prototypes, the concept is fantastic. However, if you tell me I could have an Ubuntu phone with **** for apps that's mostly only good for docking as a slow computer, or an Android with a massive amount of quality apps comparatively, even I'd take Android. The smartphone market just doesn't allow for small fish in the sea unless it's low end phones. My guess is that they think they can harness the power of the open source community to build open source ports and extensions on their existing Ubuntu apps, but I don't see it being enough to maintain the platform.

Also, let me clarify on another thing a little. Perhaps people wouldn't mind having more choices. Choice is good of course. I would say I'd rather there be more quality smartphone platforms than less, of course. However, people's wants alone don't determine a market or how they act even. Say there are 5 solid smartphone OSes out there. Unless they somehow all run the same apps, which of course won't happen, you have to split development time 5 ways. Now, I'm a small time developer, I can't developer for 5 myself, so I'm going to pick which one or ones? The ones that are most successful. Maybe I'm a big developer. I have the resources to develop on 5, but 2 are going to make me money, and 3 MIGHT pay for their development, but not much more, therefore, I'm more likely to develop only for the top 2. Haven't you heard Steve Ballmer's rant? Developers build a platform. Without developers, you have no apps, without apps, you have no users. Bob goes to the store and see's the Ubuntu phone and is like " Damn, this is pretty slick!" then he gets it home and realizes he can't Skype with his friends on iPhone or Android because there's no Skype app. He can't play Words with Friends with his buddies anymore, because it's not on Ubuntu OS, and so on and so on, so what does he do? He brings it back. And another related thing they are doing is making platform specific features like FaceTime. So maybe Ubuntu Phone looks pretty cool to you, but your whole family has FaceTime and uses it, so too bad for Ubuntu Phone.

Regardless of what people may WANT, these type of markets usually have very few competitors. Look at the desktop OS market. To even say there are 3 major players would be being kind to Apple and Linux. Look at game consoles, there's 3 big players. Gaming handhelds? 2. Markets like this aren't kind to new comers and small timers. They usually have little sales and crappy knock off games or apps that people would rather not use.

Like I said over on the omgubuntu site, I'm not trying to pick on Ubuntu, I'm just trying to point out why I think Ubuntu on Android is a MASSIVELY better use of their time and how little chance that this has at success, not because I wouldn't like to see it succeed, but because I know the mobile market well enough to know how unlikely it would be.

And apologies for the massive posts. Phones are my hobby and I can go one forever. :laugh:

Oh, almost forgot that last point. Yes, edge gestures are a bad design on a phone that has nearly no side bezels. Android is trying to screw around with it to and it's not going to go over well. Top and bottom edges are fine since they have some bezel. On the Playbook it was fine because it had bezel and also because it was a tablet and most people probably don't even get a case for a tablet. Until they make unbreakable screens that don't require you to use a case, side edge gestures are a very bad design on phones unless you're adding bezel which wouldn't be worth the trade off.

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Posted

Actually WP has increased significantly. The issue with that graph is that it only lists Microsoft. WP has gone from 0% and gradually increased to hit ~3%

Also I'd like to see the new graphs with shipment numbers and not just percentages as well, as the market has grown a lot.

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Posted

Complete convergence on all platforms? - sorry buddy - Windows is already there.

AND more importantly it has far more software than ubuntu.

Until Windows 8 I would have said easier to use too.

But then again - you can't shutdown/restart ubuntu anymore since 12.04 either.

Oh Well.

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Posted

.......

How are you such an expert on Ubuntu phone OS and its UI when its not even out yet lol.

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