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Ubuntu Smartphone Shipping In October 102

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

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  • by Anonymous Coward

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

  • I'm sorry, but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EliSowash (2532508) <eli AT sowash DOT net> on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @05:52PM (#42814013)
    I just can't get excited about this. Ubuntu on PCs isn't the holy grail of desktop computing, and between Droid and iPhone, I'm not sure what new-shiney Ubuntu brings to the smartphone table. Does that make me a bad person?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      This is Ubuntu's attempt at remaining relevant.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

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

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

      by icebike (68054) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @06:08PM (#42814205)

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

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

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

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Holy grail it may not be, and it's not about new shiny. It's a step up from what we have, and it's open enough to interoperate with other closed platforms without much trouble. Because choice and flexibility are good.
    • by Microlith (54737)

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

    • Re:I'm sorry, but (Score:5, Informative)

      by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @06:38PM (#42814547)

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

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

      • by kllrnohj (2626947)

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

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

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

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

        • by gmuslera (3436)
          As long as it is compiled for the processor the phone runs (i.e. ARM processor) any linux program should run. If is not in QML probably won't be as integrated with the "desktop" as programs meant for it, but should run. Maybe more interesting, you have QT/QML in your desktop, so programs for the Ubuntu Mobile will run in your desktop, and same for other programs meant for QT/QML (i.e. BB10 programs if recompiled in Linux, or sailfish, or kde plasma active), and if that pair of libraries are available for A
          • by kllrnohj (2626947)

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

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

      • by MrEricSir (398214)

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

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

        • by div_2n (525075)

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

          Let me help you out -- no and no.

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

          • by Junta (36770)
            And you think a binary for x86 Ubuntu desktop is going to run on an ARM Ubuntu smartphone? Now if you say 'but they'll have dev environments that are processor agnostic', but that's also precisely the value prop of Windows 8 vs. RT in the scenario where 'metro' is used.
            • by Anonymous Coward

              ubuntu is a debian derivative, so applicable.

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

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

              So, yeah. nearly everything on your x86 Debian derived ubuntu box will run (with no e

              • by Junta (36770)
                So my experience is all Linux based, but practically speaking that is all the open source software that is embraced by the distribution vendor with the vendor having full source. For example, most ppa repositories in ubuntu are only compiled for x86, even though they are generally open source because no one is doing a build server for other platforms. Let's exacerbate the issue by assuming a successful endeavor would have commercial, proprietary applications along for the ride (e.g. Netflix). The vendor
          • by MrEricSir (398214)

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

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

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

          • by Desler (1608317)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • by Junta (36770)

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

        Oh really? [markshuttleworth.com] Face it, any corporate sponsored endeavor looking to compete with Google is going to resort to some of these tactics to extract profit since their ability to actually charge for the product itself is pretty well tanked. I will say I'm perfectly willing to believe Android can be easily outdone in terms of UI functionality (hell, Palm did it with WebOS). App and manufacturer ecosystem is going to be a severely uphill battle. Canonical's past announcements have left plenty of room to doubt the v

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

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

      But basically we love to complain. And the complaints about ubuntu, while legitimate are min

  • by Anonymous Coward

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

    • by Githaron (2462596)
      Did they announce the phone or simply that they are going to produce a phone with Ubuntu on it.
    • by gmuslera (3436)
      My PC hadn't Ubuntu preinstalled when i bought it. October could be the date of the firsts phones that have Ubuntu bundled get released, but probably you will be able to install it in some existing phones this month (i.e. in google nexus).
  • by Anonymous Coward

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

  • Exchange (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @06:01PM (#42814133) Homepage
    It's a non-starter without seamless Exchange access. That's the #1 function of my phone. I'm sure I'm not the only one.
    • I can't say that I've even used Exchange in my 30 years of life and 18 years of computing...
      • ... and you can be sure you are not the only one.
      • Re:Exchange (Score:4, Insightful)

        by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @12:54AM (#42817315)

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

        • This makes sense once you understand the Exchange's big draw is the calendar stuff. PHB's spend half their lives trying to arrange 'meetings' so they can 'discuss stuff', while engineers spend their lives trying to avoid meetings so they can get real work done.
    • Many companies like to use Exchange for e-mail and calendar functions. Given that, having it integrate on your smart phone is important.

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

    • by Mars Saxman (1745)

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

    • by jafac (1449)

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

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Well, my employer is a 100K seat global Exchange shop, and I don't "allow" it on my phone even though its WinMob 6.5 can do it just fine (unlike newer versions), and the corp IT policy allows it on that and on iPhone and Android 2.2+. My problems are that such access requires a too--cumbersome password (not just a 4-digit PIN), and quick lock timeout, plus the fact that about 85% of the email I get is "corporate spam" I have no use for (use lots of Outlook filters to send straight to trash, but most only r

    • Well, I don't know about that. It depends on the target market. If it's a consumer phone, who cares about exchange?
  • one thing for sure - I want a bitcoin app that lets me pay quickly (or send money) just by scanning the qr code.
  • by msk (6205) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @06:07PM (#42814203)

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

    • by Merk42 (1906718)
      Depending on ones definition of 'bloatware' the only way Canonical would satisfy them is if it came with nothing installed at all.
  • Arrows on keyboard (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Janek Kozicki (722688) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @06:16PM (#42814277) Journal
    I saw there one example of a terminal session. And that reminds me - one thing that aggravates me on ipad (jailbroken) when using midnight commander in terminal is that the arrows keys are missing! I cannot event use the bash history.

    We definitely want the arrow keys on keyboard when in terminal mode.
    • by AvitarX (172628)

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

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

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

    • by Jorgensen (313325)
      So.. Ctrl-N and Ctrl-P ain't working for you?
  • 'You can share Windows apps to the phone desktop,' said Mr. Shuttleworth

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

    • Re:He said what? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by vlm (69642) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @06:24PM (#42814377)

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

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

  • Awesome... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Panaflex (13191) <convivialdingo&yahoo,com> on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @06:16PM (#42814287)

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

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

    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)

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

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

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

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

      Proper VPN support.

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

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      sudo apt-get and flash that crashes every 10 seconds

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

    Features I think they should have;

    Built in remote management features and "Mobile Device Management Software." This is always a top priority and usually a costly solution.
    Make it simple to push approved patches, software, and updates. Make it simple to remote wipe an

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Right now I have
    Windows x64 Box #1: Old workhours/gaming/media desktop, mainly used for torrents, news, and to use Photoshop, etc when necessary.
    Windows x64 Box #2: HTPC with Windows Media Center ('free' guide listings, works with cable card premium chans) (also important not to do too much besid

  • There's a little mistake in this article. Mark Shuttleworth stepped down from his CEO position [markshuttleworth.com] in 2009, to "focus my Canonical energy on product design, partnerships and customers".
  • If the latest desktop developments from Ubunut are any indication then I'm betting this phone will feature a standard desktop interface something like Gnome 2.0 or Mate.

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

  • Two carriers will support the Ubuntu Smartphone:

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

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