Ubuntu’s first mobile ready version is now available
I’m pretty excited about the possibilities of having a truly open mobile phone and operating system. Ubuntu is now a step closer to that direction. And what’s great about it is that the Ubuntu Touch UI/UX is super awesome. I love what they’ve done about the touch UI — which focuses of providing the user a “gesture-centric” way of using a mobile device.
What to expect moving forward
This version of Ubuntu is still far from finished. In fact, Canonical recommends the Ubuntu for Phone installs be made only by developers and partners.
One of the hindrances to Ubuntu going mobile, besides a dedicated Ubuntu phone, are the hardware drivers that are needed to make connections to a phone network among other things.
With the current state, Ubuntu for phone uses binary drivers from Android to be able to install them on the currently supported Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 mobile phones.
Imagine, if a truly open mobile phone with open drivers could be made for the Ubuntu community (which is easily in the millions of users). It will be much easier (and cheaper?) to make those mobile phones.
From a developer’s perspective, it would also be easier to debug things when the source code is available. 🙂
Next year, would be even more exciting, since Canonical will be introducing the first Ubuntu mobile phone device.
A mobile phone for everyone
Several months ago, Canonical initiated a crowd funding project to create a limited edition high end super mobile phone. The targeted $32 million needed wasn’t met so it didn’t became a reality.
The 16GB Nexus 4 costs about $350 – the upcoming Nexus 5 which will have a faster CPU and better specs will probably cost the same thing.
What if instead of going for a Ubuntu super phone, Canonical would go for something better than the Nexus 5 and price it at say $400?
Maybe they can even incorporate some of the things I wrote about my Ubuntu dream phone – an interface port perhaps? – just to provide some of those tinkering minds with something challenge. 🙂
What I would love to have as a Ubuntu mobile phone
The Mac I use for developing web sites and apps won’t be replaced by a Ubuntu phone anytime soon but there are some features/functions that I would really love to have on a Ubuntu mobile phone.
Storage on the go – Cloud storage is great but I’d rather have a storage I could bring anywhere that I can also use as a computer in case I need one. I already use my Nexus as a web server, ftp server and git server. It would be great if I can have a central repository of contacts and other files that I can access from my other devices that doesn’t need an Internet connection.
Communications hub – The Ubuntu phone I have in mind shouldn’t just be an Internet hotspot. It should make it possible to for to put the phone in one corner of the room and — connect my other devices to it to surf the web, or use my tablet as a device for making calls and sending messages thru the Ubuntu phone — the phone can have all the mobile radios needed but that shouldn’t stop me from using my tablet or my laptop or even another phone from using those radios to make calls and send messages.
Just your ordinary mobile phone – And when I need to go out of the office or the house, my Ubuntu phone should be the only thing I need to bring to make calls, send messages, connect to the Internet, send/receive email and all the other things that I would normally need to do on a desktop computer — when this happens, we can truly say that the desktop and mobile has converged into one – my Ubuntu Phone.
Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.