Ubuntu Phone This Year?

As @bryanlunduke mentioned, an Ubuntu phone is always a year away. But, it might be this year!!

This is my favorite paragraph:
“Shuttleworth says Canonical is working with an unnamed smartphone manufacturer to release a phone that can do just that. It’s not entirely clear how it (convergence) will work. We don’t know who’s building the phone, how much it will cost, or how it will connect to accessories: it’s possible there could be a docking station accessory, or support for wireless display, mouse, and keyboard connections.”

Should we be getting excited?

The Ubuntu phone is already a reality, at least in Europe. I believe @sil and @jonobacon have Ubuntu phones as do I. I have the bq Aquaris 4.5 which is today the only version you can buy though I believe it can be installed on other phones.

If you are looking for a phone which

a) Makes calls

b) Can send texts

c) Can surf the internet

Then its a nice phone.

But, if you are looking for the range of apps available on Android or iOS then its not there yet. It doesn’t even have a decent scientific calculator, though I’m working on changing that.

Will it make it? I hope so but today it is still a geek’s toy. I love it and I am trying to make it better but I would not today recommend it to my daughter. She has an Android phone and I think it suits her best.

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So from what I understand this will be the full convergent story. This will be an Ubuntu phone that when docked will be able to act like a desktop too. It will use Mir and Unity 8 and be able to run a variety of apps.

I think that technologically there is a lot that needs to happen to make this a reality. The team though is making solid progress. See this video from Desktop Team engineering manager and oldest friend of @sil, Will Cooke:

In terms of who the manufacturer is, I have no idea. It may well be BQ or Meizu with another handset. It could be another manufacturer entirely.

I am personally pretty excited about it: I think this is where Ubuntu can be truly unique.

What I am curious to see is whether it will really ship this year. Mark has been known to be a bit ambitious from time to time, and I sure as hell hope this doesn’t slip.

Speaking of which, we are going to get Rick Spencer, VP Ubuntu Engineering on the show soon to discuss this very development: he is responsibility for all the engineering here.

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I don’t doubt that this will happen. I just hope that, when it is released, that it won’t have a sufficient amount of issues that will cause it to be dismissed, for I think this is exciting too.

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Hello chaps, I’ve been dicking around with Ubuntu phone for a few days and thought I’d share my thoughts here. If memory serves, I think sil had a play.

First impressions:

The first three things I tried to do were difficult and needed a search engine of choice to resolve.

  1. Changing ringtone and message alert. http://askubuntu.com/questions/625228/change-aquaris-phone-ringtone


  1. Change my bluetooth device name:

    vi /etc/machine-info


reboot phone.

  1. Import contact details from an export from android os:


I had to insert the odd new line in order to get this to work properly.

There is no way to do these using the interface and they were the first things I wanted to achieve. There is a fuck-ton of polish needed to iron out these things before a consumer market will readily odopt it.


There aren’t any. I’m not a heavy app user by any means, but a podcast client is a must have, and for me, I’d like an mpd client so I can automagically play shit at home.

The music player doesn’t work properly with In-Car-Entertainment, it should continue where it left off, you guessed it, automagically.

Other stuff:

Apps are noticably slow to load first time.

The abandonment of a home button, a home, or any buttons at all, smells of NIH syndrome. Forget it, and match consumer workflow expectations.

I’m not ragging on Ubuntu here, it’s not the worst effort, but there are some serious shortcomings that need a fuck-ton of effort to address.

Was it wise to release a product that would cause that much frustration? I would have been surprised to find it to be all fine, spit and polish, but shouldn’t they have gone farther than they have at release? I am afraid that this will cause it to be dismissed right out of the gate. I can understand that there would be the pressure to release something considering all the talk about it for the last few years. Is this being too pessimistic on my part? I hope so.

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