Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Woof woof!




Last week I fell into a discussion with Mark, Pat, and others about the importance of being able to really use a piece of software to really know how far there is between where you are, and a shippable state. Of everything that is missing, it's hard to know what is really the most important unless you can really use it and find what you have to work around, versus what you can just do without.

Out of this conversation was born the idea that we should drive as hard as we can to making it so that we can use our phones with Ubuntu Touch as our real daily phones as soon as possible. Really eat our own dogfood, so to speak. woof!

So, we committed our teams to making it so that by end of May, the phone images will be usable as our daily phones, defined as the following:

  • You can make and receive phone calls
  • You can make and receive sms messages
  • You can browse the web on 3g data
  • You can browse the web on wifi
  • You can switch between wifi and 3g data
  • The proximity sensore dims the screen when you lift the phone to talk on it
  • You can import contacts from somewhere, and you can add and edit contacts
  • When you update your phone your user data is retained, even if updating with phablet-flash

We believe that at least some of us will be able to really dogfood if we accomplish that. Of course, there will be a lot missing. Off the bat, I can thinking of things like the ability to find and install new apps, hardware not working on certain reference hardware (camera on Nexus 7 for example?), lots of missing features in existing apps, etc... However, in my experience, progress accelerates when people are using, in addition to building, software.

19 comments:

  1. Don't worry, the Nexus 7 camera hardly even works on Android ;-)

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  2. be great to try on the nexus 4 and 7, i use the cameraon the 4 never on the seven myself!! its going to be great having a full uniformed ubuntu setup, phone, tablet, laptop and workstation!! great stuff

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  3. Before going for dog-fooding, there is an American edge-case to deal with. I know that GSM devices are typical across this planet we share. Where we go atypical in the USA is that we have CDMA networks like Sprint and Verizon. While still a fraction of total planetary market share, we also do not want to leave developers and users in the USA behind due to Verizon and Sprint being major service providers who just happen to not follow standards the rest of the planet do.

    Putting on my LoCo leader hat for a second, I can note that I have had already had concerns raised by fellow Ohioans who have poor-to-bad reception from US GSM carriers AT&T and T-Mobile that they feel shut out as current porting efforts don't really touch CDMA phones. I don't really have a response to those concerns so far other than to say efforts are still at early stages. Right now that is something I just want to raise informally.

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  4. There are images for the Verizon and Sprint Galaxy S3

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  5. don't forget about google contacts import :)

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    1. I would more say google contacts sync and gmail support, i consider these also essential, right after "phone" support.
      Keep working on Ubuntu Touch, i can't wait to have desktop-phone ;)

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  6. Make minecraft work on it and you will have to beat them off with a stick

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    1. I second this - this game is absolutely viral (in a good way)!

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  7. How locked-down will Ubuntu phones be? Will it be a pure Linux in that you will be able to be root and do things like write new drivers so when manufacturers don't play ball the community can do as it wants?

    If so, here is one Android user who will jump to Ubuntu as soon as possible.

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    1. We are currently producing reference images for hardware that is not locked by definition. This is the Nexus, and the Nexus 4, 7, and 10.

      When Ubuntu starts shipping on phones, I suppose it will be up to the manufacturers whether the phones are locked, but we will always have images available for unlocked hardware. Also, I think more and more manufacturers and seeing the benefits of selling unlocked hardware, so hopefully there will be some good choices of Ubuntu on unlocked phones by default.

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  8. If you ever manage to make it that usable by the end of May can you also add at least a simple media player or music player? Thank you. A music player will make it my my daily driver.

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  9. Will all the things we've been used to on Ubuntu desktop still be available to us when using an Ubuntu Touch device in desktop mode? For example will I still be able to script my own applications in wxPython?

    If the answer to that is 'yes' my next question is how about in phone mode? Will I be able to run wxPython scripts when the I'm using the device as a phone?

    I realise wxPython wasn't made for touch, experience will be suboptimal, blah, blah, blah... but there are many circumstances where that doesn't matter, functionality is more important than form.

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    1. This would depend on whether wxPython was supported by Mir in some way while in phone or tablet mode. In desktop mode, anything that runs on x will be able to run on Mir (eventually), but I'm not sure that will be true on the phone.

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  10. Just installed Ubuntu Touch on my Nexus. Interesting. Can't wait for the end-of-May tweaks. I also have a Nexus7 Wifi+3G but I'll leave that alone for a while.

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  11. Hi everybody,

    Alike many users, I am impatiently waiting for this first usable version. Any update for the release date?

    Cheers,
    Pierre

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  12. I have Ubuntu succesfully working reliable on my PC, my laptop and a brandnew netbook; the fact that my galaxy tab2 will be part of the family amazes me, please hurry up as fast as you can. I need it daily, therefore I don't want to put the developer preview for the p3100 on it, even if I am extremely curious. Alone that my device is being developed for makes me feel very good - Android starts to smell like a stinking fish, especially with the prism/nsa spying scandal of which google and microsoft had its big share as it seems. I try to go all opensource all the time, but now especially in this nsa-backdoor-light even so more.

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  14. I am not sure what happened to development but I don't see a complete build even in 2014

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