Ubuntu, founded in 2004, has a long heritage as the most popular Linux desktop and cloud platform in the world, but in early 2013 they announced their foray into the mobile platform, followed quickly by their announcement of Ubuntu Touch. While it’s been a long road, Ubuntu has committed themselves to delivering on this platform with the plan to create a single, convergent Operating System that works across phones, tablets, TVs, and desktops. We were excited to have them sponsor xda:devcon ’13, and are ecstatic to have them back for xda:devcon ’14.
Ubuntu will be leading a few sessions on Ubuntu Touch as well as a workshop devoted to developing apps for Ubuntu Touch. When asked about their interest in continuing to support XDA and xda:devcon, Ubuntu’s Community Manager Daniel Holbach had this to say:
Ever since Ubuntu for devices was first announced, we were thrilled from all the feedback, great ideas, patches and ports we received from XDA community members. XDA’s community is a vibrant place, and we’re really proud of the great relationship we’ve grown together. Sponsoring xda:devcon was an obvious thing to do for us, and we are delighted to be supporting such a great event.
We are excited to have them back and look forward to hearing what they have to say, with their session information soon to follow. If you don’t already have your tickets, make sure you head to xda:devcon ’14 and get your tickets now before they’re all gone.
January 1, 2014 By: Jimmy McGee
Yesterday, we talked about the exciting technology developments in the mobile device world for this year. And today, XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan combed through all the headlines, XDA-Developers news, and device forums to find what happened this year. He then identified the Top Five Technology Stories of 2013.
This includes everything from the trials and tribulations of CyanogenMod in their venture to become Cyanogen Inc. to the rapid expansion of Ubuntu Touch, and much more. So take a moment to check out today’s video and see what we think were the top 5 stories in the mobile industry this year. Let us know if we got it right or why we are dead wrong in the comments below!
December 31, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The end of 2013 is here, and it has been an exciting year in the mobile device world. XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan combed through all the headlines, hardware releases, and device developments that happened this year and identified the Top Five Technology Trends for 2013.
Everything from expanded mobile OS offerings to great independant mobile device choices, the rapid expansion of wearable technology and Google Glass, and much more. So take a moment to check out today’s video and see the top 5 trends in the mobile industry this year. Let us know if we got it right or why we are dead wrong in the comments below!
December 27, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
You can dual boot Ubuntu and Android on your device with a developer preview release! That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that the official CyanogenMod for the Oppo N1 is available, as are the factory images and source code. AOKP KitKat 4.4.2 nightlies are also available for 10 device! That’s not all that’s covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK reviewed Google Glass XE 2.0, Jordan spread some Android Christmas cheer, and TK showed us how to side load apps on our Google Glass. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
December 23, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If you’ve been wanting to try out Ubuntu on your mobile device but found yourself reluctant to switch to an entirely new ROM, Canonical has a special treat for you. Earlier today, they announced the developer preview of their new dual boot solution, which lets you seamlessly switch between Ubuntu and Android in just a few clicks.
Unlike previous solutions that allowed users to switch between Android and Ubuntu, Canonical’s new dual boot solution allows users to switch between the two OSes with nothing more than an application. Moreover, the new system is incredibly simple to set up, as installation happens nearly automatically through the Android client app. And if you wish to return to Android, you use the ubuntudualboot app on the Ubuntu side to reboot back into Android.
Not much is needed to get started. You need to be running Android 4.2 or higher on an AOSP-derived ROM, 2.7 GB of free space, ADB on your desktop and your phone’s bootloader must be unlocked. Currently, this has only been tested by Canonical on the Google Nexus 4, but they state that other Nexus devices should work as well. One small thing to keep in mind is that installing this dual boot solution will overwrite your recovery partition. So if you end up giving this a shot, make sure you are comfortable with the fastboot flash command in order to get your recovery back.
Those looking to get started should head over to the source link below. Are you going to give dual boot a try, or do you only care about Android? Let us know in the comments below.
December 13, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Android 4.4.2 KitKat is now available for the current Google Nexus devices and its source code has been released. That and much more news is covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is the announcement that the LG G Pad 8.3 and Sony Z Ultra now have Google Play Edition Devices and the Ubuntu Touch project has announced future devices. That’s not all that covered in today’s video!
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an Xposed Tuesday video for Android Tuner, Jordan showed us what the new Android 4.4.1/ Android 4.4.2 KitKat updates include, and TK gave us an Android App Review of List My Apps. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
There was much hype around the unveiling of Ubuntu Touch, Canonical’s take on a smartphone OS. People who had been getting a bit bored with Android or were looking for a smartphone experience similar to desktop Ubuntu had their eyes on Ubuntu Edge, an exciting yet highly ambitious crowd-sourced project. Following its unfortunate failure, Canonical decided to soldier on, inking their first deal with a partner to ship smartphones with Ubuntu Touch.
As Canonical founder and product strategy leader Mark Shuttleworth revealed in an interview:
“We have concluded our first set of agreements to ship Ubuntu on mobile phones. We’ve shifted gears from ‘making a concept’ to ‘it’s going to ship.’ That has a big impact on the team.”
No specifics have been given in regards to who the partner is, but Shuttleworth has been dropping hints, with the breadcrumbs leading towards a companywe will all be pretty familiar with:
“We are now pretty much at the board level on four household brands. They sell a lot of phones all over the world, in emerging and fully emerged markets, to businesses and consumers.”
One daunting question that’ll be looming on everyone’s minds is how Canonical will break into the market and successfully grab and hold people’s attentions. One way they could do this is follow in the footsteps of Jolla Sailfish and Blackberry OS—that is, adding Android app compatibility. This way, Ubuntu Touch will be able to latch onto the success of Android until they’ve gotten enough attention or are shaken off by Android. Shuttleworth sees this as a possibility, citing Android’s fragmentation and the closeness between Android and Ubuntu OS. However, there’s no guarantee that this is the case though:
“We make no claims for Android compatibility, but we make it super easy for you to target both [Android and Ubuntu Touch] at the same time and super cool for you to do so.”
Who is looking forward to holding an Ubuntu Touch smartphone in the future? And any guesses on which company Canonical has partnered with to make this a possibility? Share your thoughts with us below!
October 17, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Back at XDA:DevCon 2013, Ubuntu community manager Jono Bacon gave a talk about the future of Ubuntu on mobile devices. Also at the conference, Ubuntu coder Michael Hall held a Ubuntu Touch Development Workshop aimed at spurring and fostering application development for the soon-to-be-ready platform. Both of these presentations can now be viewed online. Fast forward a few months, and Ubuntu for phones is now available for its first two devices.
Coinciding with the desktop Ubuntu 13.10 release, Ubuntu for phones is now officially available for installation on the Google Nexus 4 and Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The release bills itself as being feature complete, with quite a few bells and whistles available including gesture control for multitasking and regularly used apps, click packages, cloud photo storage, easy access to search from anywhere, extensive personalization possibilities, and a set of APIs with which to build new applications. And because all of the included core applications run natively rather than through an interpreter, Ubuntu promises high levels of performance.
While today’s release is a very big step forward, not everything is fully baked just yet. Only two devices are currently supported. And even for those devices, the experience isn’t quite perfect. For starters airplane mode and a lock screen have not yet been added. And remember the promise of convergent computing where a smartphone can function as a complete PC, as long as it meets the minimum requirements? Well, that’s not yet available. Despite the limitations, today’s release is quite exciting. It’s always nice to see other software options available for the devices that some of us already own.
Head over to the Ubuntu for Phones splash page and follow the relatively simple instructions. More information about the specific capabilities and limitations in today’s release can be found here. Finally, those looking into community-based progress on Ubuntu for Phones for other devices should head over to the Ubuntu Touch Wiki.
[Thanks to User Experience Admin svetius for the tip!]
October 9, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Last week, XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan showed us how to work with developing an app in the upcoming Ubuntu Touch OS. Of course, developing an App for a device or operating system is always easier if you have a device to test it on. Luckily, Google released a new version of the Nexus 7, and the market is full of old Nexus 7s you can pick up for cheap.
In this video, Jordan shows you how to install Ubuntu Touch on an original Nexus 7 (2012) device. This will allow you to try Ubuntu Touch out as an operating system or even push apps to for testing your development. So if you have an old Nexus 7 (2012) or you want to try Ubuntu Touch, check this video out!
October 2, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
In the past, XDA Developer TV has made videos showing you how to build an Android App. We even made videos showing you how to build a Windows Phone app, back when Windows Phone was new and had a chance. At our first Developer conference Ubuntu Staff Member Michael Hall gave a presentation on Ubuntu Touch.
On October 17th, Ubuntu Touch will reach version 1.0. This is a big deal. Given the interest in the new mobile operating system XDA Developer TV Producer Jordan has started a series showing you how to build an Ubuntu Touch app. Jordan has already created a video on how to set up the Ubuntu SDK on your computer, but today he shows you how to start working with an application for Ubuntu Touch. Check out this video.
September 19, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Continuing our little jaunt in the presentations we recorded and uploaded for your enjoyment from XDA:DevCon 2013, we present some great footage covering presentations from Ubuntu. As we all know, Ubuntu has been working hard to get Ubuntu on to mobile devices. They even had a failed Indiegogo campaign to make a device. The Indiegogo campaign is referenced in the video because this was recorded while the campaign was still ongoing.
The first presentation was from Ubuntu’s own Community Manager Jono Bacon. As the Ubuntu Community Manager, Jono is leading a team that grows, inspires, and enthuses the global Ubuntu community—a community numbering the hundreds of thousands. In his presentation “Building a Convergent Future With Ubuntu,” Jono talks about what Canonical and Ubuntu’s vision is for the future of computing. By having Ubuntu on your phone, tablet, and computer; they strive to have you be able to be productive no matter where you are. Start a document on one device and pick up the completion on another. Ubuntu isn’t afraid of the obstacles against them. When asked “Why would you go up against Android,” they often reply, “Think about the mobile device landscape over 5 years ago, Blackberry was huge and Android was just starting.” To hear more about Ubuntu’s vision for the future, check out the video.
Ubuntu realizes that even with the most fine-tuned mobile operating system with many great features and facets, your ecosystems needs apps. So to help grow the app selection, Ubuntu employee and coding addict Michael Hall presented the “Ubuntu Touch Development Workshop.” Michael is an open source software developer, community manager, and technology evangelist. He has extensive experience in developing desktop and web-based software in a large variety of languages and frameworks, and contributes to a number of open source projects and communities. He is ideally suited to talk about the features and benefits of Ubuntu Touch. Additionally, he creates an app for Ubuntu Touch and demonstrates how anyone can create an app themselves, or add-on to his app in the spirit of open source.
If you want to see more or get a copy of the presentations slides, visit the XDA:DevCon Presentations page.
August 26, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
We’ve talked a little bit about Ubuntu Touch in the past. If you’ve got the operating system loaded onto your device, you may wish to check out the unofficial XDA-Developers app created by Michael Hall over at Canonical, who gave a talk during XDA:DevCon 2013.
The application, which is available from the Dash, is available to anyone running the latest version of Ubuntu Touch. Currently the application all0ws you to browse the forums in a streamlined manner. More importantly, however, all of the code is available on the project’s LaunchPad so you can see how they made the app and build from this in your own app.
If you have a device loaded with Ubuntu Touch, give the unofficial XDA app a shot. While you’re at it, visit Michael Hall’s Google+ post on the subject as well.
[Thanks to XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler for the tip!]
August 14, 2013 By: Adam Outler
The line between an OS and an application is drawn by the ability to install applications. The Ubuntu Touch OS is in a state of constant evolution. The current system is dependent upon Click packages. Click packages are similar to the old Debian packaging system. However in the Click system, all dependencies are included in the application itself. This creates a sort of sandbox, which allows the app to have its own filesystem that it controls in a similar fashion to the Android /data partition.
One such Click Package is the XDA Developers App (unofficial). This app was featured by Michael Hall during his talk at XDA:DevCon 2013. It is fully open source, and source is available on Launchpad. Michael is very passionate about application development on the mobile Ubuntu OS, and he gave an interesting presentation about how one could begin development on Ubuntu Touch. This particular app interacts directly with the XDA-Developers Website APIs rather than through Tapatalk or other 3rd party clients.
Michael Hall stated in his presentation that it took about a day for him to create a basic browsing application for the XDA forums. Michael is also welcoming contributions to the project. Setting up the SDK for development is fairly easy, as long as you have UDEV rules established. And for anyone familiar with QT development or HTML 5, you should be able to hop right into developing an app for Ubuntu Touch. So you only need a launchpad account to contribute to this open-source project.
You may be asking yourself, “Why Launchpad?” The answer is simple. Launchpad provides revision control and build control systems. The launchpad system also allows you to build apps that are featured in their own easily-added apt-get open source repository as well. If you’re already a Git user, you will find Bazaar to be easy. The advantage is that you can release nightly builds in several different release formats easily.
The Ubuntu Click apps market is opening shortly, and if you want to have one of the first Ubuntu Touch applications, your time is running out. Starting with Ubuntu 13.10, you can expect to see the Click packages beginning to work their way into Ubuntu, allowing for enhanced security and non-sudo installation. So if you want to start developing for Ubuntu Touch, now is the time.