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.
June 27, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Android has become the dominant mobile operating system. Many of us love Android, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore any new mobile OSes that may come along. What if we ignored Android when it was first released? In that spirit of support of new ideas, XDA has added forums for other OSes such as Ubuntu Touch, and we are having some discussions about Ubuntu Touch at XDA:DevCon 2013.
We already know the Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon will be discussing Building a Convergent Future With Ubuntu. But what if you want to learn how to develop for Ubuntu Touch? Is there some kind of workshop you can attend? There is!
Open Source software developer, community manager, and technology evangelist Michael Hall will be holding an Ubuntu Touch Development Workshop at XDA:DevCon 2013. Working for Canonical, maker of the popular Ubuntu operating system, and experienced in Perl, Java, PHP and Python languages and a number of desktop applications and libraries, he was responsible for promoting development of Ubuntu itself and the applications that run on it. He led projects to improve integration with Ubuntu’s flagship Unity desktop among desktop and web application and Canonical’s Skunkworks initiative, which brought in select community contributors to work on unannounced projects being developed internally.
When Ubuntu announced their plans to enter the mobile phone and tablet market and released an early preview of their SDK, Michael took a leading role in bringing it to application developers and working with Ubuntu engineers to extend and improve on the developer toolkit. He has overseen the collaborative development of a number of core applications for Ubuntu’s mobile offering, bringing community developers together with Canonical staff to plan, develop, and deliver high quality and visually stunning apps.
With all this experience in hand, he will be leading a workshop on getting started with Ubuntu Touch development. During this workshop, he will present the new Ubuntu SDK, what it has to offer mobile application developers, and how you can use it to create your own apps for Ubuntu devices of all sizes. You will be shown how to get a development environment setup, install the SDK, and where to find extra help and documentation. Finally, you will be shown step-by-step how to develop a working real-world Ubuntu Touch app, so bring your Ubuntu laptop (or VM) to code along!
June 21, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Responses fom Ubuntu pouring into Ubuntu Touch Q&A thread! That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news are two articles about Pearl Chen and Mark Murphy talking at XDA:DevCon 2013 and the review of the Oppo Find 5 now that it is more widely available in North America.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Kevin released a video talking about controlling your device with your Voice, XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler released a video all about CASUAL, and TK did an app review of four home automation apps. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
READ ON »
June 17, 2013 By: jerdog
Ubuntu has become the most successful *nix distribution for a number of reasons, with perhaps the most important being community engagement. Ubuntu’s Community actively encourages participation, collaboration, and contribution; and the user community has responded well over the years.
Ubuntu has continued this tradition of working with the community with their approach to Ubuntu Touch, and the recent news that they would be actively seeking out questions from the XDA user community and having their engineers respond directly on XDA. After just one day, there were well over 100 questions. And as it stands now, there are just shy of 200 questions in slightly over one week. True to their word, Ubuntu engineers have in fact begun answering those questions in the thread. Here are a few of the most popular questions asked (and answered) so far:
Is there any plan to make a final version of ubuntu touch for nexus series?
The 13.10 release will be the first official release for the four targeted Nexus devices.
Are there plan to merge works from Meego/Harmattan community? since both are deb based?
Any works from Meego or Mer that can be leveraged would be welcome, we constantly look for existing solutions.For example the File Manager app is using a QML plugin from Mer/Nemo, which is descended from Meego.
1. Will ubuntu touch support existing android applications?
2. Will it be possible for every device to run ubuntu touch like the desktop os supporting most configurations?
3. Will my device supported for future versions of the OS or a device per OS policy?
1- Ubuntu Touch is a very different product than Android, there are common things in the plumbing but that is about it.
2- The desktop world and the device world are very different, so in practice no.
3- For minor updates I would say yes, for major updates it would probably work like in the industry (I’m not a subject matter expert to answer this one). That said, the community can take core of making sure it is.
For more answers, or to submit your questions, make sure to subscribe to the thread. And if you want to hear more about Ubuntu’s future plans, make sure to register (hint: discount link) for XDA:DevCon and hear Ubuntu’s Community Manager Jono Bacon speak about Ubuntu Unification.
June 17, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Community Manager Jono Bacon is scheduled to talk about Ubuntu Unification at XDA:DevCon 2013! That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is an article about NFC tag actions on your phone and how to find if there is an Ubuntu Touch build for your device.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce released a video talking about how a rookie can win a hackathon and he talks about women learning coding. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
June 15, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
If you’ve been paying attention to the latest Ubuntu developments, you will know that Canonical is trying to unify the experiences between your different devices—from phones to tablets to computers. We are excited to announce that Ubuntu will be represented at XDA:DevCon 2013 by a well-known man in the open source community, Jono Bacon.
If you don’t know, Jono Bacon is a leading community manager, engineering manager, consultant, and author. Working as the Ubuntu Community Manager at Canonical, he leads a team that grows and inspires the global Ubuntu community numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
Bacon is a prominent author and speaker on community management and best practice, and he wrote the bestselling The Art of Community, is the founder of Community Leadership Summit (the primary annual conference for community managers and leaders), and is a regular keynote speaker at events about community management, leadership, and best practice.
Bacon was the co-founder of the popular LugRadio podcast, which ran for four years with more than 2 million downloads and 15,000 listeners, as well as spawning five live events in both the UK and the USA, and co-founded the Shot Of Jaq podcast. He is also the founder of the Ubuntu Accomplishments, Jokosher, Acire, Python Snippets, and Lernid software projects.
When you attend XDA:DevCon 2013, you will hear a new talk from Jono Bacon. He will present the vision of a single, ubiquitous, free and open OS that Ubuntu is working on that spans phone, tablets, desktops, and TVs. This vision is built from a central code-base, and a consistent yet responsive design across these different form factors. In the presentation, Bacon will present where Ubuntu stands today, how Canonical is working with the XDA community, the new application developer community that is forming, and the roadmap for the next year.
A couple of months ago, Ubuntu Touch was unveiled for mobile devices to much hype and excitement. Along with the announcement, a handy porting guide and accompanying source code were introduced to the members of the dev community who were interested in testing the developers preview of the device. The porting process turned out to be somewhat similar to building a CM10.1-based Rom.
Fast forward 3 months and you have yourself an entire list of devices that have had a taste of Ubuntu Touch. Compiled by XDA Senior Member TingTingin, the list of 41 different devices include the familiar Nexus family of the 4, 7, 10 and Galaxy, the Xperia S and Neo V, the HTC EVO 4G and Sensation, and interestingly the Samsung Wave and Wave 2 that shipped with the Bada operating system.
All credit for the ports go to their respective developers, and it’s great to see the enthusiasm and altruism they have displayed with these works. Also please be aware that many of these ports require some pretty complicated processes to install successfully, especially for users who may be new to this.
So if you would like to check out which devices are supported, visit the compilation in the original post. After all, you may even find yours on the list. If you have any further questions regarding Ubuntu Touch, make sure to bring them up with the Ubuntu engineers at their Q&A.
June 10, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
If you were waiting for S-Off to be available on the HTC One, your wait is over! That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is an article about NFC on your phone and news about Ubuntu Engineers answering your questions.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce released a video interviewing Gary Vaynerchuk and he follows it up with a video on tips and tricks for using Social Media for career advancement as a Software developer. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
June 7, 2013 By: jerdog
Here at XDA, we endeavor to work with OEMs and software companies to facilitate win-win situations, where the community at-large is the ultimate benefactor. Sometimes it works, other times it is met with resistance. A few months ago, Ubuntu released Ubuntu Touch to the world, and the response has been electric here on XDA. It seems every week brings someone willing to port a the OS to a new device, and Ubuntu couldn’t be happier.
Just prior to Ubuntu releasing Touch, they reached out to us in an effort to find out how we could work together to help the community. Naturally, we were ecstatic. The mobile world needs another player to keep Apple and Google honest, and Ubuntu Touch has a great opportunity to be that third player. After a lot of discussion and collaboration on a few things, it was decided that one way for Ubuntu to reach out to the community would be to run a Q&A thread here on XDA.
To participate, first visit XDA thread and see the list of questions people have submitted. You can also submit one yourself via the link in the thread. Roughly every week, an engineer from Ubuntu will be posting back the questions and the associated answers to the thread so that everyone can benefit. As time goes on, the list will grow into a great Q&A—something that no other company has done on XDA. So go get involved and show your support for what Ubuntu Touch can become!
March 1, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The Ubuntu Touch developers and the developers here are collaborating on porting Ubuntu Touch. That story and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. The special community bulletin talking about Ryan Scott is mentioned as well. Jordan then talks about TWRP 18.104.22.168 and its extras and the Swappa and XDA partnership.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer TK talks about making backups of Android software, XDA Senior Moderator jerdog released a highlights of the first XDA Roundtable event and XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an app review of Sidebar. Additionally, Jordan talks about the subscriber contest we are having here on XDA Developer TV. Pull up a chair and check out this video. Finally, be sure to check out all the other news from XDA-Developers.
February 25, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
There was more discussion about Ubuntu Touch this week, and XDA Developer TV Producer and News Corespondent Jordan reviews this and all the other important stories from this week on the XDA Portal. Jordan talks about the Ubuntu Touch Porting Guide from Canonical. Jordan mentions the article talking about porting Ubuntu Touch being similar to porting CyanogenMod.
In rooting news, Jordan talks about the root exploit for the Jelly Bean-laden Motorola Atrix HD. Jordan talks about the petition to stop the Sim Unlocking ban reaching the required 100,000 signatures. Pull up a chair and check out this video. And if you any news to report, feel free to contact any XDA News Writer.
February 23, 2013 By: jerdog
Since the dawn of Android tablets, and really ever since the HTC HD2, developers have been looking for ways to bring Ubuntu to the mobile space. It seems like every new device gets a thread devoted to showing users how to load Ubuntu. More often than not, that implementation requires you to boot Android and then utilize chroot in order to run a Ubuntu instance, but that doesn’t change the fact you’re still running Android.
So when news of Ubuntu Touch coming to the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 reached the interwebz, a collective shout of “Yippee!” erupted from the ranks. Then earlier this week Canonical, the creators of Ubuntu, teased us with a video showing Ubuntu Touch in all its glory on a tablet.
On Thursday, Canonical released instructions for installing the Developer Preview on the Nexus devices, and the XDA thread erupted with discussion around it. Then as people began to install the Developer Preview on their devices, one thing became very clear: While a lot of the data being shown in the video looked real, it all exists in the Developer Preview as dummy data. It’s not functional, and is not intended for the user as was displayed. No, this is very clearly an alpha and not intended for the normal user or as a daily-driver. It even is clear that Android is very much part of Ubuntu Touch, even down to a stripped down version of CM10.1 as the base, and chroot is still the process used to run Ubuntu, albeit in a much nicer (and cleaner) boot process.
On Friday they released the porting instructions and another suspicion was confirmed: If your device is in the CM10.1 device tree and can run CM10.1, you too can port Ubuntu Touch to your device relatively easily. And in Friday’s hangout that the Ubuntu Development team hosted they discussed the following key points (props to XDA Senior Member KMyers for not only joining the hangout, but also typing up the results):
Question : Is Ubuntu Touch stable enough for a Daily Driver?
Answer : No, most of the core “Applications” are non-functional . There is also no support for 3G Data
Question : What Devices can Ubuntu Touch Be Ported to?
Answer : As the Ubuntu Touch Preview is simply running in a Cyanogenmod10.1 chroot, theoretically you can port Ubuntu Touch to any device that Cyanogemod 10.1 Supports. Development happened on ICS and eventually moved to JB. Keep in mind that performance may vary. Instructions to port Ubuntu Touch can be found at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Porting
Question : Since this is running in a Cyanogenmod chroot, can it run Native Android Apps?
Answer : No – The Cyanogenmod Fork has been stripped of the Dalvik VM and all other components necessary to run Android Applications. There is a likely possibility that someone will develop a “bluestacks” like emulator to allow android applications to run, but this will most likely not come from the Ubuntu team.
Question : Is dual booting possible?
Answer : Yes, thanks to the effort of the people at XDA-Developers, Dual Booting is possible. With this said, this is not something that the Ubuntu Team has any intentions of officially supporting. While Ubuntu seems to encourage community efforts, they stress that they do not want this to become a feature that the end user will expect to see officially supported. (I bet you all wish you got the 32 GB Nexus 7 or Nexus 10 rather then the 16 GB)
Question : Is the Ubuntu Touch UI using X11 or Wayland?
Answer : None of the Above. Ubuntu Touch is using the same Display Manager that is in use by Android, Display Flinger.
Question : What Kernel is in Use?
Answer : A modified Android Kernel is in use
Question : What about CDMA support?
Answer : Fear Not Sprint and Verizon users, it is being worked on. The Ubuntu Team said that the GSM Radio is the global standard and this was simply where they focused most of their attention as all of the developers had GSM devices.
Question : Will Ubuntu be accepting merge requests for the Cyanogen10.1 sub system?
Answer : Yes, this is encouraged.
Question : Where is the Ubuntu chroot kept in relationship to Android?
Answer : The Ubuntu filesystem and all applications are kept in /data/ubuntu . If you use adb to browse this, you will see a familiar filesystem layout that most Linux users are used to
Question : What Works?
Answer : As this is a Developer Build, dont expect much to work. The items that have been confirmed to work are;
Question : What Does Not Work?
Answer : As this is a developer build, dont expect things to work properly, here are a few things that are not working
The issue with the release is that the focus in the video was that these features were working and is what would be deployed. What is painfully obvious instead is that the video highlighting those features was just PR and nothing else. Virtually none of the features displayed in the video even work, even on devices like the Nexus lineup that are generally the easiest to develop for, and already fully work on CM10.1. In fact, the calendar app is just a PNG placeholder and does not even function.
This doesn’t mean that we feel that there isn’t a future for this platform, but it does mean that there are definitely opportunities to improve. Here at XDA we publicly reach out and offer our services to the Ubuntu Touch project. We have more experience in the mobile development and mobile telephony space than most outfits, and have a lot to offer in what could be a tremendous collaboration. We look forward to seeing what such a collaboration would produce.
February 22, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
The Ubuntu Touch developer preview is available for most current Nexus devices. That story and more are covered by Jordan when he reviews all the important stories from this week. Be sure to check out Jordan’s Video of Ubuntu Touch on the Nexus 7. Jordan talks about the Sony Xperia Z being rooted and the preliminary benchmarks of the new HTC One.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer azrienoch talks about the 5 myths of Android software, XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler released an XDA Unboxing of the JynxBox HD Network Streamer, and XDA Developer TV Producer TK released an app review of Contact Notification. Additionally, Jordan talks about the creation of new forums on XDA-Developers. Pull up a chair and check out this video.