Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 19:05 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu Expected, but still insanely cool: Canonical has just announced Ubuntu for phones. This is a new mobile phone operating system, with its own user interface and development platform. It's built around Qt5 and QML, and the interface reminds me of MeeGo on the N9. It's supposed to be on the shelves in early 2014, but the developer preview is out today.
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Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

I've never been convinced its something consumers even want. Its like asking them to pick out a firmware for their Dryer.

Hardware isn't just a shell for the Software inside it, it is a part of the experience. What may make sense for Android, doesn't necessarily make sense for Windows Phone or iOS.

A good example is the Palm Pre, that gesture area below the screen was brilliant, but not really suitable for other OSes who don't bake in support.

HW and SW should be developed closely and in tandem.
As much as some people here bemoan the mobile revolution, it has irreversibly changed the way we see devices.

Where as before PCs were Black (or Beige) boxes which just happened to run Windows (and Linux if you were enterprising), the devices of today are a much more personal, intimate experiences.

I'd much rather OEMs make "Ubuntu", "Sailfish", "Android", and "Windows" phones with their own specific enhancements than try to fit one phone to 4 or 5 OSes.

Reply Parent Score: 2

tidux Member since:
2011-08-13

Or they could just make their phones as open as the HTC HD2 and let the community take care of porting.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

You can do both, I think, by just support unlocked bootloaders. Then you face push back from carriers though.

I guess decent middle ground is having devices tailored for the OS they're made on, and having unlocked bootloader. Would allow custom ROMs (and alternate OSes if that your cup of tea) and would ensure a good experience.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

I'm not opposed to hardware manufacturers introducing something unique, but lets be frank, none of the tablets from the ipad to surface to androids have anything that's all that different from the others...they truly are putting their own software polish on top of a mostly generic hardware design. There's nothing wrong with this, but there's no engineering reason any of these have to be bundled either.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I've never been convinced its something consumers even want. Its like asking them to pick out a firmware for their Dryer.

Hardware isn't just a shell for the Software inside it, it is a part of the experience. What may make sense for Android, doesn't necessarily make sense for Windows Phone or iOS.

A good example is the Palm Pre, that gesture area below the screen was brilliant, but not really suitable for other OSes who don't bake in support.

HW and SW should be developed closely and in tandem.
As much as some people here bemoan the mobile revolution, it has irreversibly changed the way we see devices.

Where as before PCs were Black (or Beige) boxes which just happened to run Windows (and Linux if you were enterprising), the devices of today are a much more personal, intimate experiences.

I'd much rather OEMs make "Ubuntu", "Sailfish", "Android", and "Windows" phones with their own specific enhancements than try to fit one phone to 4 or 5 OSes.

When almost every "mobile device" released these days is a rehash on the same rectangular touchscreen slab design, I fail to see where OS-hardware integration is supposed to lie, or even where the need for it is.

It seems to me that the requirement to make hardware is only a way to dramatically increase the barrier to entry for new players. With generic computers selling everywhere for a few hundreds of dollars, one shouldn't need billionaires to start an OS business. Besides, reinventing the hardware wheel over and over again because of arbitrary firmware restrictions, while all the interesting parts of computing lie in software, is just a waste of engineering resources.

Edited 2013-01-04 08:24 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Its nonsensical to suggest that minor product line alterations would be detrimental to a business.

OEMs do it all the time anyway due to carrier demands. Nokia produces a tweaked Lumia for almost every carrier in the US, produces specific Lumia devices for China, etc.

It wouldn't be outlandish to suggest (and in fact it already happens!) that Samsung might just slightly tweak and modify hardware to better fit the target OS.

And I strongly disagree with the "black slab" argument. My Surface is more than a black slab, so is my 920.

Reply Parent Score: 2