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Ubuntu Touch Launches One Day Before Windows 8.1

By - Source: Canonical | B 17 comments

How convenient.

QA community coordinator Nicholas Skaggs said that the Ubuntu team is a month away from releasing Saucy Salamander, AKA Ubuntu 13.10. As part of the release, the team will also launch an image of Ubuntu Touch that can be installed on supported devices including the Galaxy Nexus (takju or yakju), the Nexus 4 (occam), the Nexus 7 (nakasi or nakasig) and the Nexus 10 (mantaray).

"And while folks have been dogfooding the images since May, many changes have continued to land as the images mature," Skaggs said. "As such, the QA team is committing to test each of the stable images released, and do exploratory testing against new features and specific packagesets. If you have a device, I would encourage you to join this effort!"

"Only four and a half weeks to go and phone 1.0 will be a reality!" added Canonical technical architect Loïc Minier. "Obviously we're all trying to finish or fix lots of things in the remaining time, but that might include hard-to-track-down and painful regressions."

The developer version of Ubuntu Touch was actually released back in February for the devices listed above. The touchy platform is basically a clean mobile interface for Ubuntu, but will also launch the full-blown desktop version when the mobile device is connected to a desktop monitor. This is the very feature Android owners have clamored for over the last several years, only now it's supplied by Canonical instead.

"Everything you need to know can be found upon this wiki page," Skaggs said. "You'll need a nexus device and a little time to spend with the latest image. If you find a bug, report it! The wiki has links to help. Testing doesn't get any more fun than this; flash your phone and try to break it! Go wild!"

Although version 1.0 will be available to download next month, actual devices shipping with Ubuntu Touch won't arrive until late 2013 or early 2014. Canonical already tried to create a flagship Ubuntu Edge phone over the summer by launching a $32 million Idiegogo crowd-funding project, but failed to reach its goal by $19 million. Now it's up to actual handset makers to produce Ubuntu Touch products.

"While we passionately wanted to build the Edge to showcase Ubuntu on phones, the support and attention it received will still be a huge boost as other Ubuntu phones start to arrive in 2014," said Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth. "Thousands of you clearly want to own an Ubuntu phone and believe in our vision of convergence, and rest assured you won’t have much longer to wait."

Ubuntu Touch arrives on October 17, just one day before Microsoft's Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 go live. Clever.

 

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Display 17 Comments.
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  • 3 Hide
    tonyzet , September 24, 2013 7:29 AM
    Will mac sue them for synchronized attack to their ios?
  • 1 Hide
    stevejnb , September 24, 2013 7:31 AM
    Not really sure this is going to change much anything... Though a certain type of person will have some fun loading it onto some touch devices.
  • 0 Hide
    William Witry , September 24, 2013 7:52 AM
    Options are always good as they drive innovation and downward pressure on price.
  • -1 Hide
    LORD_ORION , September 24, 2013 7:55 AM
    There is already a mobile device called Touch from Zen. They gonna get sued.
  • 1 Hide
    JD88 , September 24, 2013 8:16 AM
    Glad to see this is finally happening.

    The vision of having a completely uncompromized mobile environment transform into an equally uncompromised desktop environment when docked with a keyboard and or mouse is very interesting. An operating system that adjusts itself based on screen size and the input devices attached to it.

    Plug your phone into a dock connected to a monitor, mouse, and keyboard and it becomes a desktop. Plug your tablet into a keyboard dock and it becomes a desktop. Disconnect and it's instantly back to tablet mode. No fussing with different screens, silly start buttons, or a touch interface that also has to be mouse compatible.

    Also, since most of the Ubuntu app repository is already optimized for ARM, there are very few compatibility issues that way.

    I'm not sure how well received another mobile os will be, but Ubuntu Touch has generally received some pretty good reviews from testers.





  • 0 Hide
    jonmann , September 24, 2013 8:18 AM
    can't wait to try out Ubuntu Touch on my nexus 10
  • 0 Hide
    cgramer , September 24, 2013 8:19 AM
    Why no love for toro or toroplus? :-( We're Galaxy Nexuses, too!
  • 0 Hide
    sykozis , September 24, 2013 8:20 AM
    I'll wait until launch and see how the reception is before trying this out....sounds good though...
  • 0 Hide
    Johmama , September 24, 2013 8:38 AM
    I've been flashing nightly builds onto my Nexus 4 for a while now, and I haven't seen too much progress in the past few weeks. I'm sure that they'll make their deadline, but there are still a few things that need to be ironed out. I can't wait to flash a truly stable version of Ubuntu Touch in a few weeks!
  • 0 Hide
    FrankInKY , September 24, 2013 9:27 AM
    I enjoy experimenting with OSs on my desktop but I have my regular OS ghosted so I can restore it when done trying out another OS. Is there a way to ghost the OS on Nexus 7 before installing a different OS? Or do you have to reinstall the old OS and lose all settings and configurations?
  • 1 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , September 24, 2013 10:25 AM
    This will find no traction in the consumer market.
  • 0 Hide
    Jeff Krogue , September 24, 2013 10:25 AM
    For it to take of it need to run all android apps, since android is linux based I don't see why it cant be done.
  • 0 Hide
    house70 , September 24, 2013 11:00 AM
    Quote:
    I enjoy experimenting with OSs on my desktop but I have my regular OS ghosted so I can restore it when done trying out another OS. Is there a way to ghost the OS on Nexus 7 before installing a different OS? Or do you have to reinstall the old OS and lose all settings and configurations?


    You can do a nandroid backup of your system, that will restore the OS and the apps/settings. In order to do that you need to have a custom recovery installed (or at least booted into).
    Alternatively, you can use an app to perform a backup of your apps/data (like My Backup or Helium, if not rooted, to use with it's desktop counterpart), or Titanium Backup (if rooted). Also, download the appropriate system image from Google (the one that corresponds to your hardware model). When done experimenting, you can reinstall that factory image, then restore your apps and data from the backup.
    Not complicated, but a bit time consuming.
  • 0 Hide
    nevilence , September 24, 2013 4:06 PM
    its a pity the Edge never came out. also a pity i dont have a supported device to try out the os >< will have to wait for wider support and maybe load it onto my old xt910
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 24, 2013 4:08 PM
    Can't wait for the 3rd version of Ubuntu Touch to be released, then Epic software sue them for using UT3
  • 0 Hide
    sykozis , September 25, 2013 6:40 AM
    Quote:
    Can't wait for the 3rd version of Ubuntu Touch to be released, then Epic software sue them for using UT3


    Epic would have a hard time sueing Canonical over "UT3" seeing as how it would most likely be a consumer applied acronym and not one applied by Canonical.
  • 0 Hide
    GeekforChrist , September 25, 2013 7:47 PM
    Actually, Windows 8.1 releases to those running Windows 8 on October 17 as well. So, really, they release together.