Monday, 11 March 2013

Why we are So excited about the Ubuntu Touch

As a human being i can say i am hardwired for curiosity. Curiosity regarding anything that new or different from everything i have ever seen before. If it can offer something different than i would like to check it out. 

True that sometimes such curiosity burs and hurts. But that's the risk i decided to take when i was born.

So Ubuntu bring it on, What have you got new to offer?

Well, quite a lot.

1. It's Interface

    It's unique cos of its consistency across devices.

This facility is currently nowhere. Widows in the Past has drastically failed at trying this same thing and currently is failing again. Whereas Canonical with Ubuntu and Unity has found a way to make it work. Which is awesome :)

The possibilities with this is simply limitless.

2. Open Source and Free:

   Being Entirely open source Ubuntu Touch OS has a lot of advantage. It has a wide community of developers.

    It's more free than Android. How?
    Well Devices can use and run Android OS for free. Where as using Android play-store requires a license agreement for OEM. And software up-loaders need to pay a fee of 25$ to Google to upload there apps. Whereas Ubuntu has this same service for free.
    I agree that Android play store has 800,000+ apps and catching up to that for Ubuntu will be tough. But developer world is growing and if Important and high performance apps get ported to Ubuntu Store then developers can be made to use Ubuntu devices and once they come, more apps will definitely follow. 

3. Power to User:

    Android currently does not offer a lot of power to its users. Even in rooted mode there is only so much you can do. I agree that you can do a lot more with rooted android by creating a wide range of apps that would support more features. But the features supported with the Apps will only be the features provided currently by Android Operating System Infrastructure and API. 

With Ubuntu you can expect wider access for your applications. This will result in Apps with power matching the level of desktop Applications to come to phone and tablets. Already Ubuntu demonstrated the photo editor app that was capable of doing a lot more than an average app. And it says that them main Ubuntu desktop OS core technologies and Touch OS core technologies are the same. So basically all apps that may run on desktop-Ubuntu can also run on Ubuntu-Phone

Android OS Apps runs on Dalvik virtual machine but that's not going to be the case with Ubuntu touch OS. Ubuntu Apps wont run on a virtual machine making them faster and more powerful. So it wont be totally outlandish to expect the power difference like C and Java ( representing Ubuntu Touch and Android respectively).

4. Secure :
    We all know Linux is more secure then any other system. And Ubuntu brings more Power of Linux In comparison to Android. Android though being Linux has limitations. It's kernel is based on Linux but modified a lot to suit the Android OS needs. It's apps run on a Virtual machine. Making its kernel more susceptible to bugs.

Ubuntu Touch OS kernel will be much closer to Ubuntu desktop OS kernel. So difference from Android Kernel but it will surely be major. Hence more security is expected. 

Possible Fail points : Lack of GUI apps.

Ubuntu currently Does not have many GUI applications. Many of the major tasks we do is still based on terminal. I personally feel it would be awesome to be able to use terminal on my phone without rooting it. But i cant say the same for an average and most Digital device users.

Downside for Ubuntu: Actually the downside is huge which people have simply chosen to ignore. 

Ubuntu was and is a very flexible operating system. couple of years back it decided to change its UI  and today we are mostly using Unity and loving it for all that it has to offer. But this change came with a massive opposition from its user community. Many disliked unity in its initial days and some dislike it even today.

But Canonical still went ahead with its decision to support Unity. And toady it's reaping off the benefit it has gotten from that decision.

Such decision are rare in Software Industries mainly because it requires massive change is all current applications to support the new Interface.

But as i mentioned in the 1st point this is the core power of Ubuntu. How could this be a downside for Ubuntu and Canonical in future?

Well simply because the more the device get entangled into one consistent UI-Ecosystem. The more the applications will evolve on that. The more stable they will become. And hence decisions like such we saw from Gnome to Unity will become more difficult to make. Canonical will be despised more by the Community and user base for any such decisions they make. Ultimately they may or may not be able to make such crucial 'keep moving forward' decisions.

And in future such decisions will be needed more often and more strongly. Such decisions are vital for maintaining market lead and keeping up with the latest and greatest technology and going forward with innovation.

And any company (Nokia-Symbian, Microsoft with its resource hungry kernel) that does not take such decision in time suffer the consequences.

Still Ubuntu is quite new in this domain and it's previous attempts have not been fruit full. But don't get disheartened. I am sure this time Ubuntu will pick up pace fast. And in a few Years the void in the Tablet Industry that is desperately asking for a Powerful tablet will be filled by Ubuntu running devices.

I believe with Ubuntu Touch's power it should target the Tablet market like crazy and bring it down first.


May the force be with you.

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