Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Thoughts on the "Ubuntu Phone"
Today Canonical made an announcement many of us were excited about, but none of us were expecting. No longer is it just "Ubuntu for Android" (WHICH ISN'T DEAD YET!!!), but now, Canonical has put a fully baked variation on the massively popular distribution on your smartphone. That's right kids! Finally, Ubuntu users can bring the stability of UNIX with them on the go with the Unity-like interface that we have finally grown to love. And that's not to say that Google's Android is slacking on security, but there are a lot of tiny bugs that go through it- and it's very reassuring to know that a rock-solid foundation would protect my new investment from cyber-terrorism of the nerd degree.
Personally, I think there is a lot that is both good and bad to be said about this. I'd be useless if I didn't acknowledge Canonical's dedication to this idea: they've been working had at it for several years now, and it's awesome to see them ready to put a product into the hands of developers. Also, there's a lot to like in the concept of a do-everything computer. Think about it: you just plug in and plug out and never have to worry about having your computer with you, you don't have to worry about forgetting files on your laptop or desktop because it's all with you all the time! Not to mention Ubuntu's vastly improving cloud integration... I'll be very curious to see what they do with it in Ubuntu Phone OS.
Again, there are some issues with this concept, mostly gravitated around user mishaps. What if I lose my phone? Is everything gone forever? I would hope not? What do I use when my phone is broken or needing repair? Am I just stranded without a little internet device? Now, as silly as this may sound to geeks (think about it, just HOW MANY screens do you have on hand at any given time in your home? That's right, you'll be fine...), for the average consumer this is a genuine pain in the ass. For most consumers who would opt for this device (the ones who want it all in one inexpensive device to save from buying multiple devices), this is going to be a legitimate concern that Canonical doubtlessly will have to address from the very beginning... but with all of the software-based backup services around now, I'm sure there will at least be something for a basic daily backup of files.
This can be such a cool idea if executed correctly. I'm so happy Canonical finally unwrapped their plans to move forward with an Ubuntu Phone. The next year is going to be equally as awesome for developers. Just imagine the appeal of a device like this... now all we nerds need to do is spread the word! Share this article as well as the source with your friends and family! Let them know how cool this would be, and help build the hype!