Ubuntu

Five reasons why the Ubuntu tablet could shock naysayers in 2014

Jack Wallen offers five good reasons why a tablet running Linux could really shock the naysayers in 2014.

 

Ubuntu tablet
 

With a recent proclamation by Mark Shuttleworth that an “interesting set of household brands' are looking at putting Ubuntu Touch on their own phones and tablets,” the mobile landscape has become quite interesting. Prior to this, it seemed like the Ubuntu Phone was having serious issues gaining any traction with major brands. However, with Ubuntu 14.04 placing a major focus on honing the Ubuntu tablet experience, things are going to get interesting.

I truly believe that a tablet running Linux could really shock the naysayers in 2014. If you don't believe me, I'll give you five good reasons why this could be the case.

1. It will actually happen

Yes, there's still a big question mark looming over the actual date we'll see the first Ubuntu tablet for sale on the market. But by the end of 2014, we should at least see images available for installation on numerous tablets. This will silence the naysayers who fully believe that the Ubuntu tablet is the latest vaporware to tease the fans and users. Canonical and Mark Shuttleworth have put way too much focus and effort into the tablet for it to fail. When the images for various tablets become available, the naysayers will be silenced.

2. An Ubuntu tablet will be user-friendlier than the competition

I've used the Touch interface. Although it's still a bit rough around the edges, it was amazingly user-friendly-- more so than the Android tablet or the iOS interfaces. I know this sounds like fan-boy speak, but the developers have done an great job of creating a highly intuitive interface that will have users saying, “That's what a tablet interface should be like!” Another shocker will be how polished the UI is when it's released. That should go without saying, considering the length of the Ubuntu Touch's development period. By the end of 2014, I wouldn't be surprised if the initial release was version 2.0.

3. An Ubuntu tablet will out-flex Android

Android has long been heralded as the most flexible of all tablet interfaces, because users are able to make it look and behave exactly how they want. I believe that title will be given to the Ubuntu tablet when it's released. With the power of open source behind it, you can bet that the Ubuntu tablet will be keen on flexibility.

4. An Ubuntu tablet will run Android apps

At one point, Shuttleworth claimed that the Ubuntu tablet would not run Android applications. He has since recanted that stance, and it looks like Ubuntu tablet users will be able to have the best of both worlds. It's not clear if this will be made possible with the help of Windroid or if another layer will be created to facilitate the running of Android apps. Either way, this will be a serious feather in the cap for the Ubuntu tablet. With the entire line of Android apps at the ready, the Ubuntu tablet won't suffer the same fate as Microsoft Surface RT -- that is, too few apps to make it useful.

5. The Ubuntu tablet will be a near-desktop OS

Because the Ubuntu tablet platform will use the same core technology as the Ubuntu desktop, it's an easy leap to assume that users will have desktop-like power at their fingertips. This should mean that applications meant to run on the desktop will also run on the tablet. No other tablet platform can claim this (though the Microsoft Surface 2 platform does come very close), and it will help catapult the Ubuntu tablet into heights no other tablet has before seen. And for those accustomed to the Ubuntu desktop interface -- Unity -- this will be a full-on no-brainer.

The Ubuntu tablet will happen. When it does, there should be a lot of naysayers out there redacting their claims of doubt. I, for one, am excited about the possibility of the Ubuntu tablet. The tablet space is in dire need of something as powerful, flexible, and secure as a Linux tablet. If Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical have their way, 2014 will be the year to silence the naysayers.

 

 

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

18 comments
Cybe R. Wizard
Cybe R. Wizard

"Will happen?"  It /has/ happened.  I bought my Pengpod 1000 running Lubuntu (and dual booting android) last April.

smileylizard
smileylizard

the reason i purchased a tablet with x86 architecture.

programit
programit

Unfortunately the ubuntu tablet wil probably be full of spyware, and tracking like the direction ubuntu has gone. And unfortunately will probably be directly monitored, logged and controlled by places like amazon, and canonical themselves in the name of money.

The direction that shuttleworth has gone in slowly turning ubuntu into yet another controlled, proprietary and monitored OS like IOS etc. is not supporting open source. Hence why many serious uses are abandoning ubuntu due to security and privacy concerns.

I also have grave doubt they would allow pure open source programs to run on it, and would bet the world that the kernel and bios would be extensively locked down, therefore NOT truly open source! 


Gisabun
Gisabun

I looked at the title and I knew that it was Jack Wallen who wrote this advertising piece.

dick.helander
dick.helander

If it should come a layer who could work android app on the standard  Linux desktops as well as on Ubuntu 

tablets. the ubuntu desktop should get a lot off more user.

frylock
frylock

I'd love to see it succeed, but I don't expect it to have any more impact than Ubuntu on the desktop. Which is to say, it will achieve a niche following (perhaps me included) but I doubt it will go beyond say 2% share. Viable, but not especially relevant. I don't know if that makes me a "naysayer"; I'm just trying to keep my expectations realistic.

3arn0wl
3arn0wl

I'd been thinking for a while that as Android & Ubuntu are both Linux, why don't Canonical just build a layer to accept Android apps? I'm not a techie, so I fully admit I don't know the full implications of that.  But I'm really glad that others (who are techie) are thinking about it seriously.  (Why spend time and effort rebuilding apps, when they're already built?)

I'd love some apps on my desktop!  Heck, I'd love to have just ONE 'desktop', which is where Canonical are trying to go with this. 

Bring it, Canonical!

Vpoqol5
Vpoqol5

 Android app support on ubuntu touch won't happen.

There is a mail on ubuntu-phone list date June 26 explaining from developers with detailed reasons why it wont happen so please correct that.


Basically they say for that kind of support they would have to port complete android sdk and then maintain and test the whole android api as it changes with new releases. Something that neither blackberry nor jolla had done completely (in blackberry 10.2 android 4.2.2 support is yet to come while jolla states *most* apps will be supported and they are (practically) creators of libhybris which allows loading software for android) with all their personnel and determination.

zeke123
zeke123

Android is Linux so this will be just a different version of Linux just like MythTV and PCLinuxOS and Puppy are all different versions of Linux.

As Ubuntu moves away from the other distros in terms of graphic displays and other parts of the GNU part of GNU-Linux distros, it will resemble less a Fedora and more an Android.

And my Chrome OS laptop? its Linux too.
Just as is my Raspberry Pi.


I dont need a full distro on my tablet just like most of my Windows friends dont need a full version 8.

I do hope however that when this does happen that it will be able to run Android apps, its the only way this could be remotely interesting to people who otherwise woudlnt care about FLOSS.


Ive got money put away for the Vivaldi (KDE) tablet. It shipped 3-4months ago the ones for QA Testing 

and have just released the Improv prototyping board which will keep me busy until then but has moved the Vivaldi back some..

And lets not forget the Kano OS project that takes the Pi and markets it to kids.

We've got so many different Linux devices at home and waiting to buy that the distro on a tablet doenst seem as important since we already use distros on laptops, desktops and netbooks, Chrome OS on laptop and Android on phone and tablet.


To he honest, Im getting a bit of a linux indigestion.


6-7 years the very idea of saying this would have seen ludicrous.


bjrosen
bjrosen

I hope it's true about running Android apps because that would enable Android apps on standard Linux desktops as well as on Ubuntu tablets. If that happens it would change everything.

RobertMoore12
RobertMoore12

Considering all the Android tablets out there, will you be able to load Ubuntu on one of them? I know Ubuntu will load on most desktop computers, even Apple laptops. Hence, My question.

James Stevenson
James Stevenson

Ubuntu touch has great potential. It could seriously tip the tablet market especially if it does support Android apps. It would be interesting to see how it would change the ethos of Ubuntu, or even tablets in general, when it drops.

daboochmeister
daboochmeister

On point #4, running Android apps - it occurs to me that Ubuntu has a mature app repository system, and is well acquainted with managing an app market ... wonder if they might not try to mature their own Android market on that infrastructure.


And another advantage not listed may be in business settings. Ubuntu has its own desktop/server management approach (Landscape) that will likely extend to these tablets - but most people don't realize how simple it is to integrate Linux devices into Active Directory as well. That could be a draw for business settings, both large/enterprise and SMB.

RobinHahn
RobinHahn

Good to hear, Jack. 

One of the biggest challenges people have with anything Linux is when they try to shoe-horn FOSS system development expectations  into a proprietary software timeline matrix. This is what generates and feeds the naysayers.

A true FOSS user/believer/developer will know from experience that a piece of software will be ready when it's ready: no artificial timelines - a part of a corporate mindset - need apply.

alzie
alzie

@RobertMoore12 


I have tried touch on my nex7, and its way early yet.

It does run, but crashes often, and is very jerky.

I look forward to it being polished and stable by next apr.

I agree with jack that the GUI is very usable.

The unification of their desktop and mobile interfaces

is some thing that i look forward to.

I wish it were here now!


gsnoorky
gsnoorky

@RobinHahn I fear that the future devices and focuses will cater to the least common denominator. Devices and software increasingly will feature better performance--proving often better integrated, smaller, more trouble-free, and more idiot-proof: Unfortunately, configuration and modification towards specialized and novel uses may then prove quite difficult--even impossible--thus quelling innovation.

Frankly, I believe that killing useful user configuration and any potential for modification proves quite intentional and unfortunate. Potentates in media and broadband will prove able again to control media creation, rights, and content distribution-- completely an. (Remember the old bulky TV days?!) 

Tech potentates gloat at the prospect of the ending of most direct user support, troubleshooting, RMAs, defectives, and controversy--pretty much everyone in the industry applauds--both fabricators and software developers!

The darkness inherent in the industry will rear its head prominently--and, soon. These "Candyland" days will end! I've noted this for some time now: The potentate people in the clouds will throw thunderbolts at us below!: What will we do then?!

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