Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ubuntu Touch pre-Alpha on Nexus 10

First Boot

Curiosity got the better of me. Having seen a few YouTube demos of the new Ubuntu touch interface on the phone, I was excited to learn that the developer preview was going to be released for the Nexus 10. Not that I am a developer though.

First thing I needed to do was decide that there was nothing on my tablet that I needed. Once I was happy about that, I went ahead and followed the instructions. The only problem I had was after unlocking the boot-loader  the tablet would not boot up. It was stuck at the boot animation. As I needed to be in Android to complete the next step, I had to reinstall Android first.

After that little hiccup, it all went fine. Then I was presented with the image above.

There is still allot that does not work. Most of what does work, works well. There are many rough edges, and a few little quirks that no doubt will be adjusted over the next few months. The one thing that did strike me was the lack of a back button. That was probably the most unintuitive aspect to the interface.

It seemed that allot of what was working were internet apps. Gmail, Maps, Twitter, Facebook etc. And they all thought they were running on an iPad.

So far it seems like a good effort. Not sure I fully grasp the point though. It seems to be trying to do what Android does, but differently. What I was hoping for was something more like the Ubuntu Desktop. For that I would need at least a terminal, ssh, vim, LaTeX, apt-get etc. If proper user access control is implemented, that could be a real advantage.

In the meantime, I will be running Android on my tablet, as I only have the one. It would be nice to have a spare that I could keep on Ubuntu so that the development can be tracked. In a few months time, it may be worth trying again.

It is going to be interesting to see where this goes.