The developers of Ubuntu Touch for smartphones and tablets are streamlining their platform and will officially support just two devices in the coming months: The Google Nexus 4 smartphone and Google Nexus 7 (2013) tablet.

Members of the developer community will still be able to port the touchscreen-friendly version of Ubuntu to run on other devices — there are already community builds for dozens of phones and tablets. But there will no longer be official support for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google Nexus 10, or Google Nexus 7 (2012). There are also currently no plans to add support for the newer Google Nexus 5.

ubuntu phone_07

The move will allow the developers to put all of their efforts into just a few devices to ensure they’re supported. But it also means folks waiting for official builds for other products might have to wait a bit longer.

Meanwhile the team plans to improve the Ubuntu Touch emulators for ARM and x86 devices in order to help developers test Ubuntu touch software. The team is also working to incorporate the latest version of Android, so that Ubuntu Touch will be built on top of Android 4.4 KitKat software by the end of January.

Things could change later this year, but the goal is to release stable builds of Ubuntu Touch for one phone and one tablet by the time Ubuntu 14.04 is released in April, 2014.

Keep in mind — we’re still only talking about the version of Ubuntu that you can download and install on an existing device with an unlocked bootloader. Canonical is still seeking partnerships with phone and tablet makers to pre-load their software on devices so that you’ll be able to buy an Ubuntu phone or tablet at some point.

via OMG Ubuntu

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8 replies on “Streamlining Ubuntu Touch: Official support for Nexus 4, Nexus 7 only”

  1. Why start with a platform that is U.S. centric only and has no SD card slot? I live in S.E. Asia, I’m never going to be able to get my hands on a Nexus phone here. Bahhh….

    1. Which isn’t nearly as bad as the fact that the platform has no HDMI out, which is the entire competitive advantage of Ubuntu touch: desktop capability in mobile size.

      The folks there are missing an opportunity to expand the reach of Linux to the mobile office crowd, and it looks increasingly more likely Microsoft’s partners will do what canonical says they want to do, before them.

      1. Its USB port supports SlimPort HDMI output. I’ve used it a few times on mine…

    2. The OS is frankly not ready for the masses, and with limited resources it’ll only complicate things to try to develop for multiple devices at this point… So they had to make a decision to better pool resources and these devices are generally easier to develop for and generally cost less for what they provide in performance.

      It doesn’t mean they won’t try on other devices eventually, though, but many ARM devices use proprietary hardware with closed drivers and that needs the support of the manufacturers, which they don’t have yet!

      Basically, consider this a long term project and this is just one of the early stages of development… It’ll probably be about two more years before you can seriously consider this as a practical OS alternative solution for the everyday user… both the OS and the platform support have a long way to go yet…

  2. Not to spread their resorces to thin they had to make a choice. They
    surely are working now on the code for their hardware partners. Their
    phones must be first in line now. So i think a lot of resources have
    been moved over to the new partners phone development.

    1. I’m hoping one of those partner phones are a high end terminal friendly slider.

    2. Until they have the OS fully up to speed it doesn’t seem wise to support many devices IMHO.

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