The answer is very simple:
Because it has an horrible end user experience and it’s highly unusable.
20 days after it’s launch and about 10 months of development is still highly unusable, and after trying it for 2 days, most people will go horrified to their original phone OS.
I don’t know what motivated Canonical to release something at this state to the market. Maybe it’s because developers need an early release to get familiar with the framework and because some awkward marketing strategy.
But seriously, why on earth would you launch with bells and whistles an OS to replace Android that has such a limited Usability ?
I’m not talking about advanced capabilities like Gmail synchronization or advanced apps. I’m referencing to normal features that you expect in a Phone. Basic things like:
- “Unlock SIM”
Currently hidden into a very hard to navigate menu that lists all the Wifi’s. So to unlock the phone you need to scroll way down.
- Unresponsive tapping
Tapping is highly unresponsive in many Apps including the browser
- A browser that does not work at all like a browser
- No working alarm
This was reported like 6 months ago. Is still not working at the moment of writing this. So you can forget to wake up with the phone
- An unusable keyboard
With no working predictive text and quite an annoying usability. Way below the standard usability level in your previous OS
This is the interface features that I read here.
Ubuntu Touch is a gesture heavy interface that makes full use of the screen for navigation:
- Swiping in from the left reveals a launcher housing pinned and running apps for swift multi-tasking.
- A long swipe in from the left reveals the home screen.
- Swiping in from the right cycles through open apps.
- Swiping down from the top gives access to indicators and settings.
- A small swipe up from the bottom in an app reveals a toolbar.
- A long swipe up from the bottom reveals the HUD button.
This is a nice concept. But it’s horrible deployed and collapses all the time, is highly unusable. Basic things like keyboard get’s over the sliding menu. Again, UX design is specially hard on devices, but this is to say the most not navigable. It cannot take so many steps to see a list of opened apps as you see with one click in the Android windows button.
But what is most annoying of all this UI, is simple that they removed the usual Back, Home, Windows footer. It would be nice if they remove it making a hole new concept to do the same. But it must be usable, logical, easy to navigate.
This was my humble contribution to the top 5 most needed things for an usable phone:
- A fully working Keyboard
I even don’t care too much at predictive right now. A keyboard that is fast, elegant, usable. No need to repair bugs on this one, it simply does not make it like this. It’s not a good design for a phone.
- A screen tapping that is responsive
This is the worst usability point I see on this OS. It takes sometimes up to two seconds to respond to a simple tap on the screen.
- A clock that works right after install
One that gets the right time from the start, at least if you are connected to internet. Here in Germany I always get an hour less and I have to set it up in system preferences. The Alarm does not work and most people I know use the phone as an alarm clock.
- A browser that works
- The whole navigation concept must be re-thinked
I don’t dislike the left menu. But the whole navigation concept is just not intuitive enough. It’s hard to find the new apps. It’s hard to get the flip to the left thing to scroll in open Apps. And they are a lot of incompetencies that just collapse, like keyboard with menu, flipping the phone and getting a totally static keyboard that does not work. It’s like if the whole thing was not tested by real humans.
And I know that is fucking hard to make an OS for a phone. And I respect all the hard work that has been put into this one.
But at this point I’m not at all convinced with it. Don’t make a phone for Linux experts, make a phone for normal people.
This are just some things I also tried to say when I joined the list. Is like if the whole system was not tested by real humans. It’s sad but is like this, if you don’t believe it, go to their install page and try it out.
So that’s my resume of the actual state.
I use Ubuntu desktop since more than 6 years and I consider it highly stable and operational. The kind of OS that you install and you never have to touch again. As a developer, this is what I need to work, since Windows is also highly unusable with all their stupid automatic updates and slowness.
After this rant I hope for the good that all this changes in 2014 and we can enjoy a new OS that can be a serious contender of Android.
This video was published initially in omreport.com blog one day after the Keynote. If you like this video, subscribe to their Youtube Channel.
10 days have passed since I wrote this about Ubuntu Touch. The first time I was quite frustrated since I could not connect to the GSM network since there was still no Sim unlock option. I can say now that apart of some glitches and usability enhancements that are seriously needed this can be used as phone on a daily basis without any problem. At least I’m doing that since a week and can live with it.
I’m starting to really like the OS and I refuse to have double boot, I will try to help us much as I can, doing some testing after work helping the team getting new versions more usable. This release I’m testing it’s r.100 and this is what I could use so far out of the box:
- Wi-Fi works ok, remembers connections, auto-connects perfectly on the move
- Messaging also works good. I like the concept, to have an Incoming box, where you can get all incoming messages together.
- Internet works. But tapping is still unresponsive and Google maps renders with difficulty.
Hard to book my new Drive-now ride
Some Tips after installation
- Predictive text:
This is work in progress. Predictive text has many issues in it’s current state that’s why it was disabled by default in the image.
If you are courageous enough to enable it do this from command line with the phone connected through adb USB:
adb shell sudo -iu phablet gsettings set com.canonical.keyboard.maliit predictive-text true
NOTE: At this time it will only works for english, although my system is set on Deutsch
- Taking screenshots
This is possible with a small script that I’m going to upload to dropbox. More on that later!
Some sample screenshots:
I like this battery timeline :)
Contacts option. A bit big, right ?
I tried last weekend to install Ubuntu 13.10 on my nexus 4. It looks nice, is still buggy, and the most troubling thing is that I could not connect to a GSM Network.
- No data Connection at all out of the box
- No Sim locking supported, unlock SIM if you want to try this release
- Forget about whatsapp and all this nice Android apps. If you want to use Android apps then install double boot (Which I dislike, it’s enough to have one problem on the phone)
Probably needs some weeks more development and testing until you can really enjoy a full working phone.
For those that want to try it out follow the installation instructions on https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/Install
There is an step I completely forget: Sim security should be disabled (That's probably why I didn't got the Network connection)
So for those souls that are courageous enough to try I encourage to read this page:
The Developer Preview currently only supports limited voice and SMS over GSM and WCDMA.
The following Radio technologies are not yet included in the Developer Preview:
- Airplane Mode
- Settings ( eg. APN choice, 2G only, … )
Mobile data is generally not supported, data is available via Wi-Fi only. However, for instructions on how to enable 3G on devices, please see the following G+ post by Ricardo Salveti.
This is not at all a rant, Ubuntu is open source software, so if you want to collaborate just join the list and support the team. It’s just a reminder for those that want to jump on the boat too early, that is maybe worth to wait some months, instead of getting frustrated by the initial attempt.
Created with the concept of being an „Art and Technology“ conference, Retune has grown to become Germany’s first forum for artists and inventors.
Their focus is to bring a mix of talented people from a wide spectrum of the media and technology scenes. From online artists to industrial designers and new media thinkers, this conference presents people that has a passion for experimenting, break existing paradigms and build new concepts.
So even that this new media art scene and some presentations are way out of our professional scope, we decided to go there to think outside of the box and to come back with new ideas.
Some speakers that called our attention :
Kyle presented his idea of “Giving everything away”. A concept where he is totally transparent about what he does and all his experiments, tools and also client works, go to an open repository. As you can see, even his twitter profile picture exposes the Unread vs. Emails in his inbox. An email inbox that he describes as
"A Task List where you give other people access to"
Of course it’s not an idea that can be applied by many people at least in the corporate world. But McDonald showed his personal approach in a clever way and his works where very interesting, having many people react every time he publishes a new idea, making a kind of never stopping collaborative chain.
The Famous new media Artist
Defining himself as a “Famous New Media Artist” , Bailey has made the funniest presentation I’ve seen so far. Armed with some virtual glasses and a Playstation pointer he used as a smoking pipe, he had all the time his own image with a layer of imaginary world on top showing us how he makes his ideas come to life.
What surprised us, is that this performance is Jeremy’s more playful side, but his real work is to be the Head of Design of http://www.freshbooks.com
Dance movements has been tried to be noted like a musical notation since the civilization exists. But it has never achieved significant success thus, it’s something that comes more from Intuition than from a Notation sheet.
Delahunta applied the latest technological concepts of mapping and projection to track choreographers in their exhibitions, adding a layer of Metadata to the dance itself, and making this available for study. Famous Choreographer William Forsythe has used this to make learning videos for new dancers.
With this analysis his team was capable of discovering Dance patterns even in choreographies that are meant to run without any specific route for the dancers. An outstanding example of how tracking technology can be used in any field even in one of the most ancient and intuive human performances.
Read this Recap with added videos in AKM3 blog auf Deutsch
Ein Mann kann sehr glücklich sein mit dunklem Bier und Wein
der Dieb :thief
der Rechtsanwalt: lawyer
Büffeln. : study for School
ich werde taglich die neues Wörter zu schreiben. Momentan ich lese Monseur Ibrahim und die Blumen des Koran
Ich folge Tim Ash und Conversion Conference. Ich interessiere mich für :
Last August when I was on holidays on Mallorca I made a simple site to save & update events coming from different sources, mainly from http://www.lastfm.es/events . The idea was to make a very simple mobile App to schedule important cultural events in your mobile on a second phase.
So the idea was around this pointers:
- Create some local users in some cities, starting with Berlin
- Read RSS of events and import them in the DB
- Make a simple front/ backend using dynamic tables
- And send the idea to some friends so they do it in different cities, using the same piece of code
So I coded 3 days and used and old domain I had parked and was target from some experiments on the past.
Called up a friend in London that liked the idea and send me a root access to one of his servers, same afternoon site was live. No big deal, a simple events site, and content that is not original unless you add something in the top of it. Also this type of content is repeated in numerous sites, almost same title, same description, dates, etc. So I though this could be well placed for a SEO experimentation, to make updates and see how things go, measure it and play over at the weekends.
So with that idea in mind I added movil to github to share it and installed a second domain from my friend, using the same database but a different template and rendering engine. Differences are the following :
- No on-site structure. No internal linking
- Only sitemap for google indexing. Not important from this experiment but just FYI: A really bad TLD for germany
- Internal Linking done
(The table is rendered on the backend)
- No sitemap.
Let google discover the content
So with this scenario I though of getting some statistics and make some updates each weekend to publish them at the end of each month and measure the results. Still have to wait some weeks to publish some of those, but for the moment I wanted to comment on what is done so far.
So far I can see the following:
- Internal linking is the key if you want to give value to your content.
I though that in the future google will evolve in a way that if you have a web application that renders valuable content coming from json, the search engine would be able to index it properly too. But that is not the case in latter 2013 and it may take much more to arrive to that point.
If you have a website that has no good internal linking there is no possible ranking.
- Sitemap indexing is slow:
It took about 2 weeks to index 40 pages of movil.be.
Only 2 days to index 30+ pages in onstagekonzerte.de
- Doing something with a domain like http://www.movil.be that was kind of farm-link in the past is a very bad idea after google panda updates. It simply wents to the bottom of the serps. Bad-linking from sites that have nothing to do with you equals zero link value. It’s like link-juice but stinky juice, instead of pushing the domain up, it makes it sink. If you want to start a project from scratch, start with a good domain! If you purchase one take some time to check it’s history.
On going research. It will be expanded with another blog posts coming in the next weeks.