The popular German news website Spiegel Online has published a hands-on review of the Bq Ubuntu Phone, which is due to ship to successful Flash Sale buyers later this month.
The publication gives its thoughts on the mid-range handset in a review subtitled (and likely badly translated): ‘Ubuntu? For many it is the Windows alternative for PCs. But now the first Ubuntu Smartphone has come on the market. Can it compete with iOS and Android devices? We find out.’‘A Phone For Enthusiasts’
Thanks to the power of online translation tools (and a nice tipster who summarised the main points) the Speigel Online review is a balanced, if mixed, overview.
The Ubuntu Phone’s gesture-heavy UI concept was considered novel though they admitted it took some time to get used to, accidentally triggering the ‘multi-tasking’ view on a number of occasions, and they seemed fairly impressed with the concept of Scopes overall.
Bonus points were also given for the ‘smooth, sufficient’ performance of the device, the Dual SIM slots and ‘good colour reproduction’ on the 4.5-inch display.
The 8GB internal storage caused some consternation as only around 5GB is actually free, and the reviewer also noted he wasn’t able to connect the phone up to a non-Ubuntu PC to transfer music to it, instead having to use an SD card.
They were less smitten by the app catalog on offer, writing that:
“[The Ubuntu Phone has] a lack of apps. There is not much to choose from and much of what is offered [turns out to be a] link to the mobile web page, like the eBay app or Here Maps app.”
In all, while calling it ‘fun’ to play with, the Spiegel Online ultimately concluded in their Ubuntu Phone review that the first device is one for enthusiasts and fans (which just so happens to be exactly who Canonical and Bq is targeting this limited run of devices too). Paraphrased, translated:
“The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu is [for enthusiasts] …it has no real advantages over the [Android version of the same model].”
You can read the full article (in German) on the Spiegel website.
Any native German speakers among you: do feel free to nudge me with more accurate translations of the quotes above if you feel they’re needed. I have paraphrased in parts.
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As teased previously, the desktop release now includes a built-in extension gallery. Adding extra features to VLC is now no more than a few clicks away (Tools > Plugins and Extensions).
Playback resume is another handy feature long requested. The ‘Continue Playback?’ prompt appears when re-opening a video or audio file and sees the desktop build gain parity with its mobile kin.
The popular open-source media player adds a much needed fix for a real life bug: it auto-rotates videos recorded on a smartphone or tablet.
There’s also the usual crop of codec updates including support for Ultra HD, VP9, H.265 and ‘compatibility’ fixes for a range of obscure file formats.
Other changes include GPU zero-copy decoding (a hardware-based tweak said to deliver much faster performance where applicable), support for ‘Digital Cinema Package’ used by movie theaters and experimental support for Interactive Blu-Ray menus.
Lastly, on the quirky side there are three new video filters to play with when you’re bored: ‘old movie’, ‘VHS effect’ and ‘freeze effect’.Install VLC 2.2 in Ubuntu
VLC 2.2 is a free download for Windows, Mac, Linux and a slew of mobile platforms, including Windows Phone, Android and iOS.
Ubuntu users can install or upgrade to VLC 2.2 by using the official VLC PPA:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install vlc
As exciting as this release may be it’s the upcoming VLC 3.0 that will really get people talking as, among other things, it promises to offer native Chromecast support and big improvements for use on Wayland displays.
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Two years and ten months in development, this weekend saw the release of Xfce 4.12.
The latest version of the light Xfce desktop and related software continues to use GTK2+ but adds plenty of new features, usability improvements and bug fixes to make it feel fresh.
Chief among the new features in Xfce 4.12 is initial support for Client Side Decorations (like those found in apps like Geary), a new Alt+Tab window switcher with window previews, a panel that can intelligently hide, support GTK3 applets and more.
Other notable changes include better support for HiDPI displays thanks to a new Xfwm theme, better support for multiple monitor setups, including per-desktop wallpapers, and better support for window tiling mode thanks to new features like zoom mode.
You’ll also find more tweaks and additions in the Thunar File Manager, which gains tabbed browsing, better loading times, keyboard shortcuts, and so on.
For a full rundown of all the new features do check out the comprehensive release notes and screenshot tour over on the Xfce website.Install Xfce 4.12 in Ubuntu using a PPA
Although probably not recommended just yet (early doors and all that) the Xubuntu Development PPA contains pre-release builds of Xfce 4.12 for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 14.10 users to install from at their own risk.
Add the Xubuntu Dev PPA to Ubuntu’s Software Sources using a Terminal and the following commands (assuming the Xfce desktop is already installed):sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12 sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
To remove the PPA and downgrade to the version of PPA in the main Ubuntu repos/other installed PPAs the ‘ppa-purge’ utility should be installed and used:sudo apt-get install ppa-purge sudo ppa-purge ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12 Let Us Know Your Thoughts
Whether you try this latest version of Xfce out for yourself or just admire the screenshots, be sure to let us know what you think of the changes in the comments below.
H/T Adam Eveleigh
The post Xfce 4.12 Released After Almost 3 Years — And The Changes Are Huge first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.
A new video shows how far Canonical has come with the idea of convergence, both at the softwarelevel and on working hardware.
Although long talked about, the Ubuntu Edge campaign exemplified the concept best with its “super phone” boast: your phone would hook up to a monitor, mouse and keyboard and become a fully functioning Ubuntu desktop PC. Phone apps would run on the desktop in an appropriate guise like responsive websites do on phones.
‘We’re now seeing the company’s plans for a seamless experience — in real working code’
Today, ahead of Mobile World Congress next month, Ubuntu Desktop Manager Will Cooke has posted a three-minute video that shows how Canonical’s engineering team is progressing.
Although short, we’re now seeing the company’s plans for a seamless experience across devices in real, working, usable code.
For enthusiasts, early adopters and users Cooke cautions that the code shown here – i.e., to enable the convergence features – will only land in the Mir and Unity codebase once the quality is considered up to par.
Buggy or not it is impressive. In one instance Cooke takes an Intel-based tablet running the Unity 8 version of Ubuntu in tablet mode and pairs a mouse. The UI then ‘transforms’ into a more traditional pointer-led windowed mode.
Microsoft debuted a similar ‘Continuum’ feature for Windows 10 tablets above 8-inches earlier this year. Like Ubuntu for Tablets it too switches to ‘windowed’ mode when a keyboard and mouse are attached.If You Weren’t Convinced Before, You Will Be Now
While plenty more work remains, as you can see, the video is still proof that Canonical hasn’t been idle and that work on getting the lauded convergence functionality working on Mir, Unity and devices is now progressing at pace.
“We’re still not quite satisfied with XMir, there is more work to do around the input stack, so please bear with us while we get the bugs ironed out and then we’ll get the alpha version ready for you to try on your own devices,” Cooke adds.
Canonical will likely demo some of the features of the single device convergence in the video at Mobile World Congress in March. Also there will be the Bq Ubuntu device launched earlier this month and the forthcoming eight-core Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Phone.
If you weren’t already excited about the Ubuntu for Devices project, this video could help.
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The Ubuntu MATE Linux distribution is now an official Ubuntu flavor, joining the likes of Xubuntu, Kubuntu and Ubuntu Kylin.
With two well received releases under its belt, Ubuntu MATE has garnered praise from users and reviewers alike over the past year or so thanks to a seamless blend of the latest Ubuntu base and the classic MATE desktop environment.
‘Official status gives Ubuntu MATE access to Canonical’s huge infrastructure…’
Gaining “official” flavor status won’t cause too many user facing differences — at least not at first. The most noticeable change (for now) is that Ubuntu MATE download images are now being hosted on the main Ubuntu image server rather than the project’s own website.
Behind the scenes and the benefits of official community flavor status are more substantial.
Ubuntu MATE now provides the Ubuntu MATE team access to Canonical’s huge infrastructure for automated building, testing and distributing, including the creation of live daily images and PowerPC spins.
The move could offer some extra promotion, media coverage and community attention, all of which are sure to be richly welcomed.
Ubuntu MATE 14.04 LTS and 14.10 will, remain “unofficial” releases despite the approval, with the former of these releases supported until 2019.
Do you use Ubuntu MATE? Are you happy to see Ubuntu MATE welcomed in to the Ubuntu family? Share your enthusiasm in the space below.
The first Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet beta is now available for download. with most community flavors taking part.
As has been the case for some years the mainline Ubuntu release, that is the version that uses Unity as the default desktop, does not participate in this development milestone.
Not that you’ll miss it. Alongside beta downloads for Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, the China-focused Ubuntu Kylin and Ubuntu GNOME is a new build of Ubuntu MATE — which becomes an official flavor as of this milestone.
It is the first new spin to be added to the Ubuntu family since 2013 with Ubuntu Kylin.Ubuntu MATE Is Now An Official Ubuntu Flavor
Today’s news will be remembered less for the changes in the distributions themselves and more for who they are joined by. As of today Ubuntu MATE is an official flavor of the Ubuntu project.
With two well received releases under its belt Ubuntu MATE has garnered praise from users and reviewers alike thanks, in part, to its seamless blend of the latest Ubuntu base and the ever-improving ‘classic’ GNOME desktop.
‘Official status gives Ubuntu MATE access to Canonical’s huge infrastructure…’
The newly gained “official” status doesn’t result in too many user-facing differences — the most noticeable change for now is that Ubuntu MATE download images are now being hosted and distributed on the main Ubuntu image server.
Behind the scenes and the benefits of official community flavor status are more substantial.
Being welcomed into the official flavor fold now provides the Ubuntu MATE team access to Canonical’s huge infrastructure for automated building, testing and distributing, including the creation of live daily images and PowerPC spins.
The move could offer some extra promotion, media coverage and community attention, all of which are sure to be richly welcomed.
Ubuntu MATE 14.04 LTS and 14.10 will remain “unofficial” releases despite today’s announcement.What’s New in Ubuntu 15.04 Beta 1 Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Beta 1
Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Beta 1 itself makes for a somewhat rough debut.
The MATE 1.8 series desktop currently has a number of issues with Ubuntu’s glibc. An additional PPA needs to be added to the system’s Software Sources so pending fixes can be delivered.
Elsewhere you’ll find improvements to the MATE Tweak utility, which gains a session interface layout switching option, fixes for multi-monitor under GTK2, the addition of ‘folder-colors’, and plenty more.
Testers hopping aboard can also expect a few extra packages to filter down in the coming month, including Caja (file manager) actions installed by default and a new lock keys applet.
As with the previous alpha releases Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 Beta 1 includes GNOME 3.14, GNOME Shell 3.14.2 and a handful of extra applications.
Adventurous users can try an experimental Wayland session, new to this beta. This requires the ‘gnome-session-wayland’ package to be installed, the “GNOME on Wayland” session selected at login and currently only works with open-source GPU drivers.
Testers will also find a new default wallpaper (above) and updated slides in the Ubiquity installer slideshow.
Kubuntu 15.04 Beta 1 is looking gorgeous now that the Plasma 5 desktop is enabled by default. It’s also more stable and more featured. It features refinements, bug fixes and feature tweaks thanks to the fast Plasma 5 releases, with Plasma 5.2.1 shipped in this beta.
Also bundled in is KDE Applications 14.12.2, which comes loaded with bug fixes and translation updates, and the new LibreOffice 4.4.
This latest beta of Xubuntu 15.04 features a new LightDM configuration tool, a developer-only wallpaper, and improved support for multiple monitor configuration.
The XFCE window manager can now handle window previews and client side decorations.
As in earlier alpha releases, Lubuntu and Ubuntu Kylin are sporting only modest changes, bug fixes, UI refinement and theme updates.Beta means bugs
Beta releases of Ubuntu should not be installed as the primary OS on any system given the likelihood of bugs, breakages and other potential headaches.
— OMG! UBUNTU! (@omgubuntu) February 22, 2015
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The Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition will make its debut at Mobile World Congress early next month.
No longer a rumour but fact: Meizu has confirmed the news on its social media accounts this morning, just as the latest flash sale for the Bq Ubuntu Phone was getting underway.
The MX4 is a powerful bit of kit and with super thin form factor and needle thin bezels looks hugely high-end, too.
It has a 5.36-inch LCD IPS display with a FHD resolution of 1920 x 1152 at 418 pixels-per-inch. It’s powered by an eight-core MediaTek processor and paired with 2GB of RAM. There are two cameras, with the rear camera boasting a mammoth 20-megapixels and 2160p video recording at 30fps.
The massive 3100mAh battery should also keep it running for ages.Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition Specs:
- 5.3-inch IPS LCD display (1920 x 1152, 418ppi)
- Octa-core MediaTek MT6595 chipset
- 2GB RAM
- 20.7 MP rear camera, 2MP front-facing
- 16GB built-in flash storage
It normally ships with FlymeOS and retails at roughly $300 for the 16GB model. At MWC, as part of Canonical and Meizu’s strategic partnership, an Ubuntu Edition of the MX4 will be shown off. Pricing and availability for the Ubuntu Edition is expected to be announced at MWC.
Meizu have said that the handset will be available “internationally”, though it remains unclear whether this includes the USA or not. We had previously heard that Meizu would offer the device in China and Europe only via an online store.
Would you buy the MX4? Let us know your thoughts and current excitement levels in the comments below.
The unexpected success of its low-end Tizen smartphone will see Samsung launch a second version in the Indian market soon, rumours suggest.
The Samsung Z1 released in January to an unenthusiastic (admittedly Western) media response.
Criticism of the phone centered largely on the fact that it wasn’t Android, had a low amount of onboard RAM and featured a low-res 4-inch screen.
The Tizen OS it runs is backed by the Linux Foundation and is billed as an OS that ‘runs on everything’. It has already shipped inside cars, TVs and smartwatches. The Z1’s 756MB RAM is almost a luxury to it.‘Exceeding Expectations’
Samsung has sold more than 100,000 Tizen phones in less than a month on sale in India. In Bangladesh some 20,000 Z1 devices have flown off the shelves in even less time.
That’s no mean feat for a smartphone most had assumed would fail hard.
Compared to Android devices that figure may, overall, be small. The low price (roughly $90), long battery life and, to a lesser degree, brand recognition of Samsung will have no doubt helped the Linux phone gain traction in a market dominated by Android.
Oh, and it has WhatsApp ;)
Samsung says the figures have ‘exceeded’ their expectations. So much so they are now said to be readying an improved model — dubbed the ‘Z2′ — with a better screen and a wee bit more RAM.
Release notes for the Tizen 2.3 SDK published last week note the addition of qHD (540×960) resolution support in the Tizen 2.3 emulator (where developers test their apps). The Z1 ships with a lowly 4-inch screen running a WVGA resolution. While not proof, it’s an indication (as seen with other SDKs over the years) that something sporting this feature is in gestation…
For now that’s literally it; there’s no rumoured release date for this supposed Samsung Z2 nor any firm confirmation of what specs it may bring.
But its success is encouraging – if not for fans of Tizen then for fans of a certain other Linux-based mobile operating system…
The post Samsung’s Linux-Based Tizen Phone Proves an Unexpected Success first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.
The next Ubuntu Phone flash sale will take place tomorrow February 26, Spanish mobile maker Bq has announced.
As before, a limited number of €169 ‘Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition’ handsets will be made available to buyers in Europe from 8 AM – 5 PM (GMT) via the Bq website.
It is the fourth such ‘flash sale’, a marketing concept Canonical proposed to Bq, to be held this month.
Though a little pricey compared to phones running the more established Android OS (the new Moto E, for example, beats it in price and specs and comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop) the fact that it is the first commercially available Ubuntu Phone to be released, and is being pitched at enthusiasts, fans and developers rather than regular users, means it’s still a great buy.
Canonical launched the device informally at an ‘Insiders’ event held in London earlier this month. Attendees — disclaimer: including us — received a limited edition white handset in exclusive packaging. The regular version as sold in the flash sale is all black.
For a quick recap of the Ubuntu Phone specs check out our little chart below.
— OMG! UBUNTU! (@omgubuntu) February 8, 2015To Grab a Bq You Gotta Be Fast
If you plan on nabbing the phone you will want to move fast. The first two batches sold out in under ten minutes a piece.
Bq also say they have no plans to stock the Aquaris Ubuntu Edition normally once the spate of limited run sales are over — if you want to nab a first run device you’ll need to run to a computer as close to 8 AM (GMT) tomorrow as possible!
The Ubuntu Phone OS is designed around the concept of ‘Scopes’. These panels make up the home screen and can be swiped through easily to reveal contextual information based on location, media type, online sources, etc.Meizu Coming
If the Bq device isn’t for you don’t panic. Chinese mobile upstart Meizu will unveil an Ubuntu-powered version of their mid-range MX4 device in March with a suggested release date in China and EU of April.
America will hear news about an exclusive Ubuntu Phone from an as-yet-unnamed manufacturer in June.
The last few releases of the GNOME desktop have been fantastic, haven’t they? GNOME devs seem to be able to balance the need for new features and technologies with consistent design finesse, needed bug fixes and overall usability refinement.
Next month’s GNOME 3.16 release due March 25, shows no sign of being any different. GNOME developer Matthias Clasen recently shared GNOME 3.16 screenshots on his blog to show off some of the progress made this cycle.
And it’s fair to say that things are looking great.Better Notifications
The main GNOME Shell theme has been rewritten to share more code with the default Adwaita GTK+ theme, notifications have been redesigned and now appear at the top of the screen.
The old bottom-based ‘message tray’ that require all sorts of mouse aerobics to reveal has been removed. Notifications are now ‘housed’ in the Calendar pop-over menu.Privacy
GNOME has always been a proponent of keeping things simple. The clean, deliciously straightforward privacy controls added to the System Setup walkthrough are a good example of this, letting you quickly opt out of bug reporting and geolocation tracking before you use your desktop.
GNOME’s privacy settings can be accessed and changed at any time from the GNOME Control Center > Privacy pane.Nautilus Redux
Nautilus (aka ‘Files’, the GNOME file manager) gets additional interface attention in GNOME 3.16.
The ‘gear menu’ introduced in an earlier revision has been restyled as a popover, the appearance of files in ‘list’ view has been improved and you’ll now be able to quickly undo deleting a file thanks to a new post-delete notification.
Look out for a strange dashed line in the sidebar column when content sits above the current scroll point.New & Improved Apps
Other applications have received a refresh, including a more streamlined version of the dependable Eye of GNOME image viewer.
There is also a small selection of new app previews being rolled in, including a sliding tile puzzle game, revamped character picker and the debut release of a brand new GNOME Calendar utility.Excited?
Are you excited for GNOME 3.16? Are you already using beta builds on a Fedora or Arch install? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
A new stable release of Firefox has been made available for download by Mozilla.
The world’s most popular piece of open source web-browsing software hits version 36 with this new release. Chances are you won’t notice the upgrade since everyone uses Google Chrome* but let’s take a look at what’s new anyway.New Features in Firefox 36
The big key user-facing new feature in Firefox 36 is support for syncing pinned tiles on the New Tab page across desktops. This feature fixes a bug first filed back in 2012.
Pinned tiles are kept in sync across desktops (sadly mobile versions of Firefox, including Firefox OS, are excluded) using your Firefox account. It’s a nice touch for those tired of seeing different websites on their Ubuntu laptop, their Fedora workstation, Windows PC, etc.
Firefox 36 also introduces support for the HTTP/2 protocol, which “enables a faster, more scalable, and more responsive web.” Recently adopted by Google, it’s hoped that HTTP/2 will replace the HTTP 1.1 protocol in use since 1999.
Unlike most upgrades Firefox 36 also has the potential to break compatibility with a number of popular Firefox add-ons.
As annoying as this may be it is also necessary. The changes, though minor, are designed to help Mozilla protect Firefox users from malicious or malformed extensions. Making a few tweaks to the types of things add-ons can and can’t do at the code level is a key part of doing that.
Developers will find some minor new developer options available to them, including paste options, in the Inspector markup view.
There’s also the usual smattering of bug fixes — including one that saw users logged out of Facebook after restarting Firefox — and important security updates.Download Firefox 36 for Ubuntu
A free download for Windows, Mac and PC, Firefox can be found on the official Mozilla website. Although you’ll find some handy .deb installers of Firefox 36 here Ubuntu users don’t need to use them.
If you’re on Ubuntu 12.04, 14.04 or 14.10 (or a Linux distro based on them) you’ll receive Firefox 36 via the Software Updater tool in the next 24–48 hours. Automatically, no fuss. Pretty neat, eh?
*I’m kidding, Relax.
Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS has been released and is now available to download.
This is the second point release for the Trusty Tahr and the first of two 14.04 point releases planned for 2015. As per usual, this point release rolls together a number of existing updates and security fixes, shaving off the number of post-installation updates you’ll need to worry about when installing from a 14.04.2 ISO.Hardware Enablement Stack
As a Long Term Support release, Ubuntu 14.04.2 includes an updated hardware enablement stack that includes the 3.16 Linux kernel and an updated version of the Xorg display server.
The 3.16 kernel, released back in August and included in Ubuntu 14.10, comes with a raft of features including new Kepler GPU support, many fixes to Btrfs, and – for the gamers with PS4s – support for DualShock 4 controllers.
The new hardware enablement stack will be installed by default if you install from 14.04.2 installation media, but if you’re humming along nicely with the current versions of Xorg and the Linux kernel on 14.04 and 14.04.1, fear not – the new stack is not installed by default and is completely opt-in.Flavors
If you’re running the Trusty Tahr through one of the many great Ubuntu flavors, 14.04.2 LTS releases are also available for Lubuntu, Kubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME, and more. You can read more about Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS in the release notes linked below.
Bundle Stars has launched its latest limited-time game offer composed of 10 Steam games that all run on Linux for $2.49/£1.99.
The Trinity Bundle runs for two weeks and shaves $120 off the regular Steam sale price for all ten games combined.
Unlike other bundle-based game offers, Bundle Stars like to keep things simple.
There are no tiers, no hidden extras to unlock, and no faffing around with average prices to beat. Just one price for all ten games.Games on Offer
The games themselves span a range of genres, including a mighty online action-role playing game for up to four players. Among the titles is the retro-inspired arcade shooter Eradicator, strategy game Stronghold 3 Gold, and action RPG Pixel Boy and the Ever Expanding Dungeon.
All games in the Trinity Bundle can be redeemed using Steam Keys on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.Full list of games in the Trinity Bundle:
- Pixel Boy and the Ever Expanding Dungeon — Action RPG
- Stronghold 3 Gold — Strategy game
- Revenge of the Titans — RTS meets tower defense via retro graphics
- iO — Physics puzzler
- Nam — FPS
- Eradicator — Sci-fi inspired retro shoot ‘em up
- Legends of Aetherus — RPG
- Sentinel — Audio-based tower defense game
- Terrian Saga: KR-17 — 32-bit side-scrolling adventure
- Shiny The Firefly — Platformer
For more details, system requirements and sale terms, not to mention that all important buy button, head over to Bundle Stars’ website by hitting the link below.
If you snap this collection up be sure to pop back and let us and other Linux gamers know your top five game titles from those on offer.
The post 10 Linux Games, One Low Price: Trinity Bundle Now Live first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.
The Bq Ubuntu Phone went on sale this morning direct in Europe and as expected sold out — twice!
A ‘flash sale’ for a limited number of the €169 handsets had been due to last between 8am and 5pm GMT on February 11, but was affected by technical issues that prevented many buyers from getting past the registration screen to complete their purchase, while others were left stuck in ‘processing’.
Despite the technical issues the Bq Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition handset managed to sell out its debut run.
Customers successful in bagging a device in time took to social media to share their excitement and their confirmation e-mails which show an expected delivery date of March for both the phone and the official Duo case accessory that early bird buyers got for free.Unexpected Second Round
To compensate for the technical issues that hampered the initial rush, Bq put a second, still limited, batch of devices on sale at 2pm GMT. No surprise to learn that these also sold out — and sold out in well under 10 minutes.
While the ‘flash sale’ approach frustrated some, it is clear that in copying a page from the Chinese mobile maker book of hype Canonical and Bq have managed to generate noise and demand for the first device.
Bq, in a statement, thanked buyers for their patience, explaining:
“We experienced a huge demand this morning, receiving over 12,000 orders per minute and unfortunately our servers went down as a result.
We only had a limited number of units for today’s flash sale. More will be made available as further flash sales are held throughout the month. Please bear in mind that all orders placed for Ubuntu smartphones will not be delivered in any case until March. (sic)”
Quite a strong showing for Ubuntu early on — do you think subsequent flash sales/pre-sales will be able to match this initial demand?More Flash Sales Coming So Don’t Panic
‘Bq say they have no plans to put the Ubuntu Phone on normal sale’
Were you one of those who missed out? Don’t panic; Bq plan to hold further flash sales throughout the coming weeks.
The flash sales may be the only opportunity most get to snag this device at this time as Bq say they have no plans to put the phone on “normal” sale afterwards. Buyers will need to act fast as soon as availability is announced.
Following us on Twitter is a good way to stay on top of that! ;)Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition
If the Bq device isn’t quite ‘your’ thing — and boy have some of you made clear it isn’t! — you’ll want to keep an eye on Meizu. The Chinese upstart may not be in the same league as its rivals yet, but it has plans in motion to change that.
Meizu will unveil its first Ubuntu Phone device at Mobile World Congress 2015 later this month. It will be a repurposed version of the MX4 (not the MX4 Pro) and will appear alongside three other devices, each running a different operating system (including Meizu’s own FlymeOS).
A European release date for the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition is, tentatively, pencilled in for either March or April — at least that’s according to Canonical’s Cristian Parrino who in a chat with Sujeevan Vijayakumaran has this to say:
“What definitely is going to happen next month is that we will show the Meizu devices at MWC… We don’t know yet for sure but we are hoping that we can sell those devices in March as well. It could be March, it could be April.”Back to Bq
Ahead of that the Bq device is still the focus for Canonical this month. With more flash sales planned, and the mainstream press due to receive their hands-on units in the coming week, you’ll be reading, hearing and seeing plenty more of this little 9mm thick device in the meantime…
Did you manage to get an Ubuntu Phone in this first flash sale? Do you plan to try in the next? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
If you manage to snag an Ubuntu Phone in one of the online flash sales due to take place from this week you’ll no doubt be looking for something to keep your device protected.
Bq has you covered with an exclusive ‘Ubuntu Edition’ of their popular Duo case accessory designed especially for the Aquaris E4.5, which is being made available for purchase alongside the handset.
Priced at ten cents shy of €17, the side-opening case is made from moulded polycarbonate to offer a perfect fit for the handset. It features a round cutout on the lid for glimpsing trivia in the welcome screen circle, which offers up details on the number of photos taken, number of texts received, etc. in a given day.
On the reverse there is a cutout for the 8MP camera and dual-LED flash and some stylish Ubuntu branding.
Existing cases for the Aquaris E4.5 will also fit the device, including Bq’s own colorful line of gummie and crystal cases.
Interested? Although not available to buy, you’ll find the item listed on the Bq website.
The post This Is Bq’s Exclusive Ubuntu Phone Case Accessory first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.
Ubuntu for Phones may not quite have turn-by-turn navigation smarts on hand, but it does boast some real-time traffic data thanks to a partnership with INRIX.
The company will provide traffic, incident and parking reports for the world’s first Ubuntu smartphone, helping users stay up-to-date with planned routes.
“By providing incident updates, parking location and availability information and live feeds from traffic cameras, INRIX data puts Ubuntu users in the driving seat, saving them fuel, time and frustration,” INRIX say of the deal.
The data will be surfaced through the NearBy Scope to offer users with incident alerts, including estimated impact on journey time, feeds from traffic cameras (select locations only) and information on parking facilities in the local area.
The features will require the GPS and other location data to be enabled and an active cellular data connection to work. Depending on the refresh rate/lifecycle status of the NearBy Scope (life cycle policy can affect this) users may need to ‘pull to refresh’ to get the latest data. The scope also needs to be set to ‘on the move’.
The post INRIX Traffic Data Integrated into First Ubuntu Smartphone first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.
The second beta release of elementary OS ‘Freya’ is now available for download, and arrives some six months after the first beta was released to much excitement.
Although not yet considered stable enough for regular desktop use — as such do install with caution — the latest development milestone of the attractive Ubuntu-based Linux distribution comprises more than 600 bug fixes and a wealth of package updates, including a notable bump to GTK 3.14.
Those of you who do jump in to test you’ll also find several new and updated apps, an improved multitasking experience, icon theme tweaks and (in what will please many) UEFI/Secure Boot support. There are also new settings panes for configuring the behaviour and frequency of ‘Notifications’ and setting up/adjusting the built-in ‘Firewall’.
Other notable changes in this release over earlier betas include new Calculator and Video apps, which help bring basic functionality up-to-spec. Updates to the Calendar, Photos and ‘Switchboard’ system settings apps add more finesse to elementary’s in-house roster of apps.
elementary Freya Beta 2 is a free download available from the elementary beta website. If you give it a whirl let us know what you think of it in the comments below.
You can expect to see a number of “unboxing videos” for the Bq Ubuntu Phone appear online in the coming days, as those gifted handsets at the Feb 6 event take to the ‘tubes to share their thoughts.
While we also got a handset we won’t be posting an unboxing video of our own. This isn’t because we don’t want to, rather we just didn’t have time. That and, like most, we’ve already opened it ;)
Another thing you will need to be aware of while watching the videos that surface is that the consumer packaging for the Bq Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition will be different and may lack some of the extras given in our gift boxes.
YouTuber Jordan Keyes nabs the honour of being the first to post a video of someone unboxing an Ubuntu Phone online. His video offers a thorough rundown of the packaging and, importantly, some decent hands-on time with the device itself.
One thing you will note is the lengthy boot time. This is something that I can attest to and, more frustratingly, seems to only be a fraction faster when restarting. Here’s hoping a future update can fix that!
We’ll keep this article updated as more — from hob-nobbing at the event it seems everyone and their auntie is planning an unboxing video of some kind — arrive. If you spot one before we do, give us a shout using our tip form. We’d sure appreciate it!
The post First Ever Ubuntu Phone Unboxing Video Appears Online first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.
So, there we have it. After all the waiting, griping and pining we’re now only days away from the first Ubuntu Phone going on sale in Europe, courtesy of Spain-based Bq.
As we shared towards the end of last year, the Bq Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition handset will go on sale in Europe from next week priced at €169.
But you’ll need to act fast if you plan on buying one: Canonical and Bq plan to hold a series of online ‘Flash Sales’ over the coming weeks during which the handsets will be available in limited quantities.
This approach should help the first batches of Ubuntu Phone “sell out” — though without knowing specific quantities it’ll be worth taking any such claims made in the coming weeks with caution.Qualify
To ‘quality’ for a purchase potential buyers will also need to complete a small mini-game to ensure they understand the phone’s purpose, differentiation — i.e., what it can and, perhaps more importantly, can’t do.
We’ve written a lot about what makes Ubuntu on a phone such a unique proposition, especially amidst a crowded and well entrenched mature mobile space (hint: they’re called Scopes).Hardware
We’ve also covered the hardware of the Aquaris E4.5 a lot, so I’m sure most of you are well aware of its ins and outs by now. To recap the specifications:
- 4.5-inch screen (qHD resolution @ 540×960)
- 1.3 GHz Quad Core ARM Cortex A7 (MediaTek)
- Mali 400 GPU @ 500 MHz (MediaTek)
- 8GB eMMC Storage (plus MicroSD card slot)
- 1GB RAM
- 2150 mAh Battery
- Dual micro-SIM
- 8MP rear camera
I know: it’s hardly a beast of a phone, and far from being the ‘PC in your pocket’ that so many Ubuntu enthusiasts want. The lack of 4G will cause some to sneer, too.
But as firsts go — and one really shouldn’t forget how hard it is to get a device launched in a market so complacent with its victors — it does all it needs to.
Based on a few (rather gleeful) hours of playing with the device (admittedly hardly enough time to write a full review) it is a capable conduit for the Ubuntu Phone experience and what it’s trying to achieve — i.e., beyond apps, information at your fingertips, etc.Carrier Options
In what was described as a ‘gesture’ of approval at Ubuntu’s mobile ambitions a select number of carriers will be offering some nifty SIM-only deals to those buying the device in/from certain countries, including:
- Sweden — 3
- Spain — amena.com
- UK – GiffGaff
- Portugal — Portugal Telecom
These are entirely optional: the dual-SIM phone ships entirely unlocked to allow you to use it with whatever network you’re currently on.More to Come
If you kept up with us over on Twitter during the Ubuntu Phone Insiders Event then you’ll have seen this tweet:
#UbuntuPhone news confirmed to me by Canonical: Meizu to launch an Ubuntu version of the MX4 internationally. More info at MWC2015.
— OMG! UBUNTU! (@omgubuntu) February 6, 2015
Yes, while attention may be on Bq right now it’ll be shifting to Canonical’s other hardware partner later this month, the China-based Meizu.
Meizu will be unveiling four phones during Mobile World Congress of which one, a repurposed version of its well-received MX4, will be running Ubuntu. The device will sit alongside YunOS, FlymeOS and another and be sold both in China (where the OS will ships with slightly different features due to locale) and Europe.
The post Bq Ubuntu Phone Goes on Sale Next Week at €169, Meizu Device Coming Soon first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.