FriendlyARM’s 40 x 40mm “NanoPi Neo Air” hacker SBC runs Ubuntu Core on an Allwinner H3 with 8GB eMMC, WiFi, BT, a DVP cam connector, and a microSD slot.
The NanoPi Neo Air is a respin of the astonishingly affordable, $8 NanoPi Neo that shipped in July, and has the same 40 x 40mm dimensions as the Neo, making the two boards the smallest quad-core SBCs around. The Neo Air adds WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, 8GB eMMC, and a DVP camera connector while sacrificing the Ethernet and USB host ports. It debuts at $18, but will eventually move to $20.
Delayed six days, the Final Beta release of the upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) operating system launched today, September 28, 2016, as the final development snapshot in the series.
Today's Final Beta is in fact the first Beta pre-release version of Ubuntu 16.10, and the only development milestone that you'll be able to test if you want to see what's coming to the next major release of Ubuntu Linux. However, we can tell you that it is powered by Linux kernel 4.8, contains up-to-date applications, and still uses the Unity 7 UI.
"The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the final beta release of Ubuntu 16.10 Desktop, Server, and Cloud products. Codenamed "Yakkety Yak", 16.10 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs," reads the announcement.
Before I dive into what's new in Ubuntu 16.10, called Yakkety Yak, let's just get this sentence out of the way: Ubuntu 16.10 will not feature Unity 8 or the new Mir display server.
I believe that's the seventh time I've written that since Unity 8 was announced and here we are on the second beta for 16.10.
Maybe that's why they named it Unity 8. Whatever the case, Unity 8 is available for testing if you'd like to try it. So far I haven't managed to get it working on any of the hardware I use, which goes a long way to explaining why it's not part of Ubuntu proper yet.
Ubuntu comes with a lot of quality software pre-installed. Unfortunately, the default web browser, Mozilla Firefox, has been on the decline -- it is slow and clunky. On Linux, Google Chrome is now the top web browser, and it is the best way to experience Adobe Flash content too (if you still need it).
Installing Google Chrome on the Linux-based operating system is not totally straightforward. This is unfortunate, as the search-giant's web browser is an important part of having an overall quality experience on Ubuntu. Don't worry, however, as we will help you to both install the wonderful Google Chrome and uninstall the disappointing Mozilla Firefox.
The Ubuntu Phone is getting better, and with every new iteration of the OTA, my little BQ Aquaris E4.5 is gaining more speed and functionality. Like in the air force, with an avionics upgrade, which transforms ancient wings into a powerful and modern bird of prey. Only the pace of advancement is lagging behind the market. See what Android and iOS can do, even Windows Phone, and you realize how late and insufficiently meaningful the Ubuntu Phone really is. This has to change, massively.
This latest round does bring some fine goods to the table - more speed and stability, better icons, more overall visual polish, incremental improvements in the applications and the scopes. But that's not enough to win the heart of the average user. A more radical, app-centric effort is required. More focus on delivering the mobile experience, be it as it may. Ubuntu cannot revolutionalize that which is already considered the past. It can only join the club and enjoy the benefits of a well-established reality. And that is a kickass app stack that makes the touch device worth using in the first place.
Still, it's not all gloomy. E4.5 is a better product now than it was a year ago, fact. Ubuntu Phone is a better operating system than it was even this spring, fact. So maybe one day we will see Ubuntu become an important if not dominant player in the phone and tablet space. It sure is heading in the right direction, my only fear is the availability of resources to pull off this massive rehaul that is needed to make it stand up to the old and proven giants. And that's it really.
If you're keen on Linux (not Android) making it in the mobile world, do not forget to check my Ubuntu tablet review! Especially the convergence piece. On that merry note, you do remember that I'm running a wicked contest this year, too? He/she who reads my books might get a chance to win an M10 tablet. Indeed. Off you go, dear readers. Whereas I will now run the same set of tests we did here on the Aquaris tablet, and see how it likes the OTA-12 upgrade. The end.