Friday, May 17, 2013

Dogfood Update

At the end of April, we set the goal to have Ubuntu Touch be dogfoodable on the Nexus and Nexus 4 phones. By that we mean, the goal is to make it so that we can use our phones exclusively as our phones. Today I chatted with some of the engineering managers involved to see how much progress we have made towards that. I am happy to say that it looks like we are still on track for this goal. However, there do appear to be some risky parts, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

  • You can make and receive phone calls: Done!
  • You can make and receive sms messages: Done!
  • You can browse the web on 3g data: Tony had been blocked on some technical issues, but thinks he's through them, so is in the debugging phase. He expects to have this done by end of May as per the dogfooding goal. For me, personally, this is the only missing part for me to be able to use the phone as my main phone around town. So, if Tony cracks this nut, then I will put away my old phone and start using my Ubuntu Phone exclusively.
  • You can browse the web on wifi: Done! This has actually been done for quite a while.
  • You can switch between wifi and 3g data: There are 2 parts to this work. There is low level networking code to get done, and then there is UI to enable it. That means that the Phone Foundations team and the Desktop team both have work to do. Both teams expect to get it done for May, but the work is not started yet.
  • The proximity sensore dims the screen when you lift the phone to talk on it: There are two parts to this also. Gather the sensor data and then making the phone app use the sensor data. Work has not started for this part either.
  • You can import contacts from somewhere, and you can add and edit contacts: There is some work done on this that imports from a *.csv file. I expect there will be some crude support for this in time for the May goal. It might be fun for someone to try out a more elegant implementation. Ubuntu Phone is using Evolution Data Server for the contacts store, so there may be folks out there who already have the experience to do this easily.
  • When you update your phone your user data is retained, even if updating with phablet-flash: Done! This part being done makes the contacts import less important to me because as I add contacts they won't get blown away. On the other hand, it means it is worth it to import contacts, since you won't have to re-important as you update your phone each day (while it is in development).


  1. Challenge _semi_ accepted:

    1. Incredible! Early reports are that this works well! Nice job. Another dogfooding requirement "Done!" :)

    2. Thanks Sergio! With a bit more fiddling this works for all CardDAV servers:

  2. Many people use Google for their data. So, for example, the contacts on the Ubuntu Phone should be able to use Google Contacts instead of having to import contacts. If a contact is changed either on the phone or from your PC, synchronisation should be quick and automatic.

    I would hope that the calendar (with notifications) would be similarly integrated.

  3. "You can make and receive phone calls: Done!"

    What about ports other than nexus devices? Is there any port that can make calls?

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