Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dog Fooding Success

Last week I was in Washington DC house hunting (successfully, I might add ;) ). Since I abandoned my Android phone for full time Ubuntu Touch phone, the lack of cellular data was painful, but not as painful as I thought it would be because there was wireless everywhere. However, there were a couple of times that I would have liked to have checked email and such when I wasn't around wireless. Also, I get lost easily, so not being able to check a map was a painful regression once or twice.

So, today, I was really happy to get the cellular data set up on my phone, and knock around Seattle a bit trying it out. It worked really well. It was interesting to see how so much of the slowness of my old phone was the phone itself, and not the cellular network speed as I had thought. I got a nice snappy experience on Ubuntu Touch.

In the image above, you can see that one needs to use the terminal to turn the cellular data connection on and off. I wish we had co-developed the GUI with the backend support. I would like us to start thinking more across the team, seeing if we can bring experiences out in full. That said, I know it was a huge amount of work to get data working, and having the back end working and keeping it working is certainly a solid way to develop. So, great job to the Phonedations team!

Having cellular data completes the "daily driver" goals we set! Never one to rest, now I am thinking about what would bring parity for my Ubuntu Touch phone in terms of the features that I actually used on my Android phone. The list is modest:

  1. My phone sometimes gets hot and then the batter runs down faster than it should. Would love to figure out what is going on there and get longer batter life.
  2. Getting pictures *off* my phone. I can take pictures, but can't share them yet.
  3. Loading up and watching videos. I like to take videos to the gym and on trips and watch them on my phone sometimes.
  4. Euchre. I know this is silly, but I have passed a lot of time playing this card game on my last phone. Maybe I can make my own implementation, but programming a card game seems like it would best be done with a framework, and it's not really up my ally.
I'm sure everyone has a different list like this, but I bet I am the only one with Euchre on their list. :)


  1. There are 2 main issues for me where I need to dig out my old phone still.

    * MusicPlayer: I have ported my own one from MeeGo and its working nicely. The problem is that Ubuntu Touch stops apps when they are minimized. Do you think we could have some sort of exceptions for certain apps until there is a proper app lifecycle and multimedia daemons in place?

    * Maps: Also there I'm in the process of porting some useful apps. The problem here is that the QML Map element crashes on the phone. As 3D rendering is not exactly my area of expertise I haven't been able to track that one down :/

  2. (For some reason blogger won't let me log in with any of my credentials, in any case, it's David Planella here)

    Michael, you might be interested to contribute some of your Music app code to the one we're developing as part of the core apps project: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/CoreApps/Music

    Regarding Maps, afaik QtLocation support is limited in terms of backends, so even if you get the map component working, it might not be the experience you expect. Have you tried https://code.launchpad.net/~pat-mcgowan/+junk/WebMap ?

  3. For phone heating, are you leaving the camera-app open while it suspends... I have a suspicion it's that, but I need to gather some more data regarding that.

    Regarding the UI, there was an MR to hack it in the GUI but there seems to be a bug when you _down_ the wifi interface so it wasn't really merged.

  4. Is there anywhere to follow progress on getting CDMA LTE (verizon us) data working?

  5. Euchre. Rick I think you got your wish:


  6. In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.

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