So last night, I got my courage up, and flashed my Nexus 4 to Ubuntu Touch. It wasn’t a hard process, and the Ubuntu wiki spells out every step. The OS is really nice, and I enjoyed the layout. It is still pretty buggy, especially since the 1.0 build is due out on October 17th. I am looking forward to seeing the stable release, and when a good Ubuntu Touch device with convergence to a Ubuntu layout desktop is released, that will be my new phone. In all likelihood, this won’t happen until mid to late 2014, if even that early.
What I underestimated was my reliance on Google Voice. I’ve had GV since it was invitation only, and it has made switching phones, and carriers a breeze for years now. I have a new appreciation for the native Android app as well, as the GV Webapp is a little painful to work with. When Ubuntu Touch starts allowing HTML5 apps to work like native apps in their ecosystem, then it may be a better situation. Calling out with Google Voice is quite a pain as well without a native client or dialer.
I’m still excited about Ubuntu Touch, and I’m glad I tried it, at least to get it out of my system. I flashed back to the latest version of Android, and an hour later, I was set up with all my apps and goodies.
I bought a Raspberry Pi this week, I’ve been playing with it for a couple of days now. It is an awesome little device, and the Debian OS installed runs surprisingly smooth. The goal of the Raspberry Pi project is to spread cheap computing devices around the world, that will help people learn to develop and hack.
The Pi in Raspberry Pi refers to the Python programming language. I’ve dabbled with Python in the past, but nothing substantially, so I’ve been learning up on Python so I can become more efficient and tinker with apps and stuff. I’ve been using the free book, http://learnpythonthehardway.org/ , and some stuff on iTunes U.
The Arduino board is pretty cool tool. I have a lot to learn about electronics and circuit boards and stuff, but there is a ton of tutorials on the web that can help guide the process. The programming language isn’t that bad, but I need to get into it a little more. Python is more attracting to me, and I’ve read about Python and Databases (which get me really excited), so I’d like to see what I can do with the Raspberry Pi first.
I’m really excited about Ubuntu Touch. The 1.0 release will be out on October 17th, but I’m having ambiguous thought on whether or not to install it on my Nexus 4. I think the interface is well done, and you can tell that the folks at Canonical have taken a lot of lessons learned from Android and iOS and fixed a lot of issues with Ubuntu Touch.
One thing in particular that was a great idea was to put all of the system settings in the notification tray, where you can swipe down and across to directly access things like networking, bluetooth, brightness, or whatever. You can kind of do this in Android, but only with certain settings, and they are really just like drop down widgets. If you activate them it will redirect you to the crazy settings menu. IOS is even worse, just try to find the correct setting on the first try. Then, put your Mother directly behind your shoulder demeaning you and asking “I thought you knew how to fix this thing”…
I do enjoy Google services, and they keep bringing up products that make it really difficult for me to move to another phone OS. Chromecast is really cool and convenient, and works so well with my phone.
I really like what Republic Wireless is doing too. I signed up for their Beta launch over a year ago, but I was in a contract at the time (my last contract ever), so I didn’t join. Now they are coming out with MotoX on their network, for $299, and some innovative pricing tiers, that make it even more tempting to join. If I bought a MotoX, and went on the $5 a month plan for a bit, I could install Ubuntu on my Nexus 4, and use the T-mobile $30 plan on that one…and I would only be paying $35 a month for both phones.
The only thing to do now is to convince my lovely wife that I need the MotoX for $299…any ideas on how to do that?