Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: Which smartphone should I consider using if I use Ubuntu?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Beans
    41

    Which smartphone should I consider using if I use Ubuntu?

    I'm generally following the progress in modern operating systems, both desktop and mobile, and I'm reading Hacker News, but I've never used any smartphone or tablet. My phone is Nokia 1202, because I didn't want another computer in my life. Recently, though, I started to consider giving in and buying a smartphone, because I'm reading GTD and I'm thinking that maybe buying a phone that I can use as a productivity tool is worth it. I never was one of those "likes the smell of paper" guys anyway - smell of paper may be nice, but paper is first and foremost a medium for reading, writing and processing information and computers are more effective at that.

    I use Ubuntu. I admire Apple for certain solutions, but I don't support all of them. I like how iPhone is built, both hardware and software, at least until v.7 which feels laggy and some UI decisions feel like a step backwards to me (e.g. new app switcher has lower information density, I've used my friend's device). I like iPhone's smaller number of models (the one or two models available are reasonable and if you can be more or less sure that if you will want some or other cellphone accessory or app, it probably should be available for iPhone). So I think I'm biased towards Apple, in general. I don't understand how one could find iTunes convenient, but what is Android's alternative and isn't it worse?

    Added: I would like my phone not to keep my data hostage. Can I make it so that I can nod just upload, but also download my books, songs and other data. Is it possible? I was given a Kindle as a gift, which I love (Yay! I can email books to read on it!) but they are converted into internal format and locked to the device, I believe. Of course, I would prefer that my data would be available to me.

    Could you give me an advice, please?

    Last edited by Nickolai_Leschov; March 1st, 2014 at 05:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    London, England
    Beans
    7,350
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Which smartphone should I consider using if I use Ubuntu?

    The smartphone that comes with Ubuntu pre-installed. Well, what did you expect? This is a Ubuntu forum!

    Buy whatever device suits you. It is all a matter of personal choice and we are all individuals. But understand this: The best device to buy is the device that will be on sale six months after you have already purchased a device. That has been true of computers for decades. It is true of all consumer products.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    The New Forest
    Beans
    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu Development Release

    Re: Which smartphone should I consider using if I use Ubuntu?

    Thread moved to Mobile Technology Discussions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Beans
    41

    Re: Which smartphone should I consider using if I use Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by grahammechanical View Post
    The smartphone that comes with Ubuntu pre-installed. Well, what did you expect? This is a Ubuntu forum!
    I would seriously consider Ubuntu Edge, or any other phone with Ubuntu pre-installed, if it would become a reality, but there is no such thing available, as far as I know. I must choose from what is available.
    Quote Originally Posted by grahammechanical View Post
    Buy whatever device suits you. It is all a matter of personal choice and we are all individuals.
    I think I might be poorly suited to choose because I have next to no prior experience with cellphones and/or tablets. I don't know what works best with Ubuntu, and who knows better than other Ubuntu users?
    Quote Originally Posted by grahammechanical View Post
    But understand this: The best device to buy is the device that will be on sale six months after you have already purchased a device. That has been true of computers for decades. It is true of all consumer products.
    It may well be true with smartphones, most of the time, but it's certainly not true with anything, all of the time. There are plenty of examples where newer hardware is worse than the older one in some, or most of regards:
    1. I love ThinkPads, but, like many other ThinkPad fans, I don't like the direction Lenovo is taking them: I especially don't like the changes they introduced with X230 and X240; the latest I would personally want to work with is X220. Currently I'm on X200.
    2. I love ebook readers, but I don't like how all of the vendors have excluded audio support from all of their devices.
    3. I don't like how you can't buy a decent keyboard phone anymore.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Beans
    3
    Distro
    Xubuntu 6.06 Dapper

    Re: Which smartphone should I consider using if I use Ubuntu?

    What country you live-in and the cellular services available has a big impact on the decision. However, i heard just yesterday on VOIP Users Conference that the Google Nexus 5 pretty much supports every carrier around the world, but i would triple check if Verizon will actually activate it. Yesterday, VUC discussed how to become your own Mobile Provider and integrate your cellular service directly into Asterisk. The Koreans - Samsung and LG have the best Android phones. The Samsung Note has a quad core processor and a large screen - which you may just need if you want to leverage the phone into a real productivity device.

    For health reasons, it is better to be up and walking around than chained down in the basement managing email. Just about any android phone does email. However, try to get an android with at least 1GB of RAM.

    Having said that, SmartPhone software has a long way to go to actually make people more productive. For instance, i want to link a todo list task to a particular contact ... have not seen that capability. I want a pointer to a contact in a newly created calendar entry on my phone ... have not seen it. PDAs have been around for over 15 years, but SmartPhones could do so much more to save time and eliminate drudgery.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Beans
    41

    Re: Which smartphone should I consider using if I use Ubuntu?

    I live in Russia and I use GSM. I think GSM is pretty widely available around the world, and I have a good chance that I can still use my phone, should I travel anywhere else (notwithstanding the possible lack of LTE support due to differing bands or something like that).

    So you recommend any decent Android I like? What are the particular reasons to choose it over iPhone?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Beans
    3
    Distro
    Xubuntu 6.06 Dapper

    Re: Which smartphone should I consider using if I use Ubuntu?

    One good tactic in choosing a phone is to look at xda-developers or android forums as to which phones are easier to root and have the best support for alternative ROMS. Take a look at the list of device supported by CyanogenMod.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Western Australia
    Beans
    11,479
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Which smartphone should I consider using if I use Ubuntu?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickolai_Leschov View Post
    I like how iPhone is built, both hardware and software, at least until v.7 which feels laggy and some UI decisions feel like a step backwards to me (e.g. new app switcher has lower information density, I've used my friend's device). I like iPhone's smaller number of models (the one or two models available are reasonable and if you can be more or less sure that if you will want some or other cellphone accessory or app, it probably should be available for iPhone). So I think I'm biased towards Apple, in general. I don't understand how one could find iTunes convenient, but what is Android's alternative and isn't it worse?
    I logged in specially to reply to this.

    My father had an iPhone 3G, which he liked. I'm not an Apple person, so I bought an Android phone shortly afterward (an HTC Desire). When my father was eligible for a new phone, he bought a Motorola Defy running Android 2.1, because he saw that I liked my Android phone. Motorola's customization to Android made it flaky, slow and power-hungry and my father absolutely HATED IT; so I installed Cyanogenmod; it's fairly close to "normal" Android. My father was happy with it and bought a Nexus 7 tablet when they came out. The screen on the Defy started to fail (probably taken a few drops onto the floor) so he bought a Samsung Galaxy S4 which he also loves.

    In short, my dad liked the iPhone but once he used a decent Android phone he never looked back.

    As for me, I've also kept with Android. Recently bought a Motorola Moto G (their phones are great now that Google owns them). It's a great mobile operating system, and every year it gets better than iOS. I think you'll also be happy with Android, just make sure you get a Nexus 5, Samsung Galaxy S3/4/5 or a recent Motorola phone and you'll have a good experience.

    iPhones have some ridiculous restrictions. You can only Bluetooth to other iPhones, not to non-Apple smartphones. Your carrier needs to explicitly enable tethering support on your phone if you want to tether (usually involves paying an extra monthly fee - whereas on Android it's handled in-phone for free). If you change the APN your phone connects to, you need to restart the phone to use it (what is this, the 1990s?!). You need to use iTunes to transfer music.

    To answer your last question, iTunes is indeed horrible. The good news is that there is NO alternative for Android. Your phone is automatically backed up to Google. Software updates are done entirely in the phone. If you want to transfer photos/movies/music/other files to your phone from your computer, you can simply plug in the cable and access the phone's storage just like you would a USB flash drive. Everything iTunes does in relation to iPhones, is done entirely inside the phone on Android.

    You might be able to get an iPhone to work with Ubuntu, but you'll lose some functionality. And if a new iOS version comes out, it might break compatibility with the reverse-engineered iPhone support in Ubuntu. By contrast, with Android, you're not missing out on any features if you use Ubuntu on your PC. Everything just works.
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Beans
    3
    Distro
    Xubuntu 6.06 Dapper

    Re: Which smartphone should I consider using if I use Ubuntu?

    About all SmartPhones are great for amusing ourselves to death.
    No SmartPhone is great at Getting Things Done reliably on a day-to-day basis.

    I have heard that the Apple store vets programs before entry and since most of that required Objective C programming, i had assumed their apps were better. Have not used iPhones much at all, but when i did, there were still issues with taking it seriously as a reliable day-to-day GTD device. The iPhone is smart enough to TXT to a mobile phone number by default, the android is not. But it still was not great at many things i thought would have been "standard" PDA processes by 1999.

    Software on both platforms leaves much to be desired, i go with the more open version.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Beans
    3
    Distro
    Xubuntu 6.06 Dapper

    Re: Which smartphone should I consider using if I use Ubuntu?

    An easy way to install multiple alternative ROMS is SafeStrap, so you may want to look at their list of supported devices.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •