Ubuntu Touch Impression
I have been meaning to try Ubuntu Touch for a couple weeks now and I finally installed a Ubuntu distro just to test it out. I love Ubuntu a lot, but I prefer two other distros over it (though I usually have had a partition dedicated to it). I post this simply because I'm not up to date with the status of Unity on Ubuntu, even though I use it on Arch Linux often, and may not understand how it relates to the desktop. Just wanted to let you know I may not be getting the full "convergence" experience since my Ubuntu is Kubuntu right now.
My overall impressions of it are pretty high, for such an immature version. It has a steep learning curve, but that may be due to the fact that I accidently skipped the intro. I feel it transitions really well when sliding and once I figured out certain movements, though in the same direction, do different actions (i.e. sliding from the edge of the screen opens the panel while a little less switches to an application) it made me understand what the developers were trying to accomplish. I have t-mobile as my service provider and text messaging works quite well. I immediantly got a text message within two seconds and there does not seem to be a delay at all. Phone conversations seem to also work well and I have not experience any dropped calls. Right now Ubuntu seems to work only with 3g, which I remember them mentioning. Overall, it seems to do quite well as a phone--which is good since that's the point.
The terminal uses generally linux/unix commands. I used basic ones such as top or uptime, but I can't figure out how to scroll in it. Tapping the terminal gives you the option to use a modifier key (i.e. ctrl-z to escape top), which is a really good idea. Sudo apt-get update syncs well, but upgrade is locked for some reason and I don't know why. However, the update manager seems to work quite well. Also, the dash is a little confusing in terms of lenses. When I do a search it doesn't always look at my installed applications and I don't know how to look for new software; yet, I'm sure at this point there isn't a lot of new software available. I have "sound cloud" lenses installed, which was exciting until I searched for my favorite band and the music that came up was either for sell or on grooveshark (which I don't have an account for). When I did go to groove shark it informed me I did not have flash install, as I expected, but I think there should be a way to just send the user to the HTML5 version. A lot of the apps aren't native, which is more than forgivable at this point, but the one I would think that was would be Ubuntu One. I have used Ubuntu One on Kubuntu, Ubuntu, iOS, and Arch Linux. It is usually buggy on Linux, but works flawlessly on iOS, which is a bit confusing. However, not only was the app not native, but it did not recognize my account I had set up in the settings. There was no way to sync my folders through the browser either. I feel intergrating Ubuntu One needs to be a primary focus for Ubuntu Touch because it is a great service that I use even on other distros. The gmail app is not native, but the mobile version of the site works really well with the browser. It alwas loaded fast--along with other google services--but once again, my account is never saved, even after it was entered in settings. Basically, Ubuntu one was the only one that would save my account information and even that was meaningless once I entered the app.
The camera had a nice, fluid setup up. I enjoy it a lot more than android or iOS. The zoom was controlled by a sliding panel and I feel that was a really nice design choice. A swype-type function defintely needs to be impletemented because I am not used to typing so slowly. Tonight I was going to try to install the predictive test feature. The battery life seems to be just as good as on Android--so good job Ubuntu Touch developers. I know that was an initial issue.
Well these were my overall impressions and my friends are tired of me talking about it so I thought I would come to a place where more people may be interested, haha. I am using 14.04 on my Nexus 4. I just wanted to say keep up the good work Canonical, if you pull this off I may forgive you for wayl--kidding!!! haha. I am going to see how long I can keep it installed without it interfering with my job and school, but so far I really enjoy it. I want to hear what everyone else thinks and how 13.10 compares to the latest version I have.