Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'planet ubuntu'

Michael Hall

As part of the continued development of the Ubuntu platform, the Content Hub has gained the ability to share links (and soon text) as a content type, just as it has been able to share images and other file-based content in the past. This allows applications to more easily, and more consistently, share things to a user’s social media accounts.

Consolidating APIs

facebook-sharing
Thanks to the collaborative work going on between the Content Hub and the Ubuntu Webapps developers, it is now possible for remote websites to be packaged with local user scripts that provide deep integration with our platform services. One of the first to take advantage of this is the Facebook webapp, which while displaying remote content via a web browser wrapper, is also a Content Hub importer. This means that when you go to share an image from the Gallery app, the Facebook webapp is displayed as an optional sharing target for that image. If you select it, it will use the Facebook web interface to upload that image to your timeline, without having to go through the separate Friends API.

This work not only brings the social sharing user experience inline with the rest of the system’s content sharing experience, it also provide a much simpler API for application developers to use for accomplishing the same thing. As a result, the Friends API is being deprecated in favor of the new Content Hub functionality.

What it means for App Devs

Because this is an API change, there are things that you as an app developer need to be aware of. First, though the API is being deprecated immediately, it is not being removed from the device images until after the release of 14.10, which will continue to support the ubuntu-sdk-14.04 framework which included the Friends API. The API will not be included in the final ubuntu-sdk-14.10 framework, or any new 14.10-dev frameworks after -dev2.

After the 14.10 release in October, when device images start to build for utopic+1, the ubuntu-sdk-14.04 framework will no longer be on the images. So if you haven’t updated your Click package by then to use the ubuntu-sdk-14.10 framework, it won’t be available to install on devices with the new image. If you are not using the Friends API, this would simply be a matter of changing your package metadata to the new framework version.  For new apps, it will default to the newer version to begin with, so you shouldn’t have to do anything.

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David Planella

Ubuntu loves HTML5Here’s a reminder about next Monday’s 7th of July Ubuntu HTML5 apps session in Barcelona.

At this free event, I’ll be presenting Ubuntu’s HTML5 development story, together with a live coding session and a Q&A round at the end. You’ll learn how to use the Ubuntu SDK and the UI toolkit to easily reuse your web skills to create stunning Ubuntu apps.

HTML5 is the other side of the coin of the Ubuntu app developer offering, where both web and native are first class citizens, offering a very flexible yet focused approach for application development. Teaming up with BeMyApp meetups, the session will start at 7 p.m. at Barcelona’s Mobile World Centre.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Register here for the HTML5 session >

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Michael Hall

It was less than a month that we announced crossing the 10,000 users milestone for Ubuntu phones and tablets, and we’ve already reached another: 100,000 app downloads!

Downloads

10k_downloads_by_countryThe new Ubuntu store used by phones, tablets, and soon the desktop as well, provides app developers with some useful statistics about how many times their app was downloaded, which version was downloaded, and what country the download originated from. This is very useful as it it lets the developer gauge how many users they currently have for their app, and how quickly they are updating to new versions.  One side-effect of these statistics is that we can see how many total downloads there have been across all of the apps in the store, and this week we reached (and quickly passed) the 100,000th download.

Users

app_storeWe’re getting close to having Ubuntu phones go on sale from our partners at Bq and Meizu, but there are still no devices on the market that came with Ubuntu.  This means that we’ve reached this milestone solely from developers and enthusiasts who have installed Ubuntu on one of their own devices (probably a Nexus device) or the device emulator.  

The continued growth in the download number validates the earlier milestone of 10,000 users, a large number of them are clearly still using Ubuntu on their device (or emulator) and keeping their apps up to date (the number represents new app installs and updates). This means that not only are people trying Ubuntu already, many of them are sticking with it too.  Yet another datapoint in support of this is the 600 new unique users who have been using the store since the last milestone announcement.

Pioneers

pioneers_shirtTo supply all of these users with the apps they want, we’re continuing to build our community of app developers around Ubuntu. The first of these have already received their limited edition t-shirts, and are listed on the Ubuntu Pioneers page of the developer portal.

There is still time to get your app published, and claim your place on that page and your t-shirt, but they’re filling up fast so don’t delay. Go to our Developer Portal and get started today, you could be only a few hours away from publishing your first app in the store!

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Alan Pope

As previously blogged we’re inviting the community to hack on Core Apps and Community Apps this week.

All the details are in the post above, but here’s the executive summary:-

  • Hack days run from 30th June till 4th July
  • We’re hacking on the Core Apps Music, Calendar, Calendar, Clock, Weather & Calculator
  • In addition we’re also hacking on community apps including Beru Ebook Reader, OSM Touch mapping software, and Trojita email client
  • Join us in the #ubuntu-app-devel IRC channel on freenode, and on the ubuntu-phone mailing list to get started
  • Get all the details from the hack days wiki page

As always we welcome new contributions during the Hack Days, but also beyond that.

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Alan Pope

Ready for RTM*: Ubuntu Touch Core App Hack Days!

* Release to Manufacturing

device-2014-06-25-121330

We’re running another set of Core Apps Hack Days next week. Starting Monday 30th June through to Friday 4th July we’ll be hacking on Core Apps, getting them polished for our upcoming RTM (Release To Manufacture) images. The goal of our hack days is as always to implement missing features, fix bugs, get new developers involved in coding on Ubuntu using the SDK and to have some fun hacking on Free Software.

For those who’ve not seen the hack days before, it’s really simple. We get together from 09:00 UTC till 21:00 UTC on #ubuntu-app-devel on freenode IRC and hack on the Core Apps. We will be testing the apps to destruction, filing and triaging bugs, creating patches, discussing and testing proposals and generally do whatever we can to get these apps ready for RTM. It’s good fun, relaxed and a great way to get started in Ubuntu app development with the SDK

We’ll have developers hanging around to answer questions, and can call on platform and SDK experts for assistance when required. We focus on specific apps each day, but as always we welcome contributions to all the core apps both during the designated days, and beyond.

Not just Core Apps

This time around we’re also doing things a little differently. Typically we only focus attention on the main community maintained Core Apps we ship on our device images. For this set of Hack Days we’d like to invite 3rd party community app developers to bring their apps along as well and hack with us. We’re looking for developers who have already developed their Ubuntu app using the SDK but maybe need help with the “last mile”. Perhaps you have design questions, bugs or feature enhancements which you’d like to get people involved in.

device-2014-06-25-122105 device-2014-06-25-122334

We won’t be writing your code for you, but we can certainly help to find experienced people to answer your questions and advise of platform and SDK details. We’d expect you to make your code available somewhere, to allow contributions and perhaps enable some kind of bug tracker or task manager. It’s up to you to manage your own community app, we’re here to help though!

Get involved

If you’re interested in bringing your app to hack days, then get in touch with popey (Alan Pope) on IRC or via email [popey@ubuntu.com] and we’ll schedule it in for next week and get the word out.

You can find out more about the Core Apps Hack Days on the wiki, and can discuss this with us on IRC in #ubuntu-app-devel.

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Michael Hall

ubuntu-phone-three-1As we enter the final months before the first Ubuntu phones ship from our partners Meizu and Bq, the numbers of apps, users and downloads continues to grow at a steady pace. Today I’m excited to announce that we have more than ten thousand unique users of Ubuntu on phones or tablets!

Users

Ubuntu phone (and tablet) users sign into their Ubuntu One account on their device in order to download or update the applications on their phone. This allows us to provide many useful features that users expect coming from Android or iOS, such as being able to re-install their collection of apps on a new phone or after resetting their current one, or browsing the store’s website (coming soon) and having the option to install an app directly to their device from there. As a side effect, it means we know how many unique Ubuntu One accounts have connected to the store to in order to download an app, and that number has this week passed the 10,000 mark.

Excitement

Meizu-MX3Not only is this a milestone, but it’s down right amazing when you consider that there are currently no phones available to purchase with Ubuntu on them. The first phones from OEMs will be shipping later this year, but for now there isn’t a phone or tablet that comes with the new Ubuntu device OS on it. That means that each of these 10,000 people have purchased (or already had) either a supported Nexus device, or are using one of the community ports, and either wiped Android off them in favor of Ubuntu, or are dual booting. If this many people are willing to install the beta release of Ubuntu phone on their device, just imagine how many more will want to purchase a phone with Ubuntu pre-installed and with full support from the manufacturer.

Pioneers

In addition to users of Ubuntu phone, we’ve also seen a steady growth in the number of applications and application developers targeting Ubuntu phone and using the Ubuntu SDK. To celebrate them, we created Ubuntu App Pioneers page, and the first batch of Pioneers t-shirts are being sent out to those intrepid developers who, again, are so excited about a platform that isn’t even available to consumers yet that they’ve dedicated their time and energy into making it better for everyone.

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David Planella

We’re thrilled to announce a new release of Ubuntu Dual boot, now supporting enhanced Ubuntu upgrades either from the Android or Ubuntu side.

The new Ubuntu Dualboot release, codenamed M9, enables developers to run both Ubuntu and Android on a single device and is packed with new features that make it the power tool to use for those doing development in both platforms.

For developers only

Dual boot is not a feature suitable for regular users. It is recommended to be installed only by developers who are comfortable with flashing devices and with their partition layout. Dual boot rewrites the Android recovery partition and those installing it should be intimately familiar with re-flashing it in case something goes wrong.

Multiple Android flavours are supported (AOSP or stock, CyanogenMod) and installation of Ubuntu can be done for all versions available in the regular distribution channels.

What’s new

The new release fixes a number of bugs, brings under-the-hood enhancements and includes a bunch of exciting features. Here are the highlights:

Enhanced Ubuntu upgrades

The most prominent feature is the addition of support for the upgrades on the Ubuntu side. Now image upgrades can be downloaded using the standard procedure in System Settings › Updates from Ubuntu. To complete the installation, a reboot to Android will have the Dualboot app pick up the downloaded image upgrade, install it in the right location and reboot to the new Ubuntu image.

As an alternative, installations can still be done fully on the Android side. In a nutshell:

  • Download of a new Ubuntu version can happen on either the Ubuntu or Android side
  • Installation of a new Ubuntu version needs to be done from the Android side via the Dualboot app

Learn more about upgrading to a new Ubuntu image ›

Android notifications and background execution improvements

The Dualboot Android app now provides notifications for when new Ubuntu images are available, so no more excuses not to be running the latest Ubuntu! In addition, improvements have been added to download and install Ubuntu in the background, while showing progress also using standard Android notifications.

Sideload support

For those cases in which bandwidth is at a premium, the dual boot installer now supports sideload mode. This enables downloading images on a fast network and saving them for later installation: these can be downloaded on a laptop and then transferred via USB to the device. It also opens the door for easily flashing custom images other than the ones downloaded from the official channels.

Learn more about sideload support ›

Custom servers

A nifty feature our heroic community of porters of Ubuntu images to devices not officially supported, and for users of those ports: dual boot now supports setting a custom server to directly install new Ubuntu images from there

Learn more about using a custom server ›

Installing dual boot

Installing and running dual boot can be done in a few easy steps. In a nutshell, it requires performing a one-off installation of the dual boot app in Android, which will enable you to both install the version of Ubuntu of your choice, and to reboot into Ubuntu.

Install dual boot on your device

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Michael Hall

Ubuntu has always been about breaking new ground. We broke the ground with the desktop back in 2004, we have broken the ground with cloud orchestration across multiple clouds and providers, and we are building a powerful, innovative mobile and desktop platform that is breaking ground with convergence.

The hardest part about breaking new ground and innovating is not having the vision and creating the technology, it is getting people on board to be part of it.

We knew this was going to be a challenge when we first took the wraps off the Ubuntu app developer platform: we have a brand new platform that was still being developed, and when we started many of the key pieces were not there such as a solid developer portal, documentation, API references, training and more. Today the story is very different with a compelling, end-to-end, developer story for building powerful convergent apps.

We believed and always have believed in the power of this platform, and every single one of those people who also believed in what we are doing and wrote apps have shared the same spirit of pioneering a new platform that we have.

As such, we want to acknowledge those people.

And with this, I present Ubuntu Pioneers.

The idea is simple, we want to celebrate the first 200 app developers who get their apps in Ubuntu. We are doing this in two ways.

Firstly, we have created http://developer.ubuntu.com/pioneers which displays all of these developers and lists the apps that they have created. This will provide a permanent record of those who were there right at the beginning.

Secondly, we have designed a custom, limited-edition Ubuntu Pioneers t-shirt that we want to send to all of our pioneers. For those of you who are listed on this page, please ensure that your email address is correct in MyApps as we will be getting in touch soon.

Thank-you so much to every single person listed on that page. You are an inspiration for me, my team, and the wider Ubuntu project.

If you have that pioneering spirit and wished you were up there, fear not! We still have some space before we hit 200 developers, so go here to get started building an app.

Original by Jono Bacon

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David Planella

The judging is finished and the scores are in, we now have the winners of our third Ubuntu App Showdown! Over the course of six weeks, and using the Ubuntu SDK, our community of app developers were able to put together a number of stunningly beautiful, useful, and often highly entertaining apps.

We had everything from games to productivity tools submitted to the competition, written in QML, C++ and HTML5. Some were ports of apps that already existed on other platforms, but the vast majority were original apps created specifically for the Ubuntu platform.

Best of all, these apps are all available to download and install from the Apps Scope on Ubuntu phones and tablets, so if you have a Nexus device or one with a community image of Ubuntu, you can try these and many more for yourself. Now, on to the winners!

QML Apps: Project Dashboard

dashboard

Judges were astounded by the beautifully crafted Project Dashboard app, the winner of the QML category. Not only the idea and execution were brilliant, but also the fact that it’s a convergent QML application that runs on phones, tablet and desktop got it those coveted extra points from the jury.

With Project Dashboard you can keep track of different projects you’re managing or participating right from your device, in a very intuitive and easy way. For the geeks in us who contribute in several Open Source project, the excellent integration with Github makes it a pleasure to participate or manage the day to day of projects hosted in there.

Well done Michael Spencer!

HTML5 Apps: BE Mobile

bemobile

Say you’re in Belgium and want to get quickly from A to B with public transport? Then you’ll definitely want to use the winner of the HTML5 apps category: BE Mobile.

BE Mobile helps travellers find the best routes and times to travel within Belgium by selecting a journey and searching through a list of public transport services that can be enabled or disabled at will. In addition to that, a set of Twitter feeds for the services are provided, so that commuters and occasional travellers get informed in real time of disruptions and news for the lines they’re wanting to use.

What’s beautiful about it is the way in which using the SDK’s HTML5 components the app blends into the system exactly as a QML app. Convergence is also well-catered for with a responsive HTML design.

Congrats to Jelmer Prins!

Ported Apps: 2048

2048

Whoever has been online lately has surely heard about or played 2048. This addictive game created by 19-year-old Gabriele Cirully has quicky reached Internet popularity status and quite a following. And now Ubuntu has got its own ported version thanks to developer Victor Thompson, who takes home the prize for the best ported app in this Showdown!

A simple yet beautiful UI, combined with an engaging game experience will certainly grant hours of fun trying to reach that craved for 2048 tile!

Chinese Apps: QmlTextReader and Simple Dict

Chinese apps: QmlTextReader on the left, Simple Dict on the right

Chinese apps: QmlTextReader on the left, Simple Dict on the right

As a new category, we added “Chinese apps” for this third round of the App Showdown. Boren Zhang, who is also a Core Apps developer, contributed QmlTextReader, which had a simple design as its focus. It allows you to read novels and other texts and works very well for Chinese text. Font size and encoding can be changed and you can jump to where you left the text before. Perfect for long rides on the train or bus! Shenjing Zhu submitted a simple English/Chinese dictionary which is easy to use and very straight-forward. Both apps are very useful for readers and will come in handy quite often.

Go and get them all!

With retail Ubuntu phones getting closer and closer, the third Ubuntu App Showdown Ubuntu was a good opportunity to put the Ubuntu SDK, our documentation and our general approach to apps in Ubuntu to the test. In particular our HTML5 story has evolved to be on par with QML, so thanks a lot to all community developers and the Webapps team Engineers who have made this possible. During the course of these six weeks we’ve received great feedback from our developer community, worked out a large number of bugs in the SDK, and added or plan to add many new features to our platform.

It was also great to see how quickly all the apps were published in the app store and how little time had to be spent in reviews. The great thing is: if you have a device to run Ubuntu on or use the emulator, you can very easily install all the apps and take them for a spin. Six weeks is not a long time to write an app and get it to completion, but everybody worked hard, got their app in and we are very likely going to see more updates to the apps in the coming weeks.

Once again congratulations to Boren Zhang, Jelmer Prins, Michael Spencer, Shengjing Zhu, Victor Thompson and a big thank you to everybody who participated or helped those who participated, and everyone who has worked on building the Ubuntu SDK, Click tools and the App Store. And if you’re an app developer, or want to become an app developer, now is your time to get started with the Ubuntu SDK!

?? for all the submissions everyone!

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Daniel Holbach

Shortly before the submission deadline last night we had some small technical hiccups in the Ubuntu Software Store. This was fixed resolved very quickly (thanks a lot everyone who worked on this!), but we decided to give everyone another day to make up for it.

The new deadline is today, 10th April 2014, 23:59 UTC.

Please all verify that your app still works, everythings is tidy, you submitted it to the store and filled out the submission form correctly. Here’s how.

Submit your app

This is obviously the most important bit and needs to happen first. Don’t leave this to the last minute. Your app might have to go through a couple of reviews before it’s accepted in the store. So plan in some time for that. Once it’s accepted and published in the store, you can always, much more quickly, publish an update.

Submit your app.

Register your participation

Once your app is in the store, you need to register your participation in the App Showdown. To make sure your application is registered for the contest and judges review it, you’ll need to fill in the participation form. You can start filling it in already and until the submission deadline, it should only take you 2 minutes to complete.

Fill out the submission form.

Questions?

If you have questions or need help, reach out (also rather sooner than later) to our great community of Ubuntu App Developers.

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Daniel Holbach

image-app-showdown

Here’s the final reminder. The App Showdown is almost over and you can win some beautiful devices if you get your app in tomorrow, Wednesday, April 9th 2014 (23:59 UTC).

Getting your app in is very easy: just follow these two steps.

Submit your app

This is obviously the most important bit and needs to happen first. Don’t leave this to the last minute. Your app might have to go through a couple of reviews before it’s accepted in the store. So plan in some time for that. Once it’s accepted and published in the store, you can always, much more quickly, publish an update.

Submit your app.

Register your participation

Once your app is in the store, you need to register your participation in the App Showdown. To make sure your application is registered for the contest and judges review it, you’ll need to fill in the participation form. You can start filling it in already and until the submission deadline, it should only take you 2 minutes to complete.

Fill out the submission form.

Questions?

If you have questions or need help, reach out (also rather sooner than later) to our great community of Ubuntu App Developers.

Good luck everyone, we’re looking forward to lots and lots of great apps! :-)

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James Westby

We’ve recently rolled out some changes to the submission process for Click Applications that should make it easier for you to submit new applications, and allow them to be approved more quickly.

Previously when submitting an application you would have to enter all the information about that application on the website, even when some of that information was already included in the package itself. This was firstly an irritation, but sometimes developers would make a mistake when re-entering this information, meaning that the app was rejected from review and they would have to go back and correct the mistake.

With the new changes, when you submit an application you will wait a few seconds while the package is examined by the system, and you will then be redirected to the same process as before. However this time some of the fields will be pre-filled with information from the package. You won’t have to type in the application name, as it will already be there. This will speed up the process, and should reduce the number of mistakes that happen at that stage.

We’ve also been working on a command-line interface for submitting applications. It’s not polished yet, but if you are intrepid you can try out click-toolbelt.

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Daniel Holbach

image-app-showdown

The app showdown is still in full swing and we have seen lots and lots of activity already. The competition is going to end on Wednesday, April 9th 2014 (23:59 UTC). So what do you need to do to enter and submit the app?

It’s actually quite easy. It takes three steps.

Submit your app

This is obviously the most important bit and needs to happen first. Don’t leave this to the last minute. Your app might have to go through a couple of reviews before it’s accepted in the store. So plan in some time for that. Once it’s accepted and published in the store, you can always, much more quickly, publish an update.

Submit your app.

Register your participation

Once your app is in the store, you need to register your participation in the App Showdown. To make sure your application is registered for the contest and judges review it, you’ll need to fill in the participation form. You can start filling it in already and until the submission deadline, it should only take you 2 minutes to complete.

Fill out the submission form.

 

Questions?

If you have questions or need help, reach out (also rather sooner than later) to our great community of Ubuntu App Developers.

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Daniel Holbach

ubuntu-phone-three-1

There is lots of excitement around Ubuntu on phones and tablets. Especially with two handsets coming out later this year and features and more beauty landing every single week, it’s a lot of fun to watch the whole story unfold.

What many haven’t realised yet, is how easy it is to write apps for Ubuntu and that new apps are not only going to run on phones and tablets, but also on the desktop as well. To remedy that we put some work into making it easy to go out to events and give talks about Ubuntu and its app ecosystem.

What we have available now is:

  • improved presentation materials,
  • we made it easier for newcomers to step in, learn and present,
  • we reach out to app developer communities and our LoCo teams at the same time.

We have two great sets of events coming up soon: the Ubuntu Global Jam coming up in just 2 weeks and soon followed by the 14.04 release and its release parties.

Interested? So how do you prepare? Easy:

  • As somebody who can organise events, but might need to find a speaker: Ask in #ubuntu-app-devel on Freenode or on the ubuntu-app-devel@ mailing list, to see if anyone is in your area to give a talk. Ask on your LoCo’s or LUG’s mailing list as well. Even if somebody who’s into programming hasn’t developed using Ubuntu’s SDK yet, they should be able to familiarise themselves with the technologies quite easily.
  • As somebody who has written code before and didn’t find the Ubuntu app development materials too challenging, but might need to find some help with organising the event: Ask on the loco-contacts@ mailing list. There are LoCos all around the world and most of them will be happy to see somebody give a talk at an event.

Whichever camp you’re in:

  • Check out our docs. They explain what’s required to make the event a success.
  • Join our Q&A session. It’ll be at 27 March 2014, 18:00 UTC on Ubuntu on Air. (The video of session today is up here.)
  • Talk to us. Just comment on the blog post and we can surely help you out somehow.

Let’s make this happen together. Writing apps for Ubuntu and publishing them has never been easier, and they’ll make Ubuntu on phones/tablets much more interesting, and will run on the desktop as well.

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Daniel Holbach

Announcing the latest Ubuntu App Showdown contest!

image-app-showdown

????????

Today we are announcing our third Ubuntu App Showdown! Contestants will have six weeks to build and publish their apps using the new Ubuntu SDK and Ubuntu platform. Both original apps and ported apps, QML and HTML 5, will qualify for this competition.

Categories and prizes

This App Showdown is going to be very special, because we will have four dedicated categories in which you can participate and win a prize.

  1. QML: original apps written in QML or with a combination of QML and JavaScript/C++
  2. HTML5: original apps written using web technologies, be it pure HTML (and CSS/JavaScript) or with platform access using Apache Cordova
  3. Ported: apps ported from another platform, regardless of the technology used
  4. Chinese apps: apps in this category will have to be original and specific to China and the Chinese culture. They will be judged by two native experts in our jury.

The set of prizes will consist of a Nexus 7 (2013) per category for QML, HTML5 and ported apps.
Nexus7-2013


The top two Chinese apps will receive a Meizu device each.
Meizu-MX3

Review criteria

Apps in the HTML5/QML/Ported categories will be reviewed by a jury composed by an international team of five judges:

  • Jono Bacon, Ubuntu Community Manager
  • Adnane Belmadiaf, Ubuntu HTML5 expert
  • Lucas Romero di Benedetto, Ubuntu Community Design Team
  • Nekhelesh Ramananthan, Ubuntu Core App Developer
  • Joey-Elijah Sneddon, OMG!Ubuntu editor

The judges for the Chinese apps are:

  1. Shuduo Sang?Software Engineer in Canonical PES
  2. Joey Chan, Ubuntu Core App Developer
  3. Jack Yu, Ubuntu Kylin Lead/Ubuntu Member

The jury will judge applications according to the following criteria:

  • General Interest – apps that are of more interest to general phone users will be scored higher. We recommend identifying what most phone users want to see, and identifying gaps that your app could fill.
  • Convergence – apps that have a convergent layout that expands to dedicated tablet mode or optionally run well on the desktop will also be scored higher.
  • Features – a wide range of useful and interesting features.
  • Quality – a high quality, stable, and bug-free application experience.
  • Design – your app should harness the Ubuntu Design Guidelines so it looks, feels, and operates like an Ubuntu app.
  • Awareness / Promotion – we will award extra points to those of you who blog, tweet, facebook, Google+, reddit, and otherwise share updates and information about your app as it progresses.
  • Chinese culture – apps optionally submitted in the China category will be reviewed with the same criteria above, plus their relevance to Chinese users of the app. This can be by providing access to Chinese services, being related to Chinese culture or being generally useful to somebody in the People’s Republic of China.

Learn how to write Ubuntu apps

To make it easier for you to get started with writing apps for Ubuntu on the phone and tablets, we’ve set up a week packed with video streaming tutorials where experts from the Ubuntu community will teach you how to use Ubuntu platform technologies to write apps.

Join the Ubuntu App Developer Week! >

If you cannot join, review our app developer documentation.

How to participate

If you are not a programmer and want to share some ideas for cool apps, be sure to add and vote apps on our reddit page.

The contest is free to enter and open to everyone.

The six week period starts on the Wed 26th February and runs until Wed 9th April 2014!

Enter the Ubuntu App Showdown >

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Daniel Holbach

We are starting a blog series where we interview our Ubuntu App Heroes. We want to learn more about how developers found the experience writing apps for Ubuntu, what their plans are, what they do and who they are.

Kicking off the series, we had a quick chat with the two guys working on the beautiful Weather app, Martin Borho and Raúl Yeguas.

Martin Borho Raúl Yeguas

Can you introduce yourselves?

Raúl: My name is Raúl Yeguas, I’m a frontend developer and I live in Seville in Spain. I studied IT at the University of Jaén where I organised some free software events. I’m a great Qt fan and a proud KDE user.

Martin: My name is Martin Borho, I’m 37 years old and I live in Hamburg, Germany. I work as a freelance programmer, mainly coding Python.

When and how did you get involved in the Ubuntu Core Apps project?

Martin: As Ubuntu Touch was announced, there was a little form at the webpage, asking for interested persons willing to contribute. As I was searching for a project I could join at that time, I filled it out….

Rául: I noticed Canonical’s call for developers on QtPlanet. When I subscribed to Canonical’s first announce I thought that it was for helping developers to write their own apps for their platform; but when I received the emails from them asking me what core app I wanted to work on I was so surprised and excited. I’m part of the Core Apps Developers from the beginning.

Have you developed apps before?

Martin: Yes, I’ve started doing a mobile app, named “Ask Ziggy”, on my Nokia N900 in 2010. In 2011 I’ve built an app for Google News called “NewsG” for WebOS. Which I later ported to Qt/QML, to get it on my Nokia N9/N950.

Raúl: Yes, mainly C++/Qt apps and HTML/JS webapps.

What was your experience learning everything involved to work on the Weather app?

Martin: Hmm, initially I had no idea what to expect. After all I have learned quite a few things (and still do). Contributing to a large scale project with people from all over the world is one, how various parts have to fit together is another one. It is fascinating to see how Ubuntu Touch has evolved over the last months.

Raúl: I have to say that this team is awesome. I learned too much from them, mainly about working in team with distant people and about designing new ways to interact with an app.

Weather App Designs

Weather App Designs

Is there anything you are proud of or feel is solved very well in the Weather app?

Raúl: Yes, the gestures to change between daily forecast and hourly forecast. I think is too easy to use and intuitive.

Martin: Hard to say, perhaps: It’s quite easy to add more weather data providers to the app, without having to deal much with the UI part. And having a distinction between fast and slow scrolling, to flip between days, respective hours, is quite nice.

What can new app developers learn from your app?

Martin: Can’t say… as I’m doing Qt/QML only in my spare time I don’t think it’s very sophisticated in that regard.

Raúl: I think that our app has well organised and differentiated graphics components so I think that it could be a good example for learning how to create complex QML components by creating simple parts. It also has a very good API to call weather info providers.

What can users of the app expect in the coming months?

Martin: The integration of Weather Channel as a second weather data provider is nearly finished and will be ready to get merged into trunk very soon. Apart from that, Raúl is currently working on new animated icons, which will be very nice when ready.

Raúl: Yes, expect some new animations for eye-candy and a new weather information provider.

Do you have any other hobbies apart from working on Ubuntu?

Martin: I like biking. And as the stadium of my favourite club is only a 5 minute walk away, I like watching football too … ;-)

Raúl: Yes, like non-IT people have. ;) I like watching movies, playing videogames and traveling. When I have enough time I produce electronic music. But I have to confess that sometimes I contribute on other open source projects \o/

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David Planella

Christmas has come early in Ubuntu this time around, with a finely wrapped present: dual-booting with Android.

We are thrilled to announce a preview of a new feature for developers: Ubuntu on mobile devices can now run alongside Android on a single handset.

For developers only

Dual boot is not a feature suitable for regular users. It is recommended to be installed only by developers who are comfortable with flashing devices and with their partition layout. Dual boot rewrites the Android recovery partition and those installing it should be intimately familiar with re-flashing it in case something goes wrong.

Multiple Android flavours are supported (AOSP or stock, CyanogenMod) and installation of Ubuntu can be done for all versions available in the phablet-flash channels.

Easy OS switch via apps

With dual boot, switching between OSs had never been easier. No more key combinations or command line interfaces to jump into the next OS: on each side, an app with a simple user interface will enable you to boot back and forth at the tap of a button.

Ubuntu dual boot on Android

The Android app manages the initial installation of Ubuntu, upgrades and rebooting into Ubuntu.

Ubuntu dual boot

On Ubuntu, the dual boot app provides an easy way to reboot into Android.

Installing dual boot

Installing and running dual boot can be done in a few easy steps. In a nutshell, it requires performing a one-off installation of the dual boot app in Android, which will enable you to both install the version of Ubuntu of your choice, and to reboot into Ubuntu.

Install dual boot on your device

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Michael Hall

Convergent File ManagerConvergence is going to be a major theme for Ubuntu 14.04, not just at the OS and Unity 8 levels, but also for the apps that run on it. The Core Apps, those apps that were developed by the community and included by default in the last release, are no exception to this. We want to make sure they all converge neatly and usefully on both a tablet and on the desktop. So once again we are asking for community design input, this time to take the existing application interfaces and extend them to new form factors.

How to submit your designs

We have detailed the kind of features we want to see for each of the Core Apps on a Convergence wiki page. If you have a convergence design idea you would like to submit, send it as a file attachment or link to it online in an email to design@canonical.com along with any additional notes, descriptions, or user stories.  The design team will be reviewing the submitted designs live on their bi-weekly Design Clinics (Dec 4th and Dec 18th) at 1400 UTC.  But before you submit your ideas, keep reading to see what they should include.

Extend what’s there

We don’t want to add too many features this cycle, there’s going to be enough work to do just building the convergence into the app.  Use the existing features and designs as your starting point, and re-imagine those same features and designs on a tablet or desktop.  Design new features or modify existing ones when it makes the experience better on a different form factor, but remember that we want the user to experience it as the same application across the board, so try and keep the differences to a minimum.

Form follows function

There’s more to a good design than just a good looking UI, especially when designing convergence.  Make sure that you take the user’s activity into account, plan out how they will access the different features of the app, make sure it’s both intuitive and simple.  The more detail you put into this the more likely you are to discover possible problems with your designs, or come up with better solutions that you had originally intended.

Think outside the screen

There is more to convergence that just a different screen size, and your designs should take that into consideration.  While it’s important to make good use of the added space in the UI, think about how the user is going to interact with it.  You hold a tablet differently than you do a phone, so make sure your designs work well there.

On the desktop you have even more to think about, when the user has a keyboard and mouse, but likely not a touch screen, you want to make sure the interface isn’t cumbersome.  Think about how scrolling will be different too, while it’s easy to swipe both vertically and horizontally on a phone or tablet, you usually only have a vertical scroll wheel on a desktop mouse.  But, you also have more precise control over a mouse pointer than you do with a finger-tip, so your interface should take advantage of that too.

Resources available to you

Now that you know what’s needed, here are some resources to help you.  Once again we have our community Balsamiq account available to anybody who wants to use it to create mockups (email me if you need an account).  I have created a new project for Core Apps Convergence that you can use to add your designs.  You can then submit links to your designs to the Design Team’s email above.  The Design Team has also provided a detailed Design Guide for Ubuntu SDK apps, including a section on Responsive Layouts that give some suggested patterns for different form factors.  You can also choose to use any tools you are comfortable with, as long as they Design Team and community developers can view it.

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Michael Hall

At the same time that Ubuntu 13.10 was released, we also went live with a new API documentation website here on the Ubuntu Developer Portal. This website will slowly replace our previous static docs, which came in a variety of formats, with a single structured place for all of our developer APIs. This new site, backed by Python and Django, will let us make our API documentation more easily discoverable, more comprehensive, and more interactive over time.

Screenshot from 2013-10-17 09:54:41

We launched the site with only the documentation for the Ubuntu UI Toolkit, as well as upstream QtQuick components. But in the past week we’ve added on to that API documentation for the new Content Hub, which allows confined apps to request access to files (pictures, music, etc) stored outside of their sandbox, as well as a full new section of HTML5 API docs covering the visual components developed to match the look and feel of their Qt/QML counterparts.

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David Planella

Today a major milestone in the history of Ubuntu and the mobile industry has been reached: we’re extremely proud to celebrate the release of Ubuntu 13.10, the free, open source operating system for smartphones, desktop and server.

A release for mobile developers

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As of today, Ubuntu is available on the desktop, on servers and on smartphones. Ubuntu’s first ever mobile edition provides an operating system with all applications phone users need for their day-to-day, in addition to a thriving app ecosystem and a platform application authors can target.

This is the first leap on the road to convergence and having an OS to rule all devices and form factors.

Native or web: your choice

The Ubuntu SDK enables developers to easily create applications that make use of the full capabilities of the platform and integrate naturally with the OS. It contains Qt Creator, a full-fledged IDE with code-editing, debugging and device deployment features; the UI toolkit, with a set of widgets and components to be used as building blocks for Ubuntu apps; and detailed developer documentation, including API docs and tutorials.

As part of the app developer story both native and web are first-class citizens. For the native approach, QML combined with JavaScript is the easiest way to write Ubuntu apps, while C++ is also fully supported. The SDK is powered by the widely used Qt framework.

For those writing or porting HTML5 applications, the SDK features various levels of support to cover all web developer needs:

  • HTML5 apps – use web technologies to write apps
  • HTML5 Cordova apps – use web technologies to access native device functions such as camera and sensors
  • Webapps – integrate a website with Ubuntu and launch it as an app

The SDK also uses the full capabilities of OpenGL ES graphics acceleration, providing high-quality 3D rendering for the most demanding games.

Start writing an Ubuntu app ›

From concept to millions of users

With the Ubuntu Software Store Beta, the final big piece of infrastructure that completes the development workflow is now in place. Ubuntu now assists developers throughout the whole app lifecycle: from idea to implementation to publishing and to updates.

Publish your app in Ubuntu ›

Community-driven core apps

app_shocase-700px

As a testament to the stunning result that can be achieved combining a vibrant community of developers, a team of designers and the Ubuntu SDK, we’re also thrilled to announce the availability of the 12 core apps for the phone. Core applications have been designed from the ground up to provide the basic functionality a user needs for their every day, and more. They include:

  • Daily apps: Music, Clock, Weather, Calendar, RSS reader, Calculator
  • Games: Sudoku, Dropping Letters
  • Developer tools: Terminal, File Manager

These apps complement the offer of pre-installed software on the phone, including Dialer, Messaging, Browser, Camera, Gallery, Notes, Contacts and a set of webapps such as Twitter and Facebook.

Core apps have been entirely created by teams of community contributors and Canonical designers. Volunteer contributions have ranged from development, design, QA to bug reporting and support.

We’d like to thank all developers and any contributors who have in any way made the core apps happen. The work you’ve done in the last few months and the commitment you’ve shown to the project is just unbelievable, you rock!

Learn more about Ubuntu core apps ›

Industry-ready: differentiation without fragmentation

phone-naturally-neat-cut

Ubuntu is built for the phone industry. Equally suited for entry-level or high-end smartphones, it provides a powerful, yet lightweight platform with a clear and consistent user experience that can be easily customized for different operators.

At the core of Ubuntu’s design vision, scopes provide dedicated views to find, organize and show a variety of content types. Be it your contacts, your messages, pictures or online videos, dedicated scopes work for you transparently to bring you the best results when you do a search on your device.

Operators can customize the default experience by:

  • Prioritising which results are displayed first
  • Using the Apps scope to return results from multiple stores
  • Customising the home screen for their service, including integrated online payment support
  • Highlighting their own content on the default scopes

Info for operators and OEMs ›
Learn more about scopes ›

Developer.ubuntu.com 2.0

Developer-2-0

Coinciding with the release of the OS, a fully redesigned developer site has been unveiled. The Ubuntu developer site now provides a hub to all resources and information needed to develop and publish different types content for the Ubuntu platform, including:

  • Apps – how to create applications for Ubuntu
  • Scopes – how to create scopes to customize the content shown to users
  • Cloud – how to create charms for Juju cloud deployments
  • Web – how to create webapps to integrate websites into Ubuntu

Each development area has been expanded to add technology overviews, tutorials, development recipes and extensive API documentation to make the development experience easier – and fun!

Go to the Ubuntu developer site ›

Today it’s time to celebrate our first mobile release, enjoy the amazing work that has been done in the past six months and start looking at the next steps to bring Ubuntu to the masses. And while talking about celebration, which better way than actually creating an app for Ubuntu?

Install Ubuntu on your phone

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