Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'planet ubuntu'

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

phone-apps-grid-extended-cut

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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Michael Hall

App Showdown Winners

The judging is finished and the scores are in, we now have the winners of this year’s Ubuntu App Showdown!  Over the course of six weeks, and using a beta release of the new 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 new Click store 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!

Original Apps #1: Karma Machine

karma_machine_subredditkarma_machine_contentkarma_machine_commentsKarma Machine is wonderful app for browsing Reddit, and what geek wouldn’t want a good Reddit app?  Developed by Brian Robles, Karma Machine has nearly everything you could want in a Reddit app, and takes advantage of touch gestures to make it easy to upvote and downvote both articles and comments.  It even supports user accounts so you can see your favorite subreddits easily.  On top of it’s functionality, Karma Machine is also visually appealing, with a good mix of animations, overlays and overall use of colors and layouts.  It is simply one of the best Reddit clients on any platform (having written my own Reddit client, that’s saying something!), and having it as an original Ubuntu app makes it a valuable addition to our ecosystem.  With all that, it’s little wonder that Karma Machine was tied for the top spot on the judges list!

Original Apps #1: Saucy Bacon

saucy_bacon_searchsaucy_bacon_toolbarsaucy_bacon_editSomething for the foodies among us, Saucy Bacon is a great way to find and manage recipes for your favorite dish. Backed by food2fork.com, this app lets you search for recipes from all over the web.  You can save them for future reference, and mark your favorites for easy access over and over again.  And since any serious cook is going to modify a recipe to their own tastes, Saucy Bacon even lets you edit recipes downloaded from somewhere else.  You can of course add your own unique recipe to the database as well.  It even lets you add photos to the recipe card directly from the camera, showing off some nice integration with the Ubuntu SDK’s sensor APIs and hardware capabilities.  All of this mouth-watering goodness secured developer Giulio Collura’s Saucy Bacon app a tie for the #1 stop for original Ubuntu apps in our contest.

Ported Apps #1: Snake

snake_introsnake_play2snake_play

The game Snake has taken many forms on many platforms throughout the years.  It’s combination of simple rules and every-increasing difficulty has made it a popular way to kill time for decades.  Developer Brad Wells has taken this classic game from Nokia’s discontinued Meego/Harmattan mobile OS, which used a slightly older version of Qt for app development, and updated it to work on Ubuntu using the Ubuntu SDK components.  Meego had a large number of high quality apps written for it back in it’s day, and this game proves that Ubuntu for phones and tablets can give those apps a new lease on life.

Go and get them all!

The 2013 Ubuntu App Showdown was an opportunity for us to put the new Ubuntu SDK beta through some real-world testing, and kick off a new app ecosystem for Ubuntu.  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.

In addition to being some of the first users of the Ubuntu SDK, the app developers were also among the first to use the new Click packaging format and tools as well as the new app upload process that we’ve been working on to reduce review times and ease the process of publishing apps.  The fact that all of the submitted apps have already been published in the new app store is a huge testament to the success of that work, and to the engineers involved in designing and delivering it.

Once again congratulations to Brian Robles, Giulio Collura and Brad Wells, and a big thank you to everybody who participated or helped those who participated, and all of the engineers who have worked on building the Ubuntu SDK, Click tools and app store.  And if you have a supported device, you should try out the latest Ubuntu images, and try these and the many other apps already available for it.  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!

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David Planella

Mostly everything is ready for the judges to start reviewing the Ubuntu App Showdown apps next week, exciting times ahead!

roll-dice

As of now, all applications that were submitted for the App Showdown contest have been reviewed and submitted to the Software Store. They can also be installed and run from the Dash on an Ubuntu phone, just two taps away.

We will be doing a final round of testing on Monday to double-check all apps indeed install and run flawlessly. We will then set up the review forms for the judges and also publish the final list of contest apps.

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the contest. Good luck with the judging, you all rock!

?Roll of the dice? by Katie Harbath under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

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Michael Hall

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

phone-naturally-neat

The winners of this contest will each receive an LG Nexus 4 phone running Ubuntu Touch with their application pre-installed. Furthermore, each of the winners will have an opportunity to have their app included in the default Ubuntu install images for phones and tablets.

All valid entries will also become available for install on Ubuntu Touch devices from the Apps lens in the Dash, using the new Click packages and MyApps submission process.

Judges

The jury will be composed by a team of five judges:

  • Jono Bacon, Ubuntu Community Manager
  • Joey-Elijah Sneddon, writer and editor-in-chief of OMG!Ubuntu
  • Lisette Slegers, User Experience Designer at Canonical
  • Nekhelesh Ramananthan, Ubuntu Touch Core App developer
  • Bill Filler, Engineering Manager for the Phone & Tablet App Team

Review criteria

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.
  • 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+, and otherwise share updates and information about your app as it progress.

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.

How To Enter

The contest is free to enter and open to everyone.

The six week period starts on the Wed 7th August 2013!

Enter the Ubuntu App Showdown

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Steve George

Today we are pleased to announce the beta release of the Ubuntu SDK! The SDK is the toolkit that will power Ubuntu’s convergence revolution, giving you one platform and one API for all Ubuntu form factors. This lets you write your app one time, in one way, and it will work everywhere.  You can read the full Ubuntu SDK Beta announcement here.

For the developers who are already writing apps using the Ubuntu SDK most of the beta’s features will already be known, as they have been landing in the daily releases as they become finished. Here’s a list of the features that have been added since the alpha:

  • Cordova Ubuntu HTML5 app template – leverage the Apache Cordova APIs to write Ubuntu apps with web technologies: HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Write your first HTML5 with the Cordova Ubuntu tutorial.
  • Ubuntu SDK HTML5 theme – a companion to all HTML5 apps: stylesheets and JavaScript code to provide the same look and feel as native apps
  • Responsive layout – applications can now adopt a more natural layout depending on form factor (phone, tablet, desktop) and orientation
  • Scope template – Scopes enable operators to prioritise their content, to achieve differentiation without fragmentation. Now easier to create with a code template
  • Click packaging preview – initial implementation of the Click technology to distribute applications. Package your apps with Click at the press of a button
  • Theme engine improvements – a reworked theme engine to make it easier and more flexible to customise the look and feel of your app
  • Unified Actions API – define actions to be used across different Ubuntu technologies: the HUD, App Indicators, the Launcher, the Messaging Menu
  • U1DB integration – the SDK now provides a database API to easily synchronise documents between devices, using the Ubuntu One cloud

Some of the biggest news here is the Cordova support and HTML5 theme, which brings together our goal of making first class HTML5 app that look and feel like native apps.  Cordova support means that apps written using the PhoneGap framework can be easily ported to Ubuntu Touch, and the HTML5 themes, written largely by community developer Adnane Belmadiaf, will allow those apps to match the native SDK components in both the way they look as well as the way the user interacts with them.

The Responsive Layouts, which landed in the daily SDK packages weeks go, gives developers the ability to adjust their application’s GUI dynamically at runtime, depending on the amount of screen space available or any number of other variables.  This is one key to making convergent apps that can adapt to be useful on both small touch screens and large monitors with a keyboard and mouse.

We’ve also put out the first set of Click packaging tools, which will provide an easier way for developers to package and distribute their applications both on their own and through the Ubuntu Software Center.  There is still a lot more work to do before all of the Click infrastructure is in place, but for now developers can start trying getting a feel for it.

All of that and more is now available, so grab the latest SDK packages, read the QML and HTML5 app development tutorials, and get a head start building your convergent Ubuntu application today!

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David Planella

Participate in the Ubuntu Core Apps Hack Days and get involved in developing the essential apps of Ubuntu on phones.

Starting this Wednesday, and during the next three weeks, we’re organizing a set of Hack Days inviting all interested contributors to bring Ubuntu Touch up another step closer to a production release and to ensure all core apps have reached a state of functionality to be used every day.

With the Core Apps Hack Days we’re targeting several objectives:

  • Get all core apps into a ‘dogfoodable’ state
  • Find and fix critical bugs in core apps and their dependencies
  • Identify, record and fix gaps in functionality
  • Get new developers involved in Core Apps and Ubuntu Touch development in general
  • Have fun with Ubuntu App Development!

How the Hack Days will work

  • The Ubuntu Core Apps Hack Days will be run as virtual hackfests on the #ubuntu-app-devel IRC channel on Freenode
  • Everyone is free to join the channel and encouraged to pick a task related to the set of goals to get core apps to a dogfoodable state
  • The development and testing tasks will be posted on the Hack Days wiki before each day’s hackfest starts
  • Ask Michael Hall (mhall119), David Planella (dpm) or Alan Pope (popey) on the channel for any help when you join (or just say hi!)

When

  • Starting on Wednesday 10th of July until Thursday 25th of July
  • From 9:00 UTC to 21:00 UTC
  • We’ll be following this schedule:
10 July Calendar
11 July Music
12 July Clock
15 July Calculator
16 July Weather
17 July Sudoku Touch
18 July RSS Reader
19 July File Manager
22 July Document Viewer
23 July Terminal
24 July Dropping Letters
25 July Stock Ticker

Join us!

Participating in the Hack Days is extremely easy: you just need a working Internet connection and access to IRC. We simply recommend some preparation beforehand:

  1. Learn how to get started developing core apps
  2. Join the #ubuntu-app-devel IRC channel on Freenode

Looking forward to seeing you next Wednesday at the Calendar hackfest!

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Chris Jones

Help shaping up Ubuntu Touch by joining the core apps development teams

Community-driven apps that will power the next million phones

The Ubuntu Core Apps project started as an initiative born out of the initial Ubuntu Touch announcement, with a call to our community to participate in building the core set of applications which will be considered for shipping on Ubuntu phones.

With this, we started an exciting project that provides a unique opportunity for community members to create Free Software that could run on millions of handsets.

If you’re running Ubuntu Touch on a device, you can already see the results of the work our amazing volunteer developers have been doing: Calculator, Clock, Calendar, Weather, Terminal, File Manager… these apps and more are part of this project. Together with the Canonical designers and other community designers, we’ve also got a solid UX and design story for our applications.

In essence, each core app development team organizes their work and time in the way that works best for them, where the Canonical Community, Design and Engineering teams participate in several different areas:

  • Development infrastructure
  • Engineering management
  • Community mentorship and support
  • Design guidance

With this post I’d like to share how any developer can contribute to core apps and join the core dev teams. It’s not only an opportunity to shape up Ubuntu Touch, but also to work in a truly open development environment, with the best Open Source developers and designers out there!

Participating in the core apps project

Getting started to contributing to core apps is just a few minutes away. Here are some really easy steps for developers to get all set up.

Step 1: install all core apps

While some of the apps are already installed on the Ubuntu Touch image, you’ll be doing your development on the desktop. As part of the convergency story, core apps run equally well on phones, tablets or desktops, so the first step will be to get familiar with them and do some dogfooding.

  1. Open a terminal by pressing Ctrl+t and type the commands below, followed by Enter.
  2. Install the Ubuntu SDK: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:canonical-qt5-edgers/qt5-proper && sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-sdk-team/ppa && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-sdk
  3. Install the core apps: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-touch-coreapps-drivers/daily && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install touch-coreapps

If you get stuck here, check out the SDK’s getting started page or ask on Ask Ubuntu

At this point you’ll be able to launch any of the core apps from the Dash.

  • Try opening the Dash clicking on the Ubuntu button in the Launcher, and type the first letters of each one of the apps to launch them. You should now be able to install:
    1. Calculator
    2. Calendar
    3. Clock
    4. Document viewer
    5. Dropping Letters
    6. Email
    7. File Manager
    8. Music
    9. RSS Reader
    10. Stock Ticker
    11. Sudoku
    12. Terminal
    13. Weather

Step 2: pick an app and find something to work on

Once you’ve road-tested all of the apps, you’ll have a good overview of their functionality, and where you think you can help. At this point, the best thing to do is to pick an app you’re interested in contributing to and find more about it:

  1. Go to the core apps overview page
  2. Click on the app you’re interested in. This will show you:
    • The public project where the app is being developed and where the code is hosted
    • The development team who is writing the app
    • The IRC channel where to discuss about the app’s development in real time
    • The blueprint we use to track the items to work on to implement the functional requirements
    • The burn-down chart we use to provide an overview of the status of the work

The best way to get started is to look at the existing code for the app. Here’s how:

  1. If you haven’t already, open a terminal with Ctrl+t and type this command to install the Bazaar revision control system: sudo apt-get install bzr
  2. Get a local copy of the code. Run this command, replacing ubuntu-clock-app by the app you’ve chosen. You’ll find the exact name to replace on the project section of the app’s detail page you opened earlier on: bzr branch lp:ubuntu-clock-app
  3. Start Qt Creator, the Ubuntu’s SDK IDE by clicking the Ubuntu button on the Launcher and typing “ubuntu sdk”
  4. In Qt Creator, press Ctrl+o to navigate to the location where you’ve just downloaded the code to and choose the .qmlproject file to open the app’s project in the IDE
  5. You can now study the code and launch it with either the Ctrl+r key combination or by pressing the big green “Run” button in Qt Creator

Before you start doing any changes in the code, you might want to get in touch with us to ensure no one is already working on what you’re intending to start on. Two good places to look at are:

Step 3: send a merge proposal with your contribution

In our distributed collaborative environment, where thousands of volunteers participate in Ubuntu from all over the world, we use a distributed version control system, Bazaar to manage the code’s revisions.  The code for all core apps is hosted in public projects in Launchpad, the online tool where we do all development.

You can easily do your changes to the code locally, publish them in a public branch and then send a request for the core app development teams to review and merge your code.

Check out the core apps development guide for the full details ›

Many ways to contribute

Although development is where you can make most of an impact at this point, there are many other ways to participate. You can:

Get in touch

We’d like to hear from you!. If you’ve got QML programming skills and would be interested in joining one of the core apps teams, get in touch with Michael Hall, David Planella or Alan Pope and we’ll gladly guide you in the first steps to becoming a core app dev.

You can also join any of the public IRC core app development meetings.

Looking forward to welcoming you in the core apps project!

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Chris Jones

One of the key aspects in developing the Ubuntu Touch core apps has been Quality Assurance. With that goal in mind, we’ve been adding functional tests to each and every one of the applications, using Autopilot.

We want to ensure our core apps are rock-solid, and we’d like to invite each of you who want to help make it happen to participate in the Autopilot Hackfest today. Here’s how:

  1. Join the #ubuntu-quality IRC channel ›
  2. Read the Autopilot tutorial ›
  3. Read Nick Skagg’s blog post for more details ›

Looking forward to the new autopilot tests for core apps. See you there!

Image: Autopilot Engaged CC-BY-SA by Mike Miley

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David Planella

Time does fly, and we’re alread on the last day of the Ubuntu Developer Summit. Lots of content covered and still lots of interesting discussions to be had. We’re thrilled to bring you the summary on what’s on today on the App Development track.

Here’s the list of app development sessions for today at UDS:

Hope to see you there!

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David Planella

After a very productive kick off, we’re back with the second day of the Ubuntu Developer Summit on the App Development track and the summary of sessions for today. Thank you everyone who participated in the sessions yesterday, either in hangouts or in IRC.

Here’s the list of app development sessions for today:

See you there!

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David Planella

UDS, the Ubuntu Developer Summit, is here again, starting in just a few hours. A week packed with content that will define the plans for the new Ubuntu development cycle, and as usual, a with a full track dedicated to application development.

So for all of you interested in helping and being part of the effort of making Ubuntu a platform of choice for application developers, here’s a quick list with an overview of the sessions we’ve got in store for today.

The links in the list below will take you to the each session, ready to participate on the live hangout or on IRC. You can also check out the full UDS schedule.

So, without further ado, here’s the list of app development sessions for today:

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Daniel Holbach

Hot on the heels of the announcements of the Ubuntu SDK and the Touch Developer Preview, we bring you the first ever Ubuntu SDK Days.

Make apps happen on all of these devices

On Thursday, 14th March and Friday, 15th March a number of app developers and Ubuntu SDK creators will get you started writing apps for Ubuntu on multiple devices. It’s surprisingly simple, and since the announcement we’ve seen many early adopters try out the SDK and the first apps up and running. We will  answer your questions, talk about best practises and show you the power of the SDK.

Here a quick overview over the sessions we’ll run:

  • Installing and Configuring the SDK
  • Writing your first app with the SDK
  • Writing games with QML and Javascript
  • Live update from the development progress of the Touch Core Apps
  • Several Q&A sessions
  • Making the best of the Ubuntu App Design guidelines
  • More about the SDK skunkworks projects
  • Introducing Friends and Gwibber QML
  • Writing a new generation of Scopes
  • Lightning talks and Project demos

How to join

Participating is easy: just head to http://ubuntuonair.com to watch the sessions on the schedule. Videos will be available after the event, to ensure you can watch the content even if you couldn’t make it to the session you wanted.

You can ask your questions on the chat widget on http://ubuntuonair.com or join the #ubuntu-app-devel IRC channel on Freenode directly.

Check out https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuSDKDays/ to see the timetable of the event, be there for lots of fun and bring your friends – and your questions too!

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Daniel Holbach

Yesterday we released Ubuntu Touch Preview images for four devices. This is a huge milestone for Ubuntu. We always wanted Ubuntu to be everywhere and the Preview shows quite nicely how well the vision of a design family across different form factors works.

There is quite a bit of work to be done, we all know that, but it’s a giant opportunity for us, the Ubuntu community. Everybody can contribute to the effort and we can show the world how we believe software should look like.

How you can help? Easy.

  • You can install the Ubuntu Touch preview images on a device and test them.
  • You can help out designing and shaping the Ubuntu Touch Core Apps.
  • If you are a bit more experienced with bringing software up on new devices, you can help us porting Ubuntu Touch to new devices.

Did the last point find your interest? Excellent, because we just took the wraps of our Ubuntu Touch Porting guide. This also marks the start of our Ubuntu Touch Port-a-thon. We want to get Ubuntu Touch up and running on as many devices as possible.

If you don’t mind some tinkering, maybe some kernel building, some configuration meddling and flashing your device repeatedly, you might just the person we’re looking for.

The porting guide should help you understand

  • how Ubuntu Touch works internally,
  • which bits are generally involved and where to find them
  • how to submit patches
  • how images are put together
  • how to test them and
  • where to find help

To get you started and into the mood, you might want to join us today, at Friday 22nd February at 15:00 UTC on http://ubuntuonair.com when two super heroes of the Ubuntu Touch project, namely Ricardo Salveti and Sergio Schvezov, are going to talk to us about the technical aspects of the phone and the tablet.

Reliable sources tell us, there’s going to be a surprise announce during the hangout as well.

This is the opportunity we always wanted. Let’s make it happen. Bring Ubuntu to the world in all its beauty.

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David Planella

We’re thrilled to announce yet another significant milestone in the history of the Ubuntu project. After having recently unveiled the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview, today we’re publishing the full source code and images for supported devices.

For developers and enthusiasts only

While a huge amount of Engineering and Design work has been put into ensuring that the foundations for our user experience vision are in place, we want to stress that the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview is currently work in progress. We are releasing the full code at this point to align to our philosophy of transparency and open source development.

We recommend to install the Touch Developer Preview only if you are a developer or enthusiast who wants to test or contribute to the platform. It is not intended to replace production devices or the tablet or handset you use every day.

Flash your device

All that said, let’s get on to how to install Touch Developer Preview from a public image on your device.

What to expect after flashing

Not all functionality from a production device is yet available on the Touch Preview. The list of functions you can expect after installing the preview on your handset or tablet are as follows. For detailed information check the release notes.

  • Shell and core applications
  • Connection to the GSM network (on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4)
  • Phone calls and SMS (on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4)
  • Networking via Wifi
  • Functional camera (front and back)
  • Device connectivity through the Android Developer Bridge tool (adb)

Supported devices

The images we are making available today support the following devices:

  • Galaxy Nexus
  • Nexus 4
  • Nexus 7
  • Nexus 10

I’m all set, show me how to flash!

You will find the detailed instructions to flash on the Ubuntu wiki.

Install the Touch Developer Preview >

Contributing and the road ahead

These are exciting times for Ubuntu. We’re building the technology of the future, this time aiming at a whole new level of massive adoption. The Touch Developer Preview means the first fully open source mobile OS developed also in the open. True to our principles this milestone also enables our community of developers to contribute and be a key part of this exciting journey.

In terms of the next steps, today we’re making the preview images available for the Ubuntu 12.10 stable release. In the next few days we’re going to switch to Raring Ringtail, our development release, which is where development will happen on the road to our convergence story.

You’ll find the full details of how the infrastructure and the code are being published and used on the Ubuntu wiki.

Contribute to the Touch Developer Preview >

Presenting the Ubuntu SDK Alpha

But there’s more! To further celebrate the Touch Preview, we’re very proud to bring some exciting news that app developers will surely enjoy: the Ubuntu SDK Alpha release.

In fact, development of the SDK still keeps happening in the open and on a rolling release basis. But coinciding with the Touch Developer Preview, we thought that the latest release came with so much goodness, that we decided to label it in celebration.

Feature highlight: remote app deployment

Perhaps the coolest feature ever since the SDK was released: you can now deploy and execute the apps you create straight from the IDE.

Applications developed with Qt Creator can now be seamlessly and securely transferred and executed to a device just moving two fingers. Remember this shortcut: Ctrl+F12.

Inline with how easy and lightweight the process of creating a phone app is, a lot of work has been put into ensuring all complexity is hidden from the developer, yet it works solidly. Behind the scenes, SSH key pairing with the remote device works on-the-fly.

Here’s the lowdown:

  1. Plug in your mobile device running Ubuntu on the USB port of your computer
  2. Make sure your device is also connected to a wireless network (SSH key pairing happens over the air)
  3. Start Qt Creator from the Dash, and select the new Devices tab
  4. Press the Enable button to activate Developer Mode
  5. Once the device is connected, you can develop your QML projects as usual (check out the new project wizard as well) and press Ctrl+F12 to install and execute your app on the remote device

Tooling updates

With Qt Creator at its heart, the set of tools app developers use on an everyday basis to author their software, have seen major improvements:

  • Qt Creator has been updated to the bleeding edge version: 2.7. We expect this version to continue maturing together with the platform and the SDK.
  • Ubuntu application templates and wizard are now available to easily start creating apps that run on the phone and tablets.
  • The visual user interface designer in Qt Creator now works with QtQuick 2, the framework upon the Ubuntu SDK is based.

User Interface Toolkit updates

The UI Toolkit is the part of the SDK that provides the graphical components (such as buttons, text entries, and others) as building blocks that enable the basic user interaction with the underlying system. A new component, polishing and bug fixing have set the theme for this release:

Install the Ubuntu SDK Alpha

By now we’re pretty certain you’re looking forward to installing and putting all of that development goodness to the test.

That’s an easy one, if you haven’t yet install the Ubuntu SDK.

If you already installed the SDK, just run Update Manager from the Dash and update the Ubuntu SDK package as prompted. Or alternatively, if you prefer the command line, just fire up a terminal and run ‘sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ubuntu-sdk’.

And that’s pretty much it! Be sure to check out the release notes for any additional technical details too.

Let us know what you think

We’d be delighted to hear what you think and get your feedback on how you are using the SDK and ways in which it could be improved. So do get in touch with us or report a bug if you find any issues.

Time to start developing beautiful apps now!

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David Planella

We’re thrilled to announce one of the most expected resources for Ubuntu app developers: the App Design Guides.

The App Design Guides site is the first installment of a live resource that will organically grow to provide guidance and enable app developers to build stunning, consistent and usable applications on a diversity of Ubuntu devices.

Together with the Ubuntu SDK preview, the App Design Guides complete yet another chapter in the Ubuntu app developer story. Developers have now the tools to create beautiful software, along with all the information related to UX, behaviour, patterns and visual design to ensure their apps provide a solid, clean and enjoyable user experience.

And consistent with the Ubuntu philosophy and our beliefs, all of these tools and guides are available to everyone as open source and for free.

Show me the Ubuntu App Design Guides! ›

Updating the core app designs for Ubuntu App Guides compliance

We have recently kicked off a community-driven process to design and implement a set of 12 core apps for Ubuntu running on phones. The first stage of the project consisted in asking community members to participate in the submission of designs to be used as input and food for thought for the core app developers.

The response so far has been overwelming:  over 50 community designers signed up for this initiative, submitting nearly 90 mockups on the Ubuntu MyBalsamiq site we set up for this project.

Following the App Design Guides go-live, it is now a great opportunity to ensure those designs follow the guidelines for a consistent app experience on Ubuntu. Therefore, we’d like to ask everyone who submitted a design to review them and update them to make sure they are inline with the App Design Guides.

Reminder: if you want to collaborate in this design project, just drop an e-mail to David Planella <david(dot)planella(at)canonical(dot)com> and Michael Hall <michael(dot)hall(at)canonical(dot)com>.

Open design and collaboration

Continuing with the trend of open and collaborative design, we want to hear from you!

The Guides are a resource that will grow together with the needs of app developers, so we’ll greatly appreciate your feedback on the Ubuntu Phone mailing list (remember to prepend the subject with [Design]) and if you’ve got any questions about them, just ask on Ask Ubuntu.

Stay tuned for updates and for some visual designs for core apps from the Canonical Design team coming soon!

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David Planella

Another month and another fresh ranking for you. Into the new year and time for recap of the top 10 list of apps downloaded from the Ubuntu Software Centre last month!

Top 10 commercial apps

1 > TRAUMA

TRAUMA is a game that tells a story of a young woman who survives a car accident. Recovering at the hospital, she has dreams that shed light on different aspects of her identity – such as the way she deals with the loss of her parents. TRAUMA lets you experience those dreams in an interactive way, reminiscent of Point-and-Click Adventure Games.

2 > Fluendo DVD Player

Fluendo DVD Player is a software application specially designed to reproduce DVD on Linux/Unix platforms, which provides end users with high quality standards.

3 > Braid

Braid is a platform game in painterly style where you manipulate the flow of time to solve puzzles. Every puzzle in Braid is unique; there is no filler. Braid treats your time and attention as precious, and it does everything it can to give you a mind-expanding experience.

4 > Oil Rush (pre-order, beta access)

Oil Rush is a real-time naval strategy game based on group control. It combines the strategic challenge of a classical RTS with the sheer fun of Tower Defence. Fight the naval war between furious armies across the boundless waters of the post-apocalyptic world.

5 > Steel Storm: Burning Retribution

Steel Storm: Burning Retribution marks the return of top-down shooters with new twists. The game has score oriented competitive gameplay, and is designed for people who like fast paced action, hordes of smart enemies, destructible worlds and ground shaking explosions.

6 > World of Goo

Drag and drop living, squirming, talking globs of goo to build structures, bridges, cannonballs, zeppelins, and giant tongues. The millions of innocent goo balls that live in the beautiful World of Goo are curious to explore. But they don’t know that they are in a game, or that they are extremely delicious. The most addicting and awe-inspiring puzzle game will set you on an adventure that you’ll never forget!

7 > Monster RPG 2

Monster RPG 2 is a fantasy quest that spans continents and worlds and lets you take a simple villager and develop her into a hero with the power to save her world. The next instalment in the classic Monster RPG series, Monster RPG 2 is a turn-based role-playing game with great variety of plot twists, secrets, and scenery.

8 > The Clockwork Man: The Hidden World

Explore a Victorian era filled with wondrous contraptions and fascinating machinery. Embark on a steam-powered, rollercoaster journey through land, air, and water in this unique Hidden Object Adventure! Miranda and Sprocket are back! Join them in their new adventures and discover the Hidden World, a land lost in time and glimpsed through legends.

9 > Uplink

You play an Uplink Agent who makes a living by performing jobs for major corporations. Your tasks involve hacking into rival computer systems, stealing research data, sabotaging other companies, laundering money, erasing evidence, or framing innocent people. You use the money you earn to upgrade your computer systems, and to buy new software and tools. As your experience level increases you find more dangerous and profitable missions become available.

10 > Memory Owl

Memory Owl is a unique, dynamic game that uses physics engine and adds multiple hurdles and helpers to spice up the classic game of finding pairs of pictures. It’s suitable for all ages – even children as young as 4 years will find it amusing (especially on easy diffuculty setting). Find all pairs before they drawn in the rising water or are pushed out of screen by fish.

Top 10 free apps

1 > Ryzom

Ryzom, one of the best role playing Massively Multiplayer Online Game of the moment (MMORPG), is set more than 2000 years in the future, on a living, evolving world: beautiful Atys!

2 > Crossover Games

Play Windows games like World of Warcraft on Ubuntu! CrossOver Games (Ubuntu Edition) makes it possible to play Windows games such as World of Warcraft and many others. CrossOver Games is built on the latest versions of Wine, based on contributions from both CodeWeavers and the open-source Wine community. CrossOver Games aims to bring you the latest, greatest, bleeding edge improvements in Wine technology.

3 > Vendetta Online

Vendetta Online is a 3D space combat MMORPG. This MMO permits thousands of players to interact as the pilots of spaceships in a vast universe. Users may build their characters in any direction they desire, becoming rich captains of industry, military heroes, or outlaws.

4 > CrossOver Pro (Trial)

CrossOver Linux allows you to install many popular Windows productivity applications, plugins and games in Linux. You can think of it as an emulator, but it’s different, because there’s no Windows OS license required. Your applications integrate seamlessly with your GNOME or KDE environment. It’s like running Windows on your Linux machine, but without Windows.

5 > Full Circle Magazine

Full Circle is a free, independent, monthly magazine dedicated to the Ubuntu family of Linux operating systems. Each month, it contains helpful how-to articles and reader submitted stories. Full Circle also features a companion podcast, the Full Circle Podcast, which covers the magazine along with other news of interest.

6 > CrossOver Standard (Trial)

CrossOver Linux allows you to install many popular Windows productivity applications, plugins and games in Linux. You can think of it as an emulator, but it’s different, because there’s no Windows OS license required. Your applications integrate seamlessly with your GNOME or KDE environment. It’s like running Windows on your Linux machine, but without Windows.

7 > Wunderlist

Free cloud-sync task manager, helps sharing your To-Do lists with friends and colleagues. Manage your to-dos and synchronize them with your free Wunderlist account. View and modify your tasks on Windows, Mac, iPad, iPhone/iPod Touch, Android and the Web. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide use Wunderlist everyday. Wunderlist – your tasks anywhere, anytime.

8 > Tribal Trouble 2

Tribal Trouble 2 is a browser-based RTS game that takes place in the zany age of the Vikings. You are the Chief of a Viking tribe and are responsible for making a name for yourself by conquest and skill.

9 > Magic 8 Ball

Ask the Magic Eight Ball and get an answer to your question. If you’re looking for advice or fancy some fortune-telling, the ball will always listen to you and deliver, though it might not be what you expect!

10 > Clipardo (demo)

This program enables you to find clipart pictures by a hand-drawn sketch. It can be of service when looking for clipart for your presentations, mind maps, posters, charts, web-design, even programs.

Notes:

  • The lists of top 10 app downloads includes only those applications submitted through My Apps on the Ubuntu App Developer Site. For more information about of usage of other applications in the Ubuntu archive, check out the Ubuntu Popularity Contest statistics.
  • The top 10 free apps list contains gratis applications that are distributed under different types of licence, some of which might not be open source. For detailed licence information, please check each application’s description in the Ubuntu Software Centre.

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David Planella

Support for PayPal as an additional payment option has landed today in Ubuntu Pay, the service that handles electronic payment for commercial apps in the Ubuntu Software Centre.

This new feature will enable Ubuntu users to comfortably and safely buy commercial apps, ebooks and magazines from the Software Centre with their PayPal account. PayPal will be an additional payment option along with the already supported credit and debit card alternatives, “a frequently-requested option by users who don’t have credit/debit cards or who get charged conversion fees by their bank for non-local currency transactions“, adds Stuart Metcalfe, Canonical ISD manager.

All in all, a much welcomed feature that will contribute  reinforcing the virtuous circle of the Ubuntu apps ecosystem with an easier purchasing process, more profits for app authors and increased attractiveness of Ubuntu as a target platform for app developers.

Congratulations to the Canonical ISD team for this great addition to the Software Centre!

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