February 19, 2013
Ubuntu on The Tablet

tablet-hero.jpgUbuntu on tablets is the next big thing for Mark Shuttleworth’s company, and there’s a nice 6 minute video going through the UI.

I have three thougths:

  • If they can pull this off, if, I will be super impressed. The UI and touch interface, and the way that multitasking is done looks, to this iPhone fanboy, awesome. But that’s a big “if”.
  • I didn’t see a single hardware keyboard in there. Seems an odd thing to exclude. No conspiracy theory here, the video was mostly about the UI and multitasking, it just seemed an odd thing to not show in the video or on the webpage. Which leads me to…
  • The one time that “real” work was mentioned, they talked (pun intended) about using your voice for entry. The example they gave was using an image editor and entering the term ‘exposure’ in a HUD window, then selected the menu entry for adjusting exposure and moved a slider. This to me says a couple of things:
    • The HUD, which seems like a ridiculous concept to use on a desktop or laptop, may just have been a brilliant long-con to deal with porting desktop apps to tablets and phones without having to have the user poke at menu items.
    • Voice input as the only way to access menu items will be a horrible user interface. I assume that this is just part of their demo.
  • A lot of this was a slick demo (hell, not even a demo but a product marketing video), and things like “just sit back, point your remote at the tablet and use it as a TV” made me laugh, because the last time I tried to setup a remote with Linux it involved recompiling LIRC.

That all said, we’ll see what happens on 25-28 of February and Mobile World Congress and more when this is fully announced, and demoed. If it looks and works as slickly as they show though, I’ll buy an android tablet and use it (budget allowing).

Posted by Arcterex at February 19, 2013 09:54 AM