I’ve been an Ubuntu fan since 2009 now. As soon as I met Ubuntu it was game over for all my desktops, laptops, netbooks, home media servers, etc. There was no competitor who could make a new or existing machine run so quickly and reliably, and without the pain of viruses and continual financial investments to keep it up to date. The most exciting thing was that no one owned me. When I heard that Ubuntu was moving to the phone, I purchased a Nexus 4 (N4) so that I could go along for the ride, as that was the first device for development.
I flashed it on, and took it for a ride. The first thing I noticed was how amazing the user interface was. It was as if (shocking as this may sound) someone had actually designed a phone with the user in mind. When I was forced to use a fruit-phone by the big fruit company for a job once, it was like driving a luxury sports car with one arm cut off and in a cement warehouse: high quality hardware, perhaps, but I’d rather have my freedom and functionality, thank you. The big US spy agency phone (google/android) not only spied on me, but also has a user interface experience that never quite made sense. It was (and still is) difficult to do some basic setting changes. I tried cyanogen mod as a bit of a ‘lesser-of-two-evils’ but it too had the same issues because ultimately it’s all built on the same shaky foundation.
Ubuntu, on the other hand, is built with freedom and people in mind. Randall Ross wrote a great post a while back about the pillars of Ubuntu (seven P’s). This article really helps us understand why Ubuntu is not just software. Randall has been preaching this message for years but only now it’s starting to really hit home with some people. People are starting to ‘get’ that they have been sold a bad deal for computers (Ubuntu has already taken over that show) but now also the computers we carry in our pockets.
As a business owner as well as sales person for our company, I will not deny that there were some bumpy roads in the beginning. I needed some basic things that a smart phone could offer which were a bit buggy when Ubuntu launched on the phone a few years back. I would flash back and forth between the bondage robot (android) and Ubuntu on my N4 while I tried to do my sales job. No battle is easy and it was never promised to be so. Some naysayers would laugh and say ‘why don’t you just wait until they have fixed it’? This would anger me because “relying on they” is what has caused the world to be enslaved by their technology. I knew that I could not wait for ‘they’ to fix things. I had to become part of the solution somehow. So I would stay up to date the best I could, periodically flash in and out and watch the growth. I would offer my feedback and needs to the developer groups and to my surprise, I found out that I wasn’t alone. Others were listening, fixing, building, changing, debating, enhancing and more. I realized one very exciting thing – I was and still am part of what is a major revolution in technology.
A revolution? Isn’t that word a bit strong?
No, it’s not. Do you remember just a few years ago when every phone in every pocket was either a Blackberry or a Nokia? It wasn’t that long ago. I believe it was around 2006, perhaps. Their day is over. A revolution occurred, albeit perhaps not one that has not helped the world. The employees at Blackberry and Nokia felt the revolution and when it came time to renew your nasty cell phone contract, you felt the revolution too.
But this revolution is different. This one comes without catches, snags or enslavement. This one allows you to finally have some control over your phone instead of it and ‘they’ having control over you. Now tell me that that is not a revolution? Unless your head is really deep in the fruit and robot sand, you will be nodding your head in agreement with me and looking painfully at the ‘nice phone’ you just bought.
And so we are at another turning point.
How do you know when it’s a turning point? For me it’s when the ‘thing’ moves from the underground to the masses. It’s the point when it starts to ‘peek out’ and when ‘regular people’ start to acknowledge that something is happening. For me, it’s when the mainstream media has *no choice* but to start covering it or be forced to lose respect.
I believe today is the day.
This article on a very mainstream technology website (you can tell it’s mainstream by the nasty ads for Microsoft, etc, that interrupt your reading) covered the revolution. This article explains how the excitement is now here. The author is unable to deny that something is going on. He is unable to restrain from wanting to be involved.
The timing on this article was also interesting for another reason. It perfectly confirmed advice I gave to a friend who is in the middle of launching a kind of ‘uber business’. He launched his business with the traditional iOS and Android ‘app’ approach. He wanted to show it to me and so he instructed me to ‘download the app’. After a short discussion, I explained to him that this business model may be outdated and on the way to extinction. I did not want to be forced to give a big bad company my information (including GPS location!) to explore my friends business on my phone. I explained politely that he was violating my privacy. By the end of the conversation, I believe that he took my advice to *strongly consider* moving his development to the Ubuntu platform – a place where he will be immediately received with a warm embrace, not to mention a place that is future proof.
Every business that uses technology (and I believe that is *every* business) needs to seriously consider where they will be in three years. The way of the fruit and the slave robot is now over. With the Meizu Pro 5, there is now a very exciting and viable option out of the box. There are no more excuses to not jump in with all support. Not only will you bring more freedom to your customers but you will also sleep better at night knowing that the future of your success is not in the hands of a few very powerful people.
Today is a new and very exciting day for the Ubuntu project.
Today I was reading a recent article on Forbes website by a supposed ‘contributor’ named Federico Guerrini. Forbes, as you may know, is a popular place for people to go to try to get ‘informed’. His article followed perfectly a kind of template that these ‘tech writers’ for popular media use when discussing Ubuntu.
The format, and you may have seen it before, looks like this:
- I love Ubuntu
- Ubuntu is great
- Here are my recent articles to prove that I can talk tech and have credentials
- Hardware, blah, blah, blah
- Comparison with other operating systems, blah, blah
- Other operating systems are ‘just a little better because they have more apps’
- Apps are oxygen to our lungs and the reason that I live
- <critical missing information about where the future is going
- <critical missing information about non-tech things that matter to our world>
Are you serious, Federico?
Do you not remember when computers first arrived? There were three ‘apps’ – a clock, a calculator and word processor. Oh, wait. No, there was also a game – Oregon Trail on a paper thin floppy disk thing – and it took 10 minutes to load… And people were excited because these computers had the potential to change the world.
I remember just a short time ago when the most amazing mobile operating system was Nokia and Blackberry and now they are nearly distant memories. And they all ‘had apps’.
Apps? Seriously, Federico?. We need to move on past the apps, buddy.
Apps are just the fruit of people’s time and effort and a bunch of lines of code. They are the result of people believing that the future of said operating system is strong enough and worthy enough or able to pay enough to compensate their time invested in writing the code. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.
So *the core issue is not the number of apps* but the faith of the people who write the apps and in what OS they believe in. And you have clearly demonstrated, Federico, that you speak ‘I love Ubuntu’ out of one side of your mouth but on the other side you say ‘Ubuntu isn’t as strong as the others’. These two messages cannot mix, but you try.
If Ubuntu was not in a fully functional, market-ready condition and still in the lab, I could more understand your position and your ‘warnings’ to stick to horrible operating systems, but, you are now out of line because Ubuntu is officially in the market – and really good, too, and standing up just fine against the big boys in terms of everything except number of apps.
Apps? Seriously? We need to move on past number of apps. Especially when half of the apps on these established operating systems, and the operating systems themselves, steal your privacy and hurt your family.
It’s not about whether what you write about is true or not, either. What you wrote about is true. It’s what you did *not* write about that matters. You did *not* write about how android and ios are really bad for you and your family and the world. You didn’t write about that in your article. You didn’t share the truth about how the privacy of the users of these systems are being raped and their information pillaged. You didn’t even touch on it. And that’s not very nice to people who don’t know, Federico. Especially when you do know. And if you say you love Ubuntu, you do know, Federico.
But what is most saddening, is that you didn’t write about the bright future of Ubuntu and where it’s going.
Ubuntu and convergence will merge all your devices into one. It will be the go-to operating system for the world and very soon, too. Major operating systems have even started to try to work Ubuntu into their operating systems (behind the scenes of course) because they know their funeral date is near. You also didn’t mention how Ubuntu is the *safest* operating system on the market. It is respectful of privacy and its users. It doesn’t do things to you without asking. You also didn’t mention that Ubuntu is community built and that the community will continue to shape the system (including the mobile) into something that the people actually want, not what a bunch of boardroom execs want to push out.
Ubuntu is the best thing to ever hit the world of computing, and if you say that you like/love Ubuntu, you need to share the truth when you write, not just pander to these well-funded corporations and media outlets.
I know you are scared to step out of the boat alone. I know it’s scary to come out against the masses, but I dare you, Federico, to use your God-given creativity and a little courage and write the truth in your next article and help change the world into a better place and inspire the world to help us get past the dysentery of Oregon Trail.
If you were following my other post this week, you’ll see that I’ve had to take a short trip away from ubuntu phone while a few kinks are ironed out. I had started down this journey thinking that I would just install Cyanogenmod and then download a few apps from google play and then kill the connection to the mothership.
Turns out it isn’t quite that easy. It’s rare that you will find a search online that doesn’t bring up good results but if you search the keywords in my post here you’ll find there is a dearth 🙁
Note a friend of mine pointed out that by being on the ‘non google android’ you are taking a second risk which is to be ‘less controlled’ which means slightly more vulnerable. Fair enough, but I’m going to take my risk because I want just Telegram installed. Let’s see if this works:
- download the ‘gapps’ thing from here: http://www.teamandroid.com/gapps/
- Navigate in terminal using cd command to where the downloaded gapps thing is.
- Side load it as is onto the device sd card in the same way you may have done it with my previous tutorial. My command in the terminal looked like this: adb push filename.zip /sdcard/ when it is complete you’ll see how much moved and how long it took (in terminal)
- boot into recovery mode. I assume you know how to do this if you have Cyanogen (it’s the volume power button combo)
- choose ‘install’ button
- choose the gapps thing
- slide the blue arrow thing to confirm rocking and rolling
- rock and roll
Your device should reboot and have a whole bunch of nasty google spyware installed that will make sure you are forever in chains.
Anyway, the play store is now there so go in, get what you need and then follow these steps to disconnect from the mothership.
- go to google play store.
- download the apps you need to survive and nothing more (play store may crash from time to time as it’s not supported)
- do nothing more because…
… It turns out that I have yet more learning. The real learning here is that I should have invested my time in bug-filing for ubuntu phone and we’d all be further ahead 🙁 But anyway, I learned that you can’t really ‘go in and go out’ with gapps. It kind of flashes itself on the phone so to get rid of it is to wipe your phone (it seems).
I think what I”m really looking for here is a cyanogen mod install with *just* telegram and a few others I want… for now I’m just going to leave it semi-vulnerable and plan another ubuntu exodus.
UPDATE: This tutorial below will flash you back under the nasty tracking eyes of Google/Alphabet. You will get the google play store and all the ‘fun’ but you will also get spied on and ultimately regret it. I have since updated my tutorial/solution to this:
There is no play store out of box but there are workarounds, etc, to hold you over for app-stuff.
First, I hope you never have to perform this tutorial. I would never do this if I wasn’t in such a time and money crunch. What I would do instead, is buy an ubuntu phone out of box. But my situation is that I have a Nexus 4 which wasn’t designed out of box for Ubuntu so there are some bugs which I cannot find time to work around (for now).
Anyway, my hope is that the bugs will be solved in the next couple of months and I’ll flash right back to Ubuntu or have enough dough to buy a new device with it pre-installed. It’s very important that I say this because I feel like a dirty dog for even writing this tutorial but I know that I’m not alone amongst those who may need to flash in and out while the kinks are worked out in ubuntu phone. My goal here, to be crystal clear, is to give busy or broke ubuntu fans and believers a chance to stay on the team by allowing them to ‘temporarily flash out and in’ rather than, say, flash out and stay out, or buy some horrid apple or android phone before an out-of-box ubuntu phone is available for purchase in their neighbourhood.
Here’s the time-saving set of steps for you:
Assumptions: your phone is sitting there at the fast boot bootloader screen thing with the green robot with the usb cable plugged in in the same way that it was when you flashed Ubuntu onto your phone.
- download the evil compressed file of nastiness here: https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images#instruction
- extract the stench in a safe file that will never defile the rest of your ubuntu machine
- navigate to it with the cd command (change directory command) contents should look like this:
4. type this, assuming you can see the ‘flash-all.sh’ there –> ./flash-all.sh
5. wait, cry, and think about the error of your ways and how you are putting yourself and others at risk. Also, make note in calender to flash back to Ubuntu. You’ll have a lot of time to do this because the flash seems to take extra long…
Normally in the past, it was very easy for me to flash from android to Ubuntu for phone. I just used the usual ubuntu tutorial and it worked.
Then, somewhere in the middle I switched to Cyanogen mod (android) as the ‘lesser of two evils’ while I was waiting for bluetooth to improve.
I heard today that everything is working so I went back to flash and boom. Snagged. It woudn’t recognize adb devices when I was in fastboot mode.
I searched and tried a hundred commands but the answer turned out easy. I just had to switch to recovery mode, not fastboot mode.
How you do that is on your green robot screen you just push the down arrow (volume) until the screen says ‘recovery mode’ at the top and then press the usual power button at the top right.
Then you go back and follow the install instructions from this command:
ubuntu-device-flash touch --channel=ubuntu-touch/stable/ubuntu
All good in the hood.
EDIT: All was NOT good in the hood. I got stuck in a perpetual Cyanogen Mod recovery mode loop. It turns out that nothing else worked for me. The ubuntu flash process from the above command worked. I could see all the images going to the device. But it would continually reboot back into CM.
The solution? Oddly, all I had to do was add back in the –bootstrap at the end of the command and everything worked instantly. So the command looked like this:
ubuntu-device-flash touch --channel=ubuntu-touch/stable/ubuntu
I suspect this is not ideal because the official tutorial shows clearly you should only need the bootstrap option at first install only but mine always needs it. If anyone knows what’s up it would be cool to know. Please comment! Otherwise, we’re back to Ubuntu – hopefully forever.
Update (150922): less than 24 hours after publishing this post was published confirming that the very next release of Firefox (version 41) will have the key missing ingredient of instant messanging (IM) or text chat built into the Firefox Hello! part of the browser. This is huge news and great news. Read on!
Skype Down. Good. ‘Bout time a Fire is Lit Under Our Butts
With Skype being down again and having foolishly made the mistake of relying on a product owned by Microsoft [palm smashes forehead] I decided to get busy and find a good solution to share with the world that is really an awesome alternative.
Firefox Hello! by the makers of the world famous Firefox browser and Thunderbird email client.
Download it Without Google Play
First of all, I had no idea that Hello! worked on an android device. It does. However, I’m not connected to anything Google (ie. Google play) so I needed to be able to download it on my isolated mobile. Good news. It worked although for some reason Firefox made it hard to find the link to do so (likely because they don’t want people having to manually update their browser on their phone). Anyway, point here is that if you are wise you should download and install your apps away from google to protect your information and private life. Here is the alternative .apk download link for the most recent Firefox browser for Android. Otherwise, you can easily and foolishly go and connect to google and get it through ‘play’ while they play with your privacy parts.
Once Firefox browser is installed on your mobile device (or on any device you plan to use) the process is easy. Just click the link that was sent to you (from a laptop/desktop for now) and make sure you open the link with Firefox (if you have another browser installed). It works. And it works pretty dang awesome, too!
How to start a conversation from Firefox Android
Honestly, I don’t know how to do this. There is probably a way but I can’t find anything built into the browser that makes this possible, or easy. So, for now, start the conversation on a regular desktop/laptop browser and send it to the mobile device.
There you go. You are now having a high quality video and audio chat with anyone on any kind of computer and you are doing so *much* more privately than via Skype.
Some challenges to be overcome
- there is currently no text chat feature (believe it or not) or file sharing, but I have seen online that it’s nearly ready. Hang in there. It’s worth the wait.
- It seems Firefox browser is not working on the ubuntu phone. Wait… maybe it is now (I’m out of the loop). Someone try this bad boy out and let me know if a video/audio Firefox Hello! chat works, please. I was guessing this didn’t develop as fast because Mozilla was trying to make their own mobile OS….
After a long, long, time, the solution to syncing my Owncloud calendar to Android was bloody easy. The reason why I couldn’t get it done is because it seems that google (no surprise) blocks these kind of tools from their app place. They like to have things like your daily schedule and whereabouts nicely available for exploiting.
If you don’t like that, until the Ubuntu phone calendar synch is up and running and a calendar is paramount, this solution worked awesome for me. If you don’t have an owncloud set up in your own house and the calendar set up, I have some post on this site about that but my friend reported that it’s overly and unecessarily complicated. Check it out and compare it against others and do your best.
The second assumption is that you can manually download and install a .apk file on your phone. I’m pretty sure that all android phones can do this if you go into the security settings and force it to allow non-play apps to install. I’m running Cyanogen mod on a rooted phone so it definitely works…
- owncloud + calendar is up and running (or some other network-sharable calendar)
- you can download/install .apk files on your android mobile
1. On your mobile, Go to this link https://f-droid.org/repository/browse/?fdid=org.gege.caldavsyncadapter
2.Make sure your mobile security settings are set to allow ‘install any .apk file’ or the next step might not work
3. Click and download the ‘download apk’ link which will start download.
4. Click the download complete notification and it should start install
5. in phone settings under ‘accounts’ click ‘add account’ and chose calDav Sync adapter
6. Enter your calendar credentials (ie. from owncloud) and make it do its thing
In my case I had to reboot my phone once to make it do a full and perfect sync but hopefully that won’t happen to you. It was some kind of ‘time out error’. After rebooting all was good.
This post is more for myself but if it works then I’ll leave it up for others.
Goal: To be able to put any .apk file on my Android phone without having to use a google account and use their servers
Problem summary: It seems as though Android doesn’t come with a .apk file installer, even though it is widely known that it’s possible.
Details of problem:
I want to be able to avoid needing Google to use my phone the way I want. I paid a lot of my hard earned money for it and I don’t want someone telling me how I’m going to use it. That’s why I bought Bondage Bot instead of the Fruit Company in the first place. It was the lesser of two evils, I heard. And Ubuntu Touch is not quite ready for this phone so triple lame.
My buddy told me about a .apk file that will allow me to download and install basically anything – both bad and good. So, I got the .apk file on my SD card in my phone but couldn’t figure out how to install it. It seems there is not an installer. Lame. During the research I also found out that it seems Bondage Bot also does not have a file browser in the OS so I can’t just search for the file and click on it.
Apparently if i download a .apk file from the internet it will prompt me to install it (as long as I’ve allowed my phone to do so). So, I’m going to
1. upload the .apk file browser to this blog post
*FAIL! .apk is apparently not allowed to be uploaded ‘for security reasons’. Sheesh.
*Now uploaded to another site: see below
2. Upload the .apk file that allows me to get files in the future and attach to this blog post
3. Make sure my settings of phone allow installing of third party apps
4. Download the file browser .apk file (#1) through my phone’s web browser which will hopefully prompt me to download then even more hopefully, install it
5. open file browser app and search/find the ‘fake market’ app and install it
6. put any .apk file on the SD card and be able to install it with the file browser I installed.
Wish me luck. If it worked, then I’ll leave post as is. If not, I’ll come back and do some edits.
FILE BROWSER –File removed as you can search it and install it once you get the file below installed–
-Update: Almost worked. but says ‘has a problem parsing the package’ for file browser.
HOWEVER! the second one worked and now I will try to get the astro browser through the fake market.
– Update: Amazing. it worked. I just searched ‘astro file manager’ in the Black mart app and now I’m downloading the file. Hopefully it will install from there but if not I guess I don’t really need it anyways since I can get stuff through this app.
I don’t usually get excited much these days because all advancements in smart phone technology seem to be coalescing to a very dangerous point – monopoly of your life and complete control over your privacy.
In Randall’s article he announced the first thing that excited me in this arena since Angry Birds – The Ubuntu Phone. He explains well about why it’s awesome. However, he only hints as to why it’s important but I wanted to make sure people started thinking about the ‘why’ right away.
No one can deny that there are currently really only two options out there for people who want to own a smart phone: Bondage Bot (Android) and Fruit Devices (Apple products).
Symbian (Nokia) seems dead. Rest in peace, by the way. You were the best before this U-Phone announcement.
Microsoft is laughable. Actually, it’s more like an uncomfortable laugh – like when you politely laugh at the socially-awkward person who inappropriately blurts something weird out as they try desperately to fit in to what’s happening.
Blackberry is App-less in Arizona (that looks like ‘appless’ without the dash which is weird, eh?).
I don’t think we need to worry too much about the latter three, but the former two do concern me.
The Fruit People from Cupertino seem to want to control their victims by telling them how they will or will not use the hardware (that they paid way too much for) and by making them think they are cool.
Team Bondage-Bot seem to make the most useful and addictive tools for our daily lives while subtly buying every small company under the sun and gathering every last piece of information about you and storing it on their servers.
Both options are freaky and I no rike it.
So, a big thank you to all the people out there in Ubuntu-Land who have given me something to be excited about again – a smart phone that leaves me with the freedom we deserve. This is Ubuntu Gangnam Style