Canonical to 'dogfood' Ubuntu smartphones before end of May

Canonical to 'dogfood' Ubuntu smartphones before end of May

Summary: The team working on Ubuntu's Touch smartphone OS plans to start using it as an everyday phone before the end of the month.


Canonical, maker of the open source Ubuntu operating system, is planning to test out living day-to-day with smartphones using its Ubuntu Touch OS before next month.

Rick Spencer, vice president of Ubuntu Engineering, wrote in a blogpost on Wednesday that he aimed to get the Ubuntu OS image into a usable state so it could be used as the Canonical team members' main smartphone before the end of May.



"We should drive as hard as we can to making it so that we can use our phones with Ubuntu Touch as our real daily phones as soon as possible. Really eat our own dogfood, so to speak," Spencer wrote on his blog on Wednesday. "So, we committed our teams to making it so that by end of May, the phone images will be usable as our daily phones."

But it won't quite be a smartphone as you know it, at least not just yet.

Spencer and his team define "usable as our daily phones" to include functionality such as sending and receiving calls and texts, browsing on 3G or wi-fi connections (and switching between them), the ability to import, add and edit contacts, and the proximity sensor functioning to dim the screen when you lift the phone to talk. He also wants the phone to retain user data when updating the OS.

There are some things, however, that Spencer can't envisage happening in the same time frame — such as the ability to find and install new apps or features missing from existing apps — but added that it would likely help speed up the development of the platform as "progress accelerates when people are using, in addition to building, software".

Canonical first showed off its smartphone and tablet plans at the beginning of the year, but the company has yet to announce any hardware partners for its tablet, smartphone, or TV projects.

At the time it said the first Ubuntu Touch based smartphones would go on sale around January 2014, with tablets to follow around April.

Topics: Software Development, Mobile OS, Open Source, Ubuntu

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Really eat their own dogfood, so to speak

    If they are going to be using Ubuntu Touch as their daily driver, it gives me hope that we will see a lot of improvements quickly. I am considering trading my fiancee for her Nexus so that way I could try this and add to the development. I believe that the Ubuntu phone will add to mobile in a way that we could see others adopting. Especially if they keep and develop on the ability to use the phone as a tablet or desktop/laptop PC.
  • one more nail in apple's coffin

    the FOSS will kill the iCrap same as android killed M$ phones.
    LlNUX Geek
    • android killed MS phones?

      I didn't realize MS phones were alive to begin with
      • I didn't know that Androids really existed.

        so its possible that MS phones are really organic devices.
      • Android

        died a long time ago, its all about Samsung now. No one gives a flying **** about Android
  • you call this news??!!

    --But it won't quite be a smartphone as you know it, at least not just yet.--

    Who would have guessed?

    -- Really eat our own dogfood,--. And that's exactly what your turning out.

    This whole piece smells just like shuttleworth wrote it and told spencer to get in front of the press and read it., i dont blame him, I' d be ashamed too to spout crap like this one more time

    And; by the way; where is bozobacon when hes really neededto whip up the troups.
  • Good to see that Canonical is moving Touch

    forward. I hope it will be developed enough this Fall to start using it myself as a primary smart phone and maybe a tablet.
  • Canonical to 'dogfood' Ubuntu smartphones before end of May

    If they do this they will never release another version of linux considering how many problems it has. I'd be curious to see their report on how long it takes to compile the kernel on the mobile device.
    • OK...thank you - we get compiling thing

      ad nauseam by now. Now if my windows box would stop blue screening several times a day... That reminds me-this link exemplifies why places like the ISS are ditching windows, as it can't be trusted for stability.
      • What did that have to do with the story?

        And why is it important to you what is used on the space station? Are you planning on doing some work in the space station sometime soon? I didn't know that astronauts posted on this website but if you are really one you would known that the ISS's computers have always run on a custom written operating system.
        • Shoots self in foot, feels nothing

          "I didn't know that astronauts posted on this website but if you are really one you would known that the ISS's computers have always run on a custom written operating system."

          "if you are one you would know ......" Since you claim to know, are you one?

          Why on earth (?) would the ISS use a custom OS with all the costs and problems that brings? There are several mature OSs to chose from, Windows not being a particularly good alternative.

          You are full of sh!t and too stupid to know it.
          • Unlike you who

            Only post highly intelligent well manned posts!

            Hope you recognise sarcasm!
      • You have to forgive LD

        All he knows about computers is a few buzz words he has read.
      • He is just fishing!

        Why bite?