While Scopes will go a long way to bringing various types of content to your Ubuntu device, you will obviously still want apps to handle that content. As we mentioned earlier, the Core apps for Ubuntu Touch are being developed by the Community, but Canonical is also working to attract developers to bring more apps to the platform.
McGowan says that the platform has already been building steam in that regard, and has been bringing in developers who don’t normally develop for Ubuntu. There have already been a number of apps from developers who had been working on Android and MeeGo, and best of all the apps are mostly written in Ubuntu’s native Qt code rather than HTML5.
The tools are also on the way to really allow for the “write once, run everywhere” plan for apps. Because Ubuntu Touch is really the same OS as Ubuntu for desktops, the plan is to allow developers to write their apps once, and the app will be able to scale as needed between the different screens.
So, an app can be written with the phone layout and screen size in mind, and scale up to a 7” tablet. But, when it gets to a larger screen, the developer will be able to choose whether to have the app continue with the phone layout and be displayed in the Side Stage on a 10” tablet, take on a larger layout, or give the user the choice between the two.
App permissions and approval process
There is also work to be done to sort out nagging problems like app permissions, and the Software Centre approval process. Again, he makes it clear that the details are not yet set, but he gives some indication as to where the conversation is going, including the possibility of having permissions surface on a case-by-case basis for certain functions.
A lot of the work so far seems to be pointed at helping developers who want to bring Android apps over. McGowan is clear to say that Android apps will not be natively supported in Ubuntu Touch, but the links to Android are apparent because the early devices that support Ubuntu Touch are all Android hardware.