Ubuntu for Android demoed on a Nexus 4, shows the need for the Ubuntu Edge

Ubuntu for Android demoed on a Nexus 4, shows the need for the Ubuntu Edge
With all the news about the Ubuntu Edge and Canonical's plans for Ubuntu Touch to be the future of convergent computing, you may have forgotten that Canonical is still working on Ubuntu for Android. Ubuntu for Android is essentially the same idea as Ubuntu Touch, where you get a full Ubuntu desktop environment when you dock a mobile device, but with the difference that the handset runs Android, not Ubuntu Touch.

Canonical engineer Victor Palau is showing off Ubuntu for Android running through a Nexus 4, which is hooked up to an external monitor via a Slimport HDMI cable. As you can see in the video, it does give access to full Ubuntu, complete with workspaces, and the Ubuntu Software Centre. But, as you can also see, the Nexus 4 struggles with the system. Windows stutter when moving, and overall performance is slow. 

This could very well be partially due to the system not being optimized properly for the hardware in a Nexus 4, but part of it could simply be that the Nexus 4 isn't powerful enough. The Ubuntu Edge is planned to have the "fastest available" processor and "at least 4GB of RAM", while the Nexus 4 has a year old Snapdragon S4 Pro and just 2GB of RAM. Now we can see that "convergence hump" that Mark Shuttleworth talked about yesterday.

source: OMG!Ubuntu!



13. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Edge should have a baytrail quad core processor. Just saying.

12. Edmund

Posts: 656; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

how did this become a discussion about processors?? Intel's next generation of microprocessors will do the same thing that nVidia did to ATi - render it insignificant. Even the Tegra 4 is superior to anything from qualcomm

3. nlbates66

Posts: 328; Member since: Aug 15, 2012

if they plan to put an ARM processor into the edge and not an x86 i'll not consider it interesting.

11. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

By best multicore cpu I am pretty sure a majority of us have assumed it will be a top of the shelf intel.

2. jove39

Posts: 2153; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Appreciate the idea...but transitions on screen appeared to be very slow...may be some more optimization is required...adreno 320 can handle that much :)

1. jckceric

Posts: 11; Member since: Apr 02, 2013

I wouldn't say the nexus 4's snapdragon s4 pro is a year old.

4. bigstrudel

Posts: 621; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

People knock the S4 Pro but It's practically the same exact processor that's in everyone's HTC One and Galaxy S4.

6. alltechinside

Posts: 248; Member since: Apr 21, 2013

10. Shatter

Posts: 2036; Member since: May 29, 2013

The snapdragon 600 is a glorified snapdragon s4 pro.

5. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

8 months to be exact, though the Nexus 4's S4 Pro wasn't the top of the line when it was released either.

8. bigstrudel

Posts: 621; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Really the S4 pro was the best processor on the market at the time. It's only competitor was the 1.6 ghz Exynos Quad in the Note 2 which it mostly equalled in CPU tests but destroyed in all graphics testing. The Nexus 4 lagged behind other S4 pro devices and only because it couldn't manage heat as well as it should've.

9. ahhxd717

Posts: 332; Member since: Dec 08, 2011

What was the top of the line SoC at the time?

7. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2573; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

We have to remember that Ubuntu for Android is still in its beta form. So, there is a lot of optimization that is left to be done. I mean if you look at any videos for Tizen that have been done in the past month you will see that there is still lag, and Tizen is supposed to be released in just a few months. Also, we have to remember that this phone is trying to run a full desktop OS while also being the input for that OS. So, I would say I'm impressed it ran as smoothly as it did considering what I just said.

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