Showing posts from February, 2012

After second thought, this is why Ubuntu for Android will fail

I was initially quite excited to hear about Ubuntu for Android. At first glance it seemed to be the perfect meld of mobile and desktop. At least until it became clear that a) Ubuntu for Android was only available to manufactures and b) the desktop was only available when the phone was docked.

Both are quite reasonable decisions by Canonical.

At the end of the day, hobbyists were not going to make Ubuntu for Android a profitable product, so making it available to the general public was not going to be a high priority. Real dollars could only be made from the support contracts entered into by corporations looking to streamline their disparate mobile and desktop infrastructure.

And traditional desktop apps have only ever sucked on touch based devices, let alone something as small as a  phone screen. Accessing the Ubuntu desktop from the phone was going to ensure that Ubuntu for Android was a frustrating experience.

Unfortunately, both decisions have also doomed the project to failure.


Did my Android tablet just become useful?

Ubuntu for Android has just been announced by Canonical, and if it is done right, it has the potential to revolutionise the mobile computing landscape.

If you have read my previous blog posts, you will know that I have no love for the tablet form factor.  Tablets provide a slightly better way to use your phone apps in a form factor that is significantly less convenient than a phone.

I've also dabbled with webtop, which tried to provide a desktop like experience with a phone, but doesn't quite get there.

But Ubuntu for Android could provide the solution that I (and I imagine many others) have been looking for.

The truth is that the argument between Android, iOS, Windows and whatever "we don't provide a way to read emails" (ok, they do now, but you get my point) rubbish OS that Blackberry puts out almost always comes down to apps.

The ability to touch, swipe and pinch is no longer a selling point. Your basic apps like email, calendar, maps and social networks are a…

Rooting your Xoom with Ice Cream Sandwitch (ICS)

These steps will wipe all your data, and possibly destroy your tablet, so proceed with caution. Install the Android SDK tools from your Xoom, and press the volume down button repeatedly until you get a menu pop up in the top left hand corner.Press the volume down button to select Fastboot,and press the volume up button to load it. You should get a message saying Starting Fastboot protocol support.Open up the Command Prompt, and go to C:\Program Files\Android\android-sdk\platform-toolsEnter the command fastboot oem unlockFollow the prompts on your Xoom screen to unlock the device. This will take a minute or two, and the Xoom will then reboot.Press the volume down button repeatedly again, and load the Fastboot option again.Download the ClockworkMod Recovery image from, and rename it to recovery.imgGo back to your Command Prompt (still in the  C:\Program Files\And…