ubuntu-phone team mailing list archive
Mailing list archive
Re: Shashlik running Android apps on Linux
I know how irritating a bunch of "me-too" replies and rants are. But in
this case we're talking about the one reason Ubuntu phones don't work
and can't work. A crowd of people yelling might actually achieve something.
I also carry two phones, a very nice MX4 and a very beaten-up iPhone 4.
I absolutely do not have the option of leaving my desk without the iPhone.
Two apps I can't live without: WeChat and Alipay. And I'm not unique:
those two apps are just as essential to practically everyone in China.
China being a fifth of the human race, so possibly meriting some
strategic consideration*. Tencent and Alibaba own the internet here.
They do not care about you or your little operating system. All they
care about is beating each other to death using tactics so blatantly
unfair and illegal they make 90s Microsoft look like Harper Lee. The
general population is precisely as concerned about "software freedom" as
you would expect from people living with a corrupt communist
dictatorship. So if I'm waiting for WeChat and Alipay to return power
to ordinary people with open APIs and software choice, I'm going to have
to be pretty bloody patient.
(There is talk of WeChat coming soon to Ubuntu, in partnership with
China Mobile. This is a glimmer of hope. But if it's as crippled as
their desktop app or, heaven forbid, their website, it isn't going to
move the needle. The very best I can hope for is something
Skype-on-Linux-esque. Too little too late.)
I suffered for decades with a Linux desktop, and I could cope with
that. A desktop is primarily a content-creation device - and when
you're done, you might like to tell people about it in an email. If
you're collaborating there are significant network effects, but there
are ways around that.
A phone is a communications device. It's ALL network effect. There is
no point having a phone in your pocket unless you can talk to your
friends with it. So there is absolutely no point developing a phone
operating system when you know full well that it won't plug into the
communications networks people actually use. There are open messaging
platforms, but guys, the war is over. We lost. Get over it.
And meanwhile my elevator is suddenly plastered with posters for Apple
Pay. Payment processing is another natural fit for monopoly and
cartelisation (EMV, Swift, PayPal). Only play that game if you're
playing to win. Alipay has already won in China. And people are
surprisingly unwilling to accept "I left my other phone at home" as an
excuse for not paying them. Android can be a player in the mobile
payments market. Ubuntu isn't even in the fight.
As for "defeat[ing] the security work that has been put into Ubuntu",
yes please! It's a constant frustration that I'm not allowed to access
MY content on MY phone. That's precisely what I hate about my iPhone,
but my iPhone is a lot more generous than my MX4. If it's a choice
between security and being able to use the damn thing, I'll just be
careful to not install any malware thanks.
The lesson I learned from my beloved Nokia N900 is that, in a pinch,
having to do something in a clunky, inconvenient way is infinitely
better than not being able to do it at all. That phone could run
Gnumeric! Not "gnumeric reader", the whole package! Ever tried running
desktop spreadsheet software on a four-inch screen? You don't do that
for fun, you do it because the sky will fall if you don't. So you put
Android in a sandbox and if you want to send a photo over WeChat you
have to manually copy the photo into the sandbox first. Inconvenient.
But right now when I see something amazing I don't photograph it with my
very nice MX4, I reach for my god-awful iPhone 4, because what's the
point if I can't send it to anyone?
Android on Ubuntu is an opportunity. How jealous the Wine developers
must be! Can you imagine how much easier that would have been with an
open-source reference implementation to work from? .apk is the best
plausible de-facto standard for mobile apps. Come up with your own
ideas, sure, but not at the expense of compatibility with the rest of
I'm very excited about the potential for Ubuntu on IoT. Can't wait to
get my hands on an Artik 5. Every elevator here includes (often
multiple!) advertising screens with a cracked piezo speaker turned up to
11. They tend to run Android, but I'm very optimistic that in the
future it'll be Ubuntu's security model making me want to smash my
brains out against the wall by around the tenth floor. Ubuntu on my
phone though? No, can't see it. Not unless Android apps work.
For now... seriously, can anyone point me to reliable instructions for
how to reflash my phone with Flyme? It's actually kinda hard to google
* No-one's going to use Ubuntu Touch in China until something's done
about the unfit-for-purpose pinyin keyboard. But unlike Android apps,
this is not something Ubuntu is actively opposed to.
On 2016-02-23 07:34, mtx_lives@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
I realise it's a contentious question and the previous emails have
covered the argument for and against. Here's my two cents, whilst I
use my Nexus 4 running UT as my daily device, I keep having to check
whatsapp on an alternative device. Having signed up for it on that
device ppl don't seem to understand that I won't necessarily get a msg
from them now(and clearly don't understand the arrow notification) I
appreciate that is not a failing of UT and I agree that native app is
preferable and I'd rather use Telegram but whatsapp is the one
everyone seems to be using,