← Back to team overview

ubuntu-phone team mailing list archive

just give up?


Hi all,

Somehow at first I did not believe it when I read the news. Ubuntu is giving up on phones and convergence. To put this in the right context, I was one of the early Ubuntu Edge crowdfunding supporters. I currently own multiple Ubuntu touch devices and have actively been supporting bug tracking in the last years.

I still don't get it. They give up.

I am not sure if, as a project, you can expect full acceptance of end users if some key features that an average end user is totally entitled to expect are just not yet met. Probably most of you will be familiar with the "kano model". Various expected "must be" features (in kano terms) have been missing up to today.
Most notably:

* Bluetooth is not working correctly on any device I own. Headset, car-headset are not working. Though, most of the time a bluetooth keyboard does work. This is a no go. It is a base feature to have a working bluetooth. An normal end user will be severely dissatisfied it if doesn't. To make it even worth there is not even
a list of "supported devices".

* Screen cast is not working. This is one of the hour one promises. Convergence. What good is it to be able to start a convergent desktop application if I only have it on my 5 or even 10 inch screen? To make it worse it is a feature that expectation was raised on, but never fulfilled. A promise that is met is "attractive". (in kano terms) If it is not met, again it causes "severe dissatisfaction". To make this even worse, even the recommended MS miracast only times out. To be fair, though, I finally
managed to connect my M10 with hdmi cable.
Again, a list of "supported devices" or of combinations would have been helpful.

* Various apps just don't always work right. Video playback doesn't respect aspect ratio, Weather app opens dead links and Favorites don't let you choose the default dialing number - just to name a few. This was annoying. Though I could (temporarily as I thought) do with it. Some of these bugs are tracked, but the fix will now
never make it to the end user. Sad.

* One big miss is probably the absence of whatsapp. While this was not a big deal for me, it was for a lot of average end users. You (canonical) don't have much influence on this. Though I am convinced it would
have been supported if enough users had been using Ubuntu touch.

* A part that I really don't get is the Wayland vs Mir discussions. Mir only advances slowly and causes endless
controversial? Why not take the generally accepted Wayland then?

Now to the point that will earn me a lot of bad comments. I just think it is not the right decision to just give up when you did not really do your homework yet. I mean it does not make sense to focus on "attractive"
elements (in kano terms) when you do not meet basic "must be" features.
This said, unmet promises are a no go too.

In my opinion it is just the wrong reasons to quit development. The arguments used are all faulty.
Mistakes were made. But quitting is the wrong conclusion.

There is a community. There is interest even far beyond the actual community. The point is: when you don't meet "must be" standards and you don't meet (more or less explicitly made) promises,
you should not expect a too wide acceptance.
And quitting the project without having met either of them is just... poor.

This said, I should maybe mention that despite all this, my every day phone is still an Ubuntu Edition MX4 . I still think that scopes and the general UI ideas are great. Also I really like Unity. It is usable, it is stable and it is easy to get used to. All these are totally positive aspects we all should not forget about. All this to say the potential is there.

Back to current reality. What I still do not know is what the canonical decision means for security or other updates for Ubuntu touch devices. I will have to find out before I decide on how my mobile things will go on for me.

I am an hour 1 fan. But I am disappointed, because despite all the problems I have been believing in this project.
And now you just give up. Thats wrong. Don't.

They say hope dies last. Right now hope is not in very good shape, though.


Follow ups