So why annoy the PC users with the sidebar, when it's not even that good of a UI for tablets? They're much better off designing a tablet-first UI for tablets, if they want to get into that, and stick with designing a well optimized PC UI for PC's.
I've never been a believer of one UI for all form factors and sizes, because you usually end up with the UI being optimized just for one form factor and size, and mediocre or downright terrible for others. You need to optimize the UI for its own form factor and size. It's the only way to make it work well.
The best way to use the sidebar is to put your most commonly used program at the top and then launch them with Logo+<Number>.
If you spend some time setting up your shortcut keys you can actually use much of your system mouse free.
So I'm not really sure that it is targeted towards tablets. It could however be adapted to be tablet friendly a lot more easily than the MS Windows interface or older Window managers could be.
So rather than having this jarring difference between Metro and Desktop like you do in Windows 8 they could have a much more subtle transition of the same interface depending on whether a mouse/keyboard was plugged in or not.
Additionally, it is hard to remember which number activates which program in the side-bar, and unfortunately it waits a long time before showing the numbers when pressing Winkey.
The old shortcuts to maximize/minimize windows (Alt-F10, Alt-F9) were replaced with more clunky shortcuts (Ctrl+Alt+5, Ctrl+Alt+0).
All in all, Unity was a pretty big regression over Gnome 2, when it comes to keyboard operability.
My Unity task bar auto-hides, and with maximised windows losing their title bars and menus (until I disabled that feature as I like focus-follows-mouse) living in the panel, full-screen applications take up pretty much the whole screen.
Then they introduced this new find-something-thing that sends everything you type to their servers. A privacy nightmare. And a usability nightmare. Thats just the wrong philosophy. So I also dont want them on my tablets.
Its surprising, how quick things can change. I was a huge Ubuntu supporter from 2005 to 2012. And now I warn people to not use it.
Wow, this is sad. Especially since it is so easy to install a different window manager on ubuntu.
sudo aptitude install xubuntu-desktop
sudo aptitude install gnome-session-fallback
This is one of the big advantages of Linux.
The top bar is only important for its notification icons - the global menu is slowly going to fade out, replaced by in-app icons (see for example google chrome).
I agree with you that one UI for all form factors and sizes is probably a bad idea, but I think I see where they are going for tablets. I pretty much hate Unity for the desktop, but I think for tablets it will make sense.
Then I checked the specifications of the tablet: headphone socket, built in microphone, and so I could get puredata running on it with (perhaps) jack audio.
That would open up the prospect of sound generation by touch. Puredata allows you to make your own interfaces so large buttons to hit.
I could almost justify a ton and a half in UK money for that alone.
What I'm saying here is that a cheap touch tablet is not for me a general purpose device, but could fulfill a specific purpose.
Super + position of sidebar icon:
Super + W:
layout all applications in workspace
Super + S:
layout all workspaces
Unity is still quirky but the productivity I gain from the shortcuts is worth it.
I agree it Ubuntu isn't very good on tablets. But the sidebar works OK on PC, like it does on Macs.
did they say that? People said that when ubuntu released unity, mostly critics, but i don't remember any official statement saying that unity was designed as a touch-friendly interface. Bigger targets are better for mouse users as well.
"I think it’s time to look at the core of Ubuntu and review it through a mobile lens: let’s measure our core platform by mobile metrics, things like battery life, number of running processes, memory footprint, and polish the rough edges that we find when we do that."
Don't expect the Unity UI experience to be optimized for this device in the 13.04 time frame. That's not the goal.
Not speaking officially here, just trying to help people connect the dots of what Canonical have publicly revealed thus far.
...I know this is a niche area but the application of cheap touch tablets to sound synthesis software could open up a huge realm of activity.
Then there is the use of a stylus for accurate work...
Unfortunately (and, conversely, fortunately for Ubuntu) Android audio on tablets sucks. Especially when we talk low latency audio. It is bad, in the 100s of milliseconds of latency, which is laughable really for anyone who tries to do audio synthesis or any realtime audio features. So frankly, just bringing ALSA or PulseAudio to the table will hugely improve the situation.
Google is aware of the issue (http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=3434) it was starred about 2000 times with 400+ comments. Again, this is a niche area for some and most don't care, but those who do would love have an alternative to iPad for example, when it comes to audio latency performance.
As input appears to be limited to on board microphone in the particular tablet we are discussing, it is unlikely that real time processing will be a major use unless the micro-usb socket can be used with an audio interface.
I certainly would drop £160 or so to try synthesis if pd/jack/effects-loops are available. Just a single cable out, not too restrictive, perhaps even streamed audio over wifi.
puredata allows you to set up your own controls for a sound synthesis program - and you can have chunky buttons and big sliders for touch I'm hoping.
It could if using USB audio input and output. The DAC in the Nexus 7 is not very good. Also, as you pointed out, Nexus 7 doesn't have headset jack, just a headphone jack. So that's lacking. However, there are some compiled kernels that added USB audio out support (but then simultaneously charging the device doesn't work, sigh...).
> puredata allows you to set up your own controls for a sound synthesis program - and you can have chunky buttons and big sliders for touch I'm hoping.
Have you heard of http://libpd.cc/ ?
I was aware of android and iPad builds of pd, but this looks more comprehensive although it would mean rather more 'proper' coding than I'm used to. I'd rather see how Ubuntu on tablets goes over the next cycle or so.
Again, quoting Mark: "We have two short cycles before we’re into the LTS, and by then we want to have the phone, tablet and TV all lined up."
[speaking individually, not representing Canonical]
Are you able to say anything about Ubuntu for Android? It's been pretty quiet ever since it got announced, though there was a video in August showing it off.
Sorry for the platitudes; I'm not authorized to speak on behalf of anyone other than myself.
Ubuntu for Android is positioned as a fully functional desktop on your phone. I'll leave it up to you to connect the rest of the dots.
For some more details, my blog:
[speaking individually, not for Canonical]
And is Ubuntu now going into touch devices? Honest question: How is this different than throwing Windows onto something like this?
Oh, and honest answer: It's a full-suited desktop OS, so you're right - it's not different than throwing Windows on it (aside from the obvious differences in the Windows/Linux software architecture and distribution models). You still get all the benefits of a full desktop OS :)
> You still get all the benefits of a full desktop OS
like hunt-and-pecking in the smallish menus on a 7" screen? this is just ridiculous, and (given their UI plans) way too early to be useful.
Even with TouchWiz, the Tab 7.0 feels more like what we were used to than the N7.
I'm just stating facts though because I actually like the changes made for the N7 better, I think it fits a 7" screen more than the old tablet UI and I hope those changes will be copied by the others.
Uh, what? This is a Google/ASUS device, you won't find any of that stuff here. I'm pretty sure the Nexus 7 is as close to AOSP as you can get...
I do. "operating system" is a very ambiguous term. Depending on who you ask, Linux, GNU, Gnome and Ubuntu are all called an "operating systems".
Android is not a operating system in the sense the term is used for Windows 7 or iOS. The comparable OS to those systems is what Samsung, HTC, Google etc. ship with their devices. Different operating systems based on a common platform.
Ubuntu will be a better bet for people who want to run desktop type applications on their tablet. Quite how popular a use case that really is remains to be seen.
That said, if you want to run desktop-style applications, you're far better off just buying one.
You would basically be getting WinRT "homebrew" like you do with some consoles, a cool hack but probably miserable for getting work done.
OTOH an ARM based ubuntu might be a usable dev system.
Given the possible pricing of Surface devices, it would be interesting to see WinRT on the Nexus 7. But I doubt Microsoft would let it last.
ARM based Linux ultrabook-alike on a high powered chip for $250? Now that would get me using Ubuntu again.
I've been wanting a lightweight notebook and a tablet computer for a while now and I'm on a limited budget. This could do that perfectly.
using the readability bookmarklet or simply add noscript to your Firefox instance.
PS: I know what you mean.