Vlad Filippov

Vlad Filippov

software engineer / web dev / open source hacker

Ubuntu Touch Preview


Ubuntu Touch Preview was released today and is available to be installed on selected Google Nexus devices. The installation instructions are available for Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 devices. I’ve installed the preview build on my Galaxy Nexus. So far, the WiFi works perfectly on the device and so does the camera. However, it seems like it’s impossible to get into settings of the phone, so you won’t be able to change the time or adjust any settings. The Preview also uses an iOS 5 user agent string, probably to be more compatible with mobile apps.

Here’s a couple of photos from the preview build running on a Galaxy Nexus:

App launcher lists “Frequently Used”, “Installed”, “Available” apps.

The lockscreen is currently hardcoded to show “14 Tweets”

The notification area is split into different sections. This is showing “Messages”, also a hardcoded placeholder.

A “Settings” overlay on top of the placeholder Music app. This includes app actions and recent apps.

The weather is just a large placeholder image, but looks great though. Reminds me of the HTC weather widgets on Android.

After you launch a couple of apps, they will show up under “Running Apps” in the App launcher section.

This is the camera app, seems to work perfectly on the Galaxy Nexus.

Here’s a screenshot of the user agent string. Also, the OS already has copy-paste support, it is a little buggy, but a very great start.


Quick Install

If you don’t want to follow the guide to install the preview, then just follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your device is unlocked and has debug mode enabled.
  2. sudo add-apt-repository ppa:phablet-team/tools
  3. sudo apt-get update
  4. sudo apt-get install phablet-tools android-tools-adb android-tools-fastboot
  5. run phablet-flash -b
  6. if your device flashed the preview properly then it will boot into Ubuntu Touch Preview

Taking Screenshots

If you want to take screenshots of the interface, connect your device via USB and use these commands:

adb shell /system/bin/screencap -p /sdcard/screenshot.png

adb pull /sdcard/screenshot.png screenshot.png