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Popular German Website ‘Spiegel Online’ Reviews Ubuntu Phone

Út, 03/03/2015 - 22:08

Image: Der Spiegel

The popular German news website Spiegel Online has published a hands-on review of the Bq Ubuntu Phone, which is due to ship to successful Flash Sale buyers later this month.

The publication gives its thoughts on the mid-range handset in a review subtitled (and likely badly translated): ‘Ubuntu? For many it is the Windows alternative for PCs. But now the first Ubuntu Smartphone has come on the market. Can it compete with iOS and Android devices? We find out.’

‘A Phone For Enthusiasts’

Thanks to the power of online translation tools (and a nice tipster who summarised the main points) the Speigel Online review is a balanced, if mixed, overview.

Image: Der Spiegel

The Ubuntu Phone’s gesture-heavy UI concept was considered novel though they admitted it took some time to get used to, accidentally triggering the ‘multi-tasking’ view on a number of occasions, and they seemed fairly impressed with the concept of Scopes overall.

Bonus points were also given for the ‘smooth, sufficient’ performance of the device, the Dual SIM slots and ‘good colour reproduction’ on the 4.5-inch display.

The 8GB internal storage caused some consternation as only around 5GB is actually free, and the reviewer also noted he wasn’t able to connect the phone up to a non-Ubuntu PC to transfer music to it, instead having to use an SD card.

They were less smitten by the app catalog on offer, writing that:

“[The Ubuntu Phone has] a lack of apps. There is not much to choose from and much of what is offered [turns out to be a] link to the mobile web page, like the eBay app or Here Maps app.”

In all, while calling it ‘fun’ to play with, the Spiegel Online ultimately concluded in their Ubuntu Phone review that the first device is one for enthusiasts and fans (which just so happens to be exactly who Canonical and Bq is targeting this limited run of devices too). Paraphrased, translated:

“The Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu is [for enthusiasts] …it has no real advantages over the [Android version of the same model].”

You can read the full article (in German) on the Spiegel website.

Any native German speakers among you: do feel free to nudge me with more accurate translations of the quotes above if you feel they’re needed. I have paraphrased in parts. 

H/t Philippe

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VLC 2.2 Released, Here’s How To Install It in Ubuntu

Po, 03/02/2015 - 01:16

The go-to media player of millions, VLC 2.2 ‘Weathermax’ was released this weekend and brings some nifty new features to the desktop.

As teased previously, the desktop release now includes a built-in extension gallery. Adding extra features to VLC is now no more than a few clicks away (Tools > Plugins and Extensions).

Playback resume is another handy feature long requested. The ‘Continue Playback?’ prompt appears when re-opening a  video or audio file and sees the desktop build gain parity with its mobile kin.

The popular open-source media player adds a much needed fix for a real life bug: it auto-rotates videos recorded on a smartphone or tablet. 

There’s also the usual crop of codec updates including support for Ultra HD, VP9, H.265 and ‘compatibility’ fixes for a range of obscure file formats.

Other changes include GPU zero-copy decoding (a hardware-based tweak said to deliver much faster performance where applicable), support for ‘Digital Cinema Package’ used by movie theaters and experimental support for Interactive Blu-Ray menus.

Lastly, on the quirky side there are three new video filters to play with when you’re bored: ‘old movie’, ‘VHS effect’ and ‘freeze effect’.

Install VLC 2.2 in Ubuntu

VLC 2.2 is a free download for Windows, Mac, Linux and a slew of mobile platforms, including Windows Phone, Android and iOS.

Ubuntu users can install or upgrade to VLC 2.2 by using the official VLC PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:videolan/stable-daily sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install vlc

As exciting as this release may be it’s the upcoming VLC 3.0 that will really get people talking as, among other things, it promises to offer native Chromecast support and big improvements for use on Wayland displays.

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Xfce 4.12 Released After Almost Three Years, Changes Are Huge

Ne, 03/01/2015 - 23:02

Two years and ten months in development, this weekend saw the release of Xfce 4.12.

The latest version of the light Xfce desktop and related software continues to use GTK2+ but adds plenty of new features, usability improvements and bug fixes to make it feel fresh.

Client Side Decorations in Xfce 4.12

Chief among the new features in Xfce 4.12 is initial support for Client Side Decorations (like those found in apps like Geary), a new Alt+Tab window switcher with window previews, a panel that can intelligently hide, support GTK3 applets and more.

Other notable changes include better support for HiDPI displays thanks to a new Xfwm theme, better support for multiple monitor setups, including per-desktop wallpapers, and better support for window tiling mode thanks to new features like zoom mode.

You’ll also find more tweaks and additions in the Thunar File Manager, which gains tabbed browsing, better loading times, keyboard shortcuts, and so on.

For a full rundown of all the new features do check out the comprehensive releases notes and screenshot tour over on the Xfce website.

Install Xfce 4.12 in Ubuntu using a PPA

Although probably not recommended just yet (early doors and all that) the Xubuntu Development PPA contains pre-release builds of Xfce 4.12 for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 14.10 users to install from at their own risk.

Add the Xubuntu Dev PPA to Ubuntu’s Software Sources using a Terminal and the following commands (assuming the Xfce desktop is already installed):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12 sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

To remove the PPA and downgrade to the version of PPA in the main Ubuntu repos/other installed PPAs the ‘ppa-purge’ utility should be installed and used:

sudo apt-get install ppa-purge sudo ppa-purge ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12 Let Us Know Your Thoughts

Whether you try this latest version of Xfce out for yourself or just admire the screenshots, be sure to let us know what you think of the changes in the comments below.

H/T Adam Eveleigh

The post Xfce 4.12 Released After Almost Three Years, Changes Are Huge first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

New Video Demos Ubuntu Convergence on Tablet, Phone

Pá, 02/27/2015 - 05:16

A new video shows how far Canonical has come with the idea of convergence, both at the software level and on working hardware.

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Ubuntu MATE Is Now An Official Ubuntu Flavor

Čt, 02/26/2015 - 21:14

The Ubuntu MATE Linux distribution is now an official Ubuntu flavor, joining the likes of Xubuntu, Kubuntu and Ubuntu Kylin.

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Ubuntu 15.04 Beta Available to Download, Ubuntu MATE Is Now An Official Flavor

Čt, 02/26/2015 - 20:11

The Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet beta is now available to download, with most community flavors taking part.

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Octa-core Meizu Ubuntu Phone Made Official

Čt, 02/26/2015 - 18:55

The Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition will make its debut at Mobile World Congress early next month.

The post Octa-core Meizu Ubuntu Phone Made Official first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Samsung’s Linux-Based Tizen Phone Proves an Unexpected Success

St, 02/25/2015 - 19:16

The unexpected success of its low-end Tizen smartphone will see Samsung launch a second version in the Indian market soon, rumours suggest.

The post Samsung’s Linux-Based Tizen Phone Proves an Unexpected Success first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

The Next Ubuntu Phone Flash Sale Is Feb 26

St, 02/25/2015 - 18:46

The next Ubuntu Phone flash sale will take place tomorrow February 26, Spanish mobile maker Bq has announced.

The post The Next Ubuntu Phone Flash Sale Is Feb 26 first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

GNOME 3.16 Might Just Be The Best Version Yet

St, 02/25/2015 - 18:02

If recent screenshots of next month's GNOME 3.16 release are anything to go by, it'll be the best release yet.

The post GNOME 3.16 Might Just Be The Best Version Yet first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Firefox 36 Released With New Tab Page Tile Sync

Út, 02/24/2015 - 18:54

A new stable release of Firefox has been made available for download by Mozilla.

The post Firefox 36 Released With New Tab Page Tile Sync first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS Released, Includes 3.16 Kernel

Pá, 02/20/2015 - 03:36

Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS has been released and is now available to download.

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10 Linux Games, One Low Price: Trinity Bundle Now Live

Po, 02/16/2015 - 22:13

Bundle Stars has launched its latest limited-time game offer composed of 10 Steam games that all run on Linux for $2.49/£1.99.

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Ubuntu Phone Sells Out During First Flash Sale

Čt, 02/12/2015 - 04:53

The Bq Ubuntu Phone went on sale this morning direct in Europe and as expected sold out — twice!

The post Ubuntu Phone Sells Out During First Flash Sale first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

This Is Bq’s Exclusive Ubuntu Phone Case Accessory

Po, 02/09/2015 - 20:41

If you manage to snag an Ubuntu Phone in one of the online flash sales due to take place from this week you'll no doubt be looking for something to keep your device protected.

The post This Is Bq’s Exclusive Ubuntu Phone Case Accessory first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

INRIX Traffic Data Integrated into First Ubuntu Smartphone

Po, 02/09/2015 - 15:55

Ubuntu for Phones may not quite have turn-by-turn navigation smarts on hand, but it does boast some real-time traffic data thanks to a partnership with INRIX.  The company will provide traffic, incident and parking reports for the world’s first Ubuntu smartphone, helping users stay up-to-date with planned routes. “By providing incident updates, parking location and availability information […]

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elementary Freya Beta 2 Released

Po, 02/09/2015 - 01:51

The second beta release of elementary Freya is now available for download, and arrives some six months after the first beta was released to much excitement.

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First Ever Ubuntu Phone Unboxing Video Appears Online

So, 02/07/2015 - 14:42

You can expect to see a number of "unboxing videos" for the Bq Ubuntu Phone appear online in the coming days, as those gifted handsets at the Feb 6 event take to the 'tubes to share their thoughts.

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Bq Ubuntu Phone Goes on Sale Next Week at €169, Meizu Device Coming Soon

So, 02/07/2015 - 01:18

So, there we have it. After all the waiting, griping and pining we're now only days away from the first Ubuntu Phone going on sale in Europe, courtesy of Spain-based Bq.

The post Bq Ubuntu Phone Goes on Sale Next Week at €169, Meizu Device Coming Soon first appeared on OMG! Ubuntu!.

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