Linux News Today: Three Cool Features Nice to Have When Connecting an Ubuntu Phone to Ubuntu Desktop
Ubuntu Touch will soon provide a full convergence experience and Canonical is taking big steps in this direction, but Ubuntu developers also need to consider what are some of the features for users connecting Ubuntu Touch phones to Ubuntu desktops.
As it stands right now, nothing really interesting happens when you connect your Ubuntu phone to an Ubuntu desktop, but it doesn’t mean that some options shouldn’t be present. Ubuntu Touch is a Linux distribution using Unity 8 and the Mir desktop, and these are just a couple of the components that make it really different from the Ubuntu desktop.
In the near future, the Ubuntu desktop will also be using Unity 8, Mir, and a number of other components. Technically, it will be the same codebase with the mobile version, and that opens up some interesting possibilities, at least in theory.
What options and features are needed
I need to preface this by saying that it’s possible some of these are on the drawing board for Canonical and the Ubuntu team, but if they are, I haven’t heard anything in this regard. With that in mind, here are some ideas for Ubuntu Touch.
The first thing that comes to mind is the implementation of notifications on the desktop from the phone, and not just from SMS messages. I constantly have to check my phone when I work to see what’s happening, and that means interrupting my workflow. It would be nice to get those messages on the desktop so that I don’t need to check the phone for what’s happening on Google+.
This feature would also include the ability to receive and send SMS messages from the desktop OS. It’s not something all that new, and it’s been around for many years.
Secondly, it would be nice if the calendars on the phone and the desktop could be interconnected, along with the address book. This would also include saving email addresses from one device to another, for example.
A third option is a little bit more difficult to achieve, but it would be nice to have nonetheless. If I connect the Ubuntu phone to an Ubuntu desktop, it would be great to be able to change settings directly. For example, setting the background, installing a theme (if that were ever possible), installing apps, and so on.
The Ubuntu team is right now working on a new OTA update for the mobile version, and it will take a while until a stable Ubuntu desktop with Unity 8 is set to arrive, so there is plenty of time for these features to land or at least to be considered.