Linux News Today: Ubuntu Touch Could Power the Fairphone
Ubuntu Touch is presently available on four devices, two from Bq, one from Meizu, and the Nexus 4 from LG. Other parties are already interested in bringing this operating system to their users, and it looks like the Fairphone is one of them.
The Fairphone is an interesting phone because it doesn’t aim to have the same goals as all the other mobile devices out there. It doesn’t want to be the fastest, the most beautiful, or anything in this category. This is what you might call an eco-phone, a device that should leave the smallest possible footprint on this planet and that should present no harm to people.
As it turns out, the Fairphone users have been talking about getting the Ubuntu Touch OS on their phones for quite some time. By default, it ships with Android and that might sound like the obvious choice, but they had a really bad experience with it. Because of all the bureaucracy that surrounds Android and all the partners that are involved, they were backed into a corner with a simple update.
Fairphone powered by Ubuntu is not a guarantee
The Fairphone is a device that also prides itself with a long life and a long support period. If you want to protect the environment, you don’t need to replace the phone every time something new appears, which means that the current generation needs to be supported for as long as possible. That’s not feasible when you can’t even push an important update to your Android phone, like a fix for the Stagefright security issue.
“As you may know, we have not had access to the software for the Fairphone 1 operating system and were therefore relying on our partners, like our manufacturing partner, chipset vendor and other IP license holders, for most of the Android framework related work. We were in discussions about the possibility to get an Android upgrade and worked with them on security issues,” said Kees Jongenburger.
Not being in control of the source code and all the software components is not a good thing for a project that aims to provide long-term support. The obvious solution would be to change the operating system, and the makers of Fairphone are now looking towards Ubuntu Touch, for one, Kees also explained.
They are also planning to release Fairphone 2, so they have their hands full for the moment, but it wouldn’t be a difficult job to make the phones compatible with Ubuntu Touch.