Linux News Today: You Can Now Use an Ubuntu Phone's Screen as a Touchpad, Miracast Coming Soon
The latest Ubuntu convergence news is here, and we’ve just learned that you can now use the screen of an Ubuntu Phone device as a touchpad when mirroring it to an external monitor (wired or wireless).
Google+ user Richard Somlói published a few interesting photos earlier on his profile page, showcasing the new functionality on his Nexus 4 Ubuntu Phone connected to an LCD as a converged desktop and using the latest Ubuntu Touch mobile operating system from the rc-proposed channel (only for developers and early adopters).
“Nexus 4 – rc-proposed channel: You can use the phone screen as a touchpad. And if you click in a text field the keyboard appears on the phone screen instead of the external screen,” said Richard Somlói in the Google+ post.
We were very intrigued by the whole thing, so we’ve contacted Michael Hall from Canonical regarding the images posted by Richard Somlói. Mr. Hall reveals exclusively for Softpedia that Nexus 4 devices currently support this functionality, and you can even use two-finger scrolling and three-finger tap for right click.
BQ and MEIZU phones not supported right now
Unfortunately, the functionality does not currently work with other Ubuntu Phone devices, such as BQ Aquaris E4.5, but according to Mr. Hall, it will as soon as the wireless display (also known as Miracast or display casting) feature is implemented in the mobile operating system.
Early adopters who can’t wait to converge from their couch can try Miracast right now on their Ubuntu Phone devices using the instructions provided by Canonical at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Touch/DisplayCasting, but be aware of the fact that the whole thing is very slow right now.
“I should also warn you, from what I’ve been told it’s very, very slow right now, because it’s dumping raw video frames from Mir over the network. There are plans to optimize that, but this is the quick and dirty implementation,” said Michael Hall, Community Manager at Canonical.