An interview with David Planella, Ubuntu Community and David Pitkin, Online Services Native and HTML5 apps
Ubuntu gives developers a running start on creating new apps for smartphones with a set of tools and APIs that make it simple to convert existing web or desktop apps or create new applications from scratch.
Web apps are first-class citizens, with an API that provides seamless integration with the OS. HTML5 is fully supported in Ubuntu, blending the boundaries between native and the world wide web, and enabling developers to port their existing apps for other platforms with minimal effort.
When you need to take maximum advantage of the hardware though, native apps unleash the full power of the system, and full support for ubiquitous technologies such as OpenGL enables users to enjoy the latest top games and content-rich apps.
The SDK is being continuously improved and updated, and the latest version is shared openly online at developer.ubuntu.com. This sets our developer program apart from other open source platforms, as we share our toolkit development in real time.
“Developing for the Ubuntu platform isn’t just about the design – apps will be able to access other services, such as the user’s personal cloud to become even more powerful. The compelling Ubuntu experience is easy for developers to bring to phone users,” says Canonical’s David Pitkin.
Core apps team
The app developer community has been quick to embrace the exciting new possibilities that Ubuntu on phones brings. Just days after its launch, Ubuntu attracted more than 2,000 developers wanting to be part of the mobile story by contributing to the construction of a core set of apps.
“We’ve whittled that list down to around 70 volunteer developers willing to donate their time to contribute to the success of Ubuntu on phones. We’ve created the industry’s most capable development resource, all working to get the core apps up and running. We’re planning 12 core apps to be built into the phone, with a team of developers dedicated to each one,” explains David Planella of Canonical.
The list includes calendar, clock/alarm, weather, calculator, e-mail client, RSS feed reader, file manager, document viewer, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and a terminal app. As well as the selected core app developers, there is an open invitation to all developers, visual designers, interaction designers and even hobbyists to contribute suggestions for the apps.
There’s a wide variety of support resources, from Q&As to real-time support, for developers no matter what their level of experience with Ubuntu:
- Ubuntu App Developer site: http://developer.ubuntu.com
- Real-time communication: #ubuntu-phone IRC channel on Freenode
- E-mail discussion: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-phone
- Developer Q&A: www.askubuntu.com
- Project coordination, specs and guidelines, handbook: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuPhone/CoreApps
- Project hosting and actual code on Launchpad: https://launchpad.net/ubuntu-phone-coreapps/