I've made no secret about it: I love having Linux-powered phones and gadgets.
A big part of that draw for me is how customizable they tend to be. Custom themes, launchers, shell replacements... heck, in some mobile distributions of Linux you can even get a full desktop environmentup and running. I have both KDE and LXDE running on an old N900. Just because I can. (Who doesn't want to run a full desktop version of The Gimp on a 3-inch phone?)
But what if you could take that desire to make your phone into exactly what you want it to be a bit further? What if you could actually assist in the design and functional development of key applications... that you can then use in your own phone? That's like shaping your own destiny.
And what if those key applications are then used on, potentially, huge numbers of commercially shipping handsets in the near future? That’d be killer, right? How awesome will that look on your resume? "Developed Twitter and Facebook applications for Ubuntu Touch for Phones and Tablets." Certainly wouldn't look bad.
Well, that is exactly the sort of opportunity that is sitting right in front of us with the Ubuntu Touch Core Apps project. If you have an Ubuntu 12.10 desktop set up you can add the PPA (using the instructions on this page) and install any of the 12 "core" applications that will make up the key functionality of the Ubuntu Touch for Phone and Tablet user experience.
We're talking everything from the calculator and clock to an RSS reader and Twitter client. Yes, this means there will be simple projects and some that are a bit more complex. Plenty of variety, no matter what your skill level.
And they will all run and will be able to be developed right on your Ubuntu desktop. No need to set up Ubuntu Touch on a Nexus device just to test them out. This is, to put it mildly, glorious. Only in the Linux and Open Source world do you get a chance to dramatically impact the devices that could be used by millions – while, at the same time, making your resume look absolutely killer.
When was the last time you saw similar opportunities with iOS?