Effective this month (January, 2014), Ubuntu Touch has officially dropped support for Nexus 7 (2012) and Nexus 10 tablets, as well as the Galaxy Nexus phone. Likewise, Canonical will not be supporting the newer Nexus 5 phone (for the time being), opting to focus all development efforts on the aging Nexus 4 device.
They have even published a Google Spreadsheet detailing their hardware support.
Bryan finds this to be less than pleasing.
In fact, Bryan finds this so displeasing that Bryan feels compelled to talk about himself in the third person. And here's why Bryan is so displeased...
First and foremost, this is confusing. On the one hand, they are dropping support for tablets more than a single year old, opting to focus only on the newest tablets. OK. That's fine. With limited resources, one does want to focus on the most cutting-edge hardware.
At the same time, they are opting to focus on older phone hardware – completely ignoring the newer, more powerful gear. The difference in approach here, between phones and tablets, confuses the dickens out of me.
But that is not why I am displeased. That is merely a little confusing. Not that huge of a deal.
Ubuntu Touch is, for all intents and purposes, Ubuntu. Ubuntu is a distribution of Linux. And Linux runs just about everywhere.
One of the exciting aspects of Ubuntu Touch was, right from the start, the possibility of installing and running a Linux distro on a wide variety of hardware. And to see the supported platforms list being shrunken even before the system sees an official “final” release... makes me sad.
I certainly understand the need to focus limited resources on the hardware that is going to provide the clearest advantage for Canonical, but as an enthusiast and member of the community, it still gives me a big frowny face.
To be fair, this announcement was accompanied by the following statement from Alexander Sack, Engineering Director for Ubuntu Core at Canonical:
"Note, that while [Ubuntu Engineering] will by itself only invests in certain Nexus platforms, we would be happy to explore how we can support skilled community members that want to adopt one of the Nexus platforms."
And, truth be told, Ubuntu Touch did have plenty of technical problems running on the Nexus 7 tablet anyway. So I suppose it's not the biggest loss ever.
Still. It bums me out.