The question of apps and services for Ubuntuphones

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Yesterday, we got treated to hands-on photos of the Ubuntu-powered Aquaris E4.5. Being the ever-adventurous person, I would love to get my hands on one. However, a question that quickly comes to mind is, How many of the services I use on a daily basis are available for the Aquaris?

A week after Ubuntu phones hit the street, reports say there are 1,000 apps in the store. Just 1,000. That doesn’t looking encouraging. Try as much as Ubuntu tries to downplay the issue of apps on the platform, what happens for example if I am an avid BBM users and there is no BBM for the platform?

Ubuntu Store

The above image is cropped from a screenshot on BQ’s website. It says that WhatsApp and Google+ are not available yet either. Basically, this is a smartphone for people not locked heavily into messaging. At least, for now. But Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Amazon, SoundCloud, Dropbox and Spotify are already available on the platform.

The BQ Aquaris E4.5 is the first phone on the platform. Don’t expect any heavy sales. Even Canonical, the developers of Ubuntu OS, say that it is a sort of proof-of-concept device targeted at early adopters and developers. In other words, this is not for the everyday user. Which is a fair approach.


  1. Not really. If you’re a big user of WhatsApp it may be a big deal, but as I’m inclined towards Telegram and BBM, it’s not a deal breaker.

    If you’re big on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram you’ll feel at home!

  2. the early adopter and chicken and egg user base-app catalogue problems, this is part of the inertia that foils the emergence of any new smartphone OSes. but then Canonical didn’t design Ubuntu for the mass market and the tech nerd crowd it’s targeted at tend to br developers so app catalogue should grow considerably. it’s the apps from corporations (WhatsApp, Instagram, etc) that may be a longer lasting problem

  3. @mrmobility the image in this article is quite old. The phone UI has changed significantly from that image above. Here’s what it looks like now

    As for the matter of apps, I’m sure more apps will be built, now that developers have started recieving their first Ubuntu phone. Using an emulator can only get you so far (so I’m told :D). I have no illusions that Ubuntu will gain as many apps as the major platforms anytime soon, but if they can get the essentials, they will be fine IMO.

    They are such a small company now, that I think success for them would be rated at a much smaller scale that what any of the big names in Mobile OSes will consider success.

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