Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ubuntu for Android... and Plasma Active?

So, it's news of the day that Canonical presented Unity for Android devices ( As I seen the video I thought: well, also Plasma Active can do this. The problem is that there is no porting of Plasma Active for Android platform. So I'm asking: wich are the main techincal problems we could encounter in transforming Plasma Active in an app for this system (it's not rhetorical, I'm really asking it because I don't know)?
Talking about the ethical question, sure, Android is not really FOSS. But it's the most used quasi-free system, and having Plasma Active for this system could only improve the freedom of users. It would also became a big "advertisement" for the whole KDE software compilation.

By the way, here's a video of Unity for Android in action:


  1. While the idea seems interesting I think that most people who care about KDE care about FOSS, too.
    And having two completely different UIs might be a bit confusing.

    I would rather see a handheld device running the Plasma Active shell that can launch the Plasma Desktop shell if you connect it to an external screen...

  2. @Luca: keep in mind that Plasma Active's default UI is designed for touch interaction, perhaps on a small-ish screen. the concept with this is to offer a keyboard+mouse centric interaction on a "normal" sized screen. to that end, offering the Plasma Desktop shell (or some modification of it) would probably be more analogous.

    @Niels: that's something we've had on our long-term roadmap for some time now. i think it can be a killer feature for higher-end tablets that can then become a desktop while at home and a tablet when on the go.

  3. Yes, what I would like to see is a Plasma app for Android that usually works like Plasma Active but when you plug another screen (using HDMI port, for example) it turns into Plasma Desktop.

    1. +10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000


      maybe a plasmoid that offers the changing from plasma-active => plasma-desktop would be enough

  4. Windows is trying to produce one single UI for both tablet and PC devices in Windows 8 Metro. Apple is merging, so I hear, in Mountain Lion a hybrid of desktop and iOS interface.

    I can understand how someone might want one interface suited for the smaller screen (and touch) while hooking up to a cradle/KMD may want an interface more suited for "productivity" (writing emails, documents, programs, websites, etc.) or for playing full-screen video.

  5. I think a single interface is useless: what is good on a big screen is not good on a little one. We simply need a single application with different interfaces: Plasma.
    That's the reason why I don't like Unity ( it is good on little screens, but awful on a PC.

  6. I'm currently working on a mobile suite for Android ("Open Mobile Suite"), which could bring some of the mentioned features to the KDE desktop.
    For example I'm planning to export the contact, message and calendar database to Nepomuk (or Akonadi?). There are also notifications when new messages are received. These could be integrated in Telepathy ("SMS chat") and we would have an awesome UI thanks to KDE-Telepathy.

    As a big bonus no dock is needed and more connection methodes are offerned. It already works using Bluetooth and Wifi (TCP server). In the future it'll also be possible to connect from anywhere in the world over the Internet using the Google Cloud to Device messaging framework.

    1. (sorry, forgot to mention that i'm talking about the integration of the Android services on the desktop)

    2. Yaye!

      I had plans of implementing the same for Maemo, since I own an N900. I mainly want it so that I can have entire conversations in one place.

      We have some feeders which push Akonadi data into Nepomuk - so the contacts, and calender events should get pushed, but I'm not sure about the smses and call logs.

      Let me know if you need any help writing the Nepomuk code :)

  7. I would rather see a handheld device running the Plasma Active .