Issues with new ubuntu tablet

Asked by Paul Harmsworth on 2016-04-22

Hi,

I have used ubuntu for more that 10 years on multiple platforms both desktop and server version.... I have 30 years professional IT experience I think that I know what I am doing with Linux...

And so when my shiny white tablet arrived and I have a number of issues, I am annoyed:

1) Seems to be a bug - my wifi key is 63 chars long. The tablet refused to connect, eventually I gave up and edited the file manually. (After setting up a new wfi access poont and downloading Terminal see below).

2) Terminal is not installed by default Why?

3) There is no file manager installed by default (or I could not find it). So I installed file manager from the "store". Was that correct.

4) Using Firefox there is no keyboard..... How can this be fixed?

5) Using Calc there is no keyboard... How can this be fixed?

6) How can the onscreen keyboard be modified.. I need ctrl-c ctrl-v, cursor movement keys, Esc. It is essential to be able to cut and paste between applications.

7) There is no obvious facility for entering multiple user accounts e.g. kids, guest etc. Where is it?

8) when changing it to desktop mode why isn't there an on screen keyboard.

To be honest I am rather disappointed, it seems like desktop has stuff missing - why in desktop mode do I not see the same as what I would on a normal desktop... Do I really need to re-learn it? Where are all the normal desktop applications? System manager etc.

Please help!

In fact what I expected was a normal desktop system in "desktop" mode and a "tablet" interface in tablet mode. But what it appears to be a butchered desktop and a barely acceptable tablet. Overall the product is currently less than the sum of the parts.

It runs 15.04 vivid. Which reached end of life on February 4 2016. So I have bought a nice shiny Ubuntu tablet that runs obsolete software.

I would like some response from Canonical soon. Otherwise I will have to dispute payment with my credit card company and return the product.

Regards

Paul

Question information

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Ubuntu Edit question
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Last query:
2016-04-22
Last reply:
2016-04-28
Sandor Zoltan Nemeth (sznmth) said : #1

At least you can install something new. On mine none of the applications from the Ubuntu Store would start. They are stuck at 0%. This tablet looks more like an alpha release :(

So I am going to try and return this product.
Canonical, if you cannot provide even a basic level of satisfaction for experienced users - what chance do you have with this.

I have entered a ticket with BQ to return it. Since ths support ticket response is in Spanish it looks like this could get interesting.

I'll keep this thread updated.

Sandor Zoltan Nemeth (sznmth) said : #3

I can understand your disappointment. I have also expected much more from this tablet. The notion of convergence is nice, but still at the very beginning. What if I am not using LibreOffice or Gimp too much. Actually, I would like to use LaTeX, but for the moment that's officially not supported. I have seen an advertising video that all desktop applications will run on this tablet... The tablet and desktop applications should be clearly separated (if they cannot run in both modes). For example Firefox icon would appear only when a keyboard and mouse is connected, otherwise it is indeed really confusing to have applications which will not work properly in tablet mode. I expect Canonical to make several updates in the future, otherwise their business model will fail. Since I am a Linux enthusiast, I am keeping this tablet (despite being very disappointed for the moment). I can remember early times when a friend checked my Android phone back in 2008 and compared it with his Iphone. He said that's a bad replica, a toy. In 8 years Android became the main platform for mobile devices. Let's hope Ubuntu will have a slice in the market too. But it needs serious development. I think they released this tablet and the mobile phones too early, because they desperately needed money to pay people hired to work on Ubuntu Touch. Come on Canonical, you can do better than that. Your business model will not be kept alive by a few Linux enthusiasts. In fact "Debian no root" for android has a much better desktop integration for the moment. Sorry for saying that, but that's the truth.

On the plus side normal surfing with the built in browser is OK

Sandor Zoltan Nemeth (sznmth) said : #5

Yes, I agree, the built in browser is very good, in many aspects better than any browser in Android. Moreover the whole graphical environment seems better than the Android one. The only problem is the application support. Today I played with the "Debian no root" for Android. You should try it. It is fantastic! I managed to install most of the things necessary fro my scientific work. However, I could also find only one browser which would start: Arora, which is not bad. I connected my tablet (Nexus 10) to my TV with a hdmi to micro hdmi cable, I added a bluetooth mouse and keyboard and I can use a full featured desktop environment on my tablet. It's a bit slower because it is emulation, but it is not bad at all! You should try it. Especially after the disappointment with the Ubuntu tablet.

The inbuilt browser:
No Flash
No plugins - so no ad block, no "no script"

Sandor Zoltan Nemeth (sznmth) said : #7

Yes, you are right.

The various scopes on the tablet are not useful since you can just use the browser.

Meizu PRO 5 Ubuntu Edition is now available!
... But only the 32G model. Why?
... Why not the Meizu Pro 6? The Pro 5 is already old.

And to be honest why would anyone be stupid enough to buy this after seeing that Canonical has provided no response on this thread.

Sandor Zoltan Nemeth (sznmth) said : #9

The scopes can be considered as bookmarks directly on the screen. Way too much advertised feature, which is already present on Android in form of web apps. By the way what is the difference between scopes and web apps?

Leopoldo Pena (leopenausa) said : #10

Hates will always hate.

90% of the issues you mentioned have been reported before, or are being worked upon. A 2 mins google search will show you that. Maybe do a little research before buying a product that is clearly not ready for your needs, that would've saved you some bad blood and ranting.

I am very happy with my M10, I know its current limitations and report as many bugs as I can to launchpad. Some of them have already been fixed. And the devs on IRC are really helpful.

Complaining about apps not installed by default...sure....I guess two taps on the screen is a lot to ask.

If you are not happy with the product by all means return it. I've done that with toasters and televisions....and I didn't feel the need to go to samsung forums to vent out...but that is just me I guess.

Cheers

Sandor Zoltan Nemeth (sznmth) said : #11

Dear Leopoldo.

You have to acknowledge, that there are several people out there who are dissapointed with their new Ubuntu Tablet. You can do a little research about this if you don't believe me and you will see what I mean. I have to admit that I am one of them. And yes, I did a lot of research before buying it. The problem is that many of the advertising messages are misguiding. I feel cheated by the convertibility messages out there. I guess it was wishful thinking on my behalf that this tablet will at least partially replace my desktop. But I will not return my tablet because I am enthusiastic about its idea. But can a business model based on enthusiasm only...? Canonical should do much more in the future to deliver its promises and build a real customer base. The main question is what is the selling point of this tablet? If you answer to this question, I am happy to start a constructive debate with you.

Kind regards,
Sandor

Dear Leopoldo,

The product does not match the advertising. I am not a "hater" I want canonical to fix it.

I did not buy an "Alpha" or "Beta" release. I bought a production version. It does not work properly.

Canonical have not responded.

Regards

Paul

Liam Proven (lproven) said : #13

Hello from another Ubuntu old-timer, a user since 4.10 "Warty Warthog" in 2004, and an IT professional since 1988.

I do not wish to go on the attack or be unjustly ad-hominem, but I think you either have unrealistic expectations of Ubuntu on tablets, or have not done your research.

The touch versions of Ubuntu are as-yet unfinished products. They are broadly equivalent to somewhere between Mac OS X Server in the late 1990s, or the OS X Public Beta. This is incomplete prototype code on a non-native platform.

As an Ubuntu user you are presumably familiar with Unity. If so, you should know that the touchscreen version (Unity 8), which runs on the Mir GUI engine, is a different branch from the desktop version (Unity 7), which runs on conventional X.11. The desktop releases do not yet use Unity 8 as it is unfinished, although you can try it: http://news.softpedia.com/news/how-to-install-unity-8-on-ubuntu-16-04-lts-and-ubuntu-15-10-496949.shtml

In desktop mode, there is no onscreen keyboard, because being in desktop mode means "having a physical mouse and keyboard connected". Firefox only works in desktop mode; this is a documented restriction. It's been discussed previously on the Ubuntu mailing lists -- but I have never seen you there, I think.

The tablet runs on an ARM processor. There is no desktop-Linux Flash player on ARM, as far as I know, only on Android.

As for missing apps such as a shell, a file manager, etc. -- this is absolutely standard for phones and tablets.

Yes, you will need to re-learn it. This is a new OS, with a new GUI layer and a new desktop and new apps, running on a new processor. It is *not* desktop Ubuntu with touchscreen support. That's why it is taking Canonical a long time to get it working.

FOSS-based phone/tablet OSes are very new and immature. If you are expecting mass-market consumer-ready polish, then buy iOS or Android. If you are willing to accept a bumpy ride to be on the bleeding edge, then you might try Jolla's Sailfish tablet. It too is very new, but Sailfish is a somewhat more conventional Linux distro -- it has a window manager and so on, being based on MeeGo, derived from the Nokia-sponsored Maemo and Moblin. Sailfish has been shipping for over a year, I believe, and is thus rather more mature.

Hi Liam,

I am not responsible for checking that a product meets its advertising before purchasing it - it is impossible to do that. This is nothing to do with Ubuntu?Canonical. That is how it is with consumer products.

I had see the phones slated by reviewers I expected that I would get a production release for the tablet.

Why would anyone decide that you need to carry a mouse and keyboard with you to use the desktop mode?? I find that ridiculous especially when you can pretty much use the desktop system without a mouse anyway. So if you are on the go desktop mode does not work.

I also do not remember seeing in the advertising blurb that I would need additional hardware to use it in desktop mode - although I might have missed that if it was there.

The Jolla tablet is withdrawn/refunded. Maybe Sailfish 2.0 will ship on a phone, the Turing Robotic, this is not clear yet.

Shipping the product with obsolete unsupported software? Unforgivable.

By the way here is the email I sent to canonical this morning:
Since sending, this suddenly people start trying to explain why it is all my fault......

----- Forwarded message from Paul Harmsworth <> -----
   Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2016 09:18:06 +0000
   From: Paul Harmsworth <>
Subject: Ubuntu Tablet issues.....
     To: <email address hidden>
     Cc: <email address hidden>, <email address hidden>, <email address hidden>, <email address hidden>, <email address hidden>, <email address hidden>

Hi xxxxxxxxxx,

Many thanks for your time and patience. Please ensure that someone with management responsibility for Sales and Support of Tablets and Phones gets this message.

The tablet does not perform as advertised.

The unanswered launchpad issues are:
https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+question/291885

In my opinion Canonical has made "a bit of a mess" here.

I have "carbon copied" various media types because the Ubuntu tablet deserves to die in flames immediately, to prevent others wasting there money.

Those responsible in Canonical should be walked out the door with a cardboard box today.

Regards

Paul Harmsworth

----- End forwarded message -----

Oliver Grawert (ogra) said : #15

1) Seems to be a bug - my wifi key is 63 chars long. The tablet refused to connect, eventually I gave up and edited the file manually. (After setting up a new wfi access poont and downloading Terminal see below).

definitely a bug, please file it against the network manager package ... (might not be related to your key though)

2) Terminal is not installed by default Why?
3) There is no file manager installed by default (or I could not find it). So I installed file manager from the "store". Was that correct.

this is a choice of the vendor, canonical does not define what apps are preinstalled on a product, for the phones there are developer images under the ubuntu-touch/stable/ubuntu-developer channel that ship a selection of apps that canonical preinstalled, among them are terminal and filemanager. you could request that such images are produced for the tablet too. after all, the preinstalled set is selected by the manufacturer though, it is their product, canonical only provides the software to them.

4) Using Firefox there is no keyboard..... How can this be fixed?

https://bugs.launchpad.net/canonical-pocket-desktop/+bug/1543351 will be fixed with the next OTA update

5) Using Calc there is no keyboard... How can this be fixed?

if you refer to the pre-installed calulator i guess this issue is not known yet (the app was created for touch initially, i doubt anyone tested it with a keyboard). please file a bug against the ubuntu-calculator-app

6) How can the onscreen keyboard be modified.. I need ctrl-c ctrl-v, cursor movement keys, Esc. It is essential to be able to cut and paste between applications.

you can select text with your finger and when log pressing there is a copy/paste menu popping up... or you can use the mouse for copy/paste ... if you use the terminal app a long-press gets you in selection mode. if you want to have additional shortcut keys in the terminal you can follow https://gurucubano.gitbooks.io/bq-aquaris-e-4-5-ubuntu-phone/content/en//chapter12.html to create your own set.

7) There is no obvious facility for entering multiple user accounts e.g. kids, guest etc. Where is it?

multi-user is not yet implemented, but it will come.

8) when changing it to desktop mode why isn't there an on screen keyboard.

most likely because you have connected a physical one at that time, the system will only show you the onscreen keyboard if there is not another one attached already ...

note that most of your issues above have been dicussed on the mailing list already, perhaps it might make sense that you subscribe to it :) (you just need to join this team on launchpad: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-phone to subscribe to it)

Hi Oliver,

Great response. Thank you.
5) I meant LIbre Office Calc. Sorry for the lack of clarity.
6) good to know thanks.
8) I have no keyboard attached. That is why I expect an on on-screen keyboard.

I have just subscribed to https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-phone

Regards

Paul

To summarise the current status.

1) Now that I can cut and paste the key entry was my fat finger problem. Mea culpa.

2) & 3) In my opinion Canonical should be a bit more proactive about having essential tools installed from scratch.

4) & 5) & 8) The lack of onscreen keyboard for use with native desktop apps is a blocking problem.

6) Resolved.

7) Known problem.

In my opinion Canonical should change the end of life date for 15.04 so that the shipped software version is officially supported. And the on screen keyboard should default to a full normal laptop keyboard.

For me Olivier has got it down to one blocking problem.

Thank you

Regards

Paul

Oliver Grawert (ogra) said : #18

> 2) & 3) In my opinion Canonical should be a bit more proactive about having essential tools installed from scratch.

you mean canonical should refuse to sign a contract if a manufacturer demands that no developer tools are installed on enduser products ?
if i look around in my own family, only one out of four potential tablet customers even knows what a terminal is, while you and me might be busy bees with terminals, 99% of actual tablet users out there wont even know what it is ;)
(i agree that a filemanager would make sense to have preinstalled, i dont exactly know why it is excluded, but again, that is a bq decision, nothing canonical can influence much)

> 4) & 5) & 8) The lack of onscreen keyboard for use with native desktop apps is a blocking problem.

...and OTA11 will have a fix for it ;)
it is one of the highest prio bugs for the next release (which is already in 4 weeks, unlike other mobile platforms ubuntu on tablets releases fixes reliably every six weeks for all devices).
but note also that you are talking about apps that are not really designed for touchscreen use, they are desktop apps with tiny UI elements that you better use with attached mouse and keyboard in desktop mode.

> In my opinion Canonical should change the end of life date for 15.04 so that the shipped software version is officially supported.

note that the phone and tablet images are not tied to any specific ubuntu version, while they use a certain base (currently 15.04), they use also a separate archive to permit a rolling release ... see the section "How will support for Ubuntu Touch be provided?" on https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SecurityTeam/FAQ#Official_Support

Mark Dwyer (mdwy62) said : #19

1) Anyone know how to adjust the screen resolution? It is a nice screen (I have the HD version) but the menus in LibreOffice, and Firefox are incredibly tiny.
2) Are more system settings available in Developer Mode?
3) What is the best place to ask about emacs support?

Gracias.

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