Great news for Ubuntu touch audio lovers posted on the ubuntu-phone mailing list by David Henningsson today:

Up until now, we’ve been using Android’s AudioFlinger for playing back and recording audio. Starting with tomorrow’s image, that is no longer true. Instead we’re talking directly from PulseAudio to ALSA, or the Android audio HAL when necessary.

Well done!

Bug 1179596 discusses various user agent string options for ubuntu phone browser. 

I was able to get mobile yahoo mail app going by using my personal user agent string variant derived from the firefox android one:

   Mozilla/5.0 (Ubuntu like Android; Mobile; rv:13.0) Gecko/13.0 Firefox/13.0

Do you have a website that doesn’t work well on todays daily phone image, but that you can make work with a user agent string similar to the one above? If so, please leave a comment.

p.s. you can hack the user agent string at your own risk in /usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/qt5/qml/Ubuntu/Browser/UbuntuWebView.qml 

Edit: as of Jul 11, 2013, the path of the file above has changed on the device to: /usr/lib/arm-linux-gnueabihf/qt5/qml/Ubuntu/Components/Extras/Browser/UbuntuWebView.qml

My mobile flickr experience of the day

For the record, I haven’t used it since the arrival of G+, but since recent news of Google pushing the rogue button as well as Yahoo! supposedly getting serious about competing with google by pushing for mobile and revamping their rusty star-services, I wanted to see how far they got and decided to use flickr from my N4 as an initial experiment…

The question I tried to answer for myself: Is flickr ready to be my primary photo storage and sharing service again - replacing G+? Here what happened…

First, I installed the official flickr app

That one looked promising at first glance, but soon I found myself struggling to figure even most basic stuff like finding my own photostream 8)… I am sure at least half of smartphone users would have given up at this point and I am also sure that this could have been prevented by doing some very basic user experience testing before shipping this stuff …

Next, I wanted to upload all my gallery photos to flickr

I was able to find a gallery view, but that didn’t have a feature to select all, so I abandoned that idea. Knowing how things worked on G+, I was then trying to find a setting to auto upload/backup my pics as that is what I would want anyway. But, no success…

After that I wondered about my free storage limit

I was not able to find any info about how much storage I use or how much space I have left in the app, so I was hoping that going to the flickr website would give me that info.

Mobile Website log in failed without much info

I was sure my username and password was correct. But it always told me “We are sorry that your log-in doesn’t work, log in to our desktop site and then try again”. This felt odd and I tried logging in a few times, in doubt whether my credentials might be wrong, but it always gave me the error above.

It wasn’t really easy to find the desktop site on my phone browser

But once I got there, the login UI was a complete mess. Apparently it tried to protect me from hacking and since I was logging in from a foreign country it asked me to do a captcha thing. Problem was that, both the captcha as well as the login form fields were OFF the screen and while I was able to see it while zooming out, it always snapped back when I tried to start entering the captcha… It took me about 5 minutes of painful finger juggling, resizing, panning, clicking fast. Then I managed to do it and I was finally in!

I deferred any further activity…

After going through all of the above, I finally was able to visit the desktop website. However, I was so demotivated that I didn’t even bother to try to find the storage plan info I intended to find out, nor did I even bother to try going back to the mobile website, nor did I check the mobile app again…

Let’s hope for another day with more energy to figure things out … I am still willing to do this - I guess, but I am sure that people with less noble reasons would even dare to come back after what I experienced!!

All in all, I still have high hopes in Yahoo! figuring out how to compete, but I am sure it will take a while longer. For me personally, I just hope that things improve before I give it another whirl :)…