Wednesday, February 25, 2015

My first Ubuntu Touch Scope

Ubuntu IT scope
Ubuntu IT scope

This time, instead of writing a review about  the BQ Aquaris 4.5 Ubuntu Phone,   I am going to tell you about  my first Ubuntu Touch Scope.
Yes, I made it! That's what's great about Ubuntu, you can be a "normal" user or you can hack on it and create your Apps and Scopes.
So, how did I do it? Well it's really easy, just follow what I did and you will be able to have your own scope on Ubuntu Touch too!

First of all you need to add a PPA for installing scopecreator, Scope-creator is a command line tool that can be used to get a scope running on your phone in a few minutes:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cwayne18/ppa
sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install scopecreator

Now with Scope-creator installed,  let's create the scope:

scopecreator create [template] [package_name] [scope_name] 

template can be: youtube, twitter or rss
package_name is your package namespace  from
scope_name is the name of the scope you wish to create 

for instance, for my scope, I used:

$ scopecreator create youtube carla-sella ubuntuit

Now you cd to the directory created by scopecreator (remember to do this step, it's important) and launch:

$ scopecreator edit config

this way you will edit the manifest.json file for setting the configuration, this is what mine looks like:

    "name": "ubuntuit.carla-sella",
    "description": "Ubuntu IT scope",
    "framework": "ubuntu-sdk-14.10",
    "architecture": "armhf",
    "title": "Ubuntu IT",
    "hooks": {
        "ubuntuit": {
            "scope": "ubuntuit",
            "apparmor": "scope-security.json"
    "version": "0.1",
    "maintainer": "Carla Sella <>"


Next you need to set up the branding with:

$ scopecreator edit branding 

and here is my .ini file:

DisplayName=Ubuntu IT
Description=Canale Youtube di Ubuntu IT
Author=Canonical Ltd.


The appearance section contains colors and logos for you scope.

You need to replace the logo.png file under ubuntuit/images directory (in your case, it will be scope_name/images) with you logo for you scope.

Then you need to run:

$ scopecreator edit channels

for editing the channels.json file that contains the list of  playlists or channels that you will then find in the dropdown menu of the scope you are creating.

Here is my channels.json file:

    "maxResults": "20",
    "playlists": [
        "id": "PLwAH7Zr7rsAz2wco0Xo3aJq0hudob02xU",
        "reminder": "Ubuntu-it Q&A"
        "id": "PLwAH7Zr7rsAyavUegFH9ePMHXfSrBxU2c",
        "reminder": "Ubuntu-it News"
        "id": "PLwAH7Zr7rsAwZ9HOKxw76Q4ymiE0QeiZV",
        "reminder": "#contribuiamo"
        "id": "PLwAH7Zr7rsAz5mfP1S7GTcp33Qy_-qJSl",
        "reminder": "Release Parties!"
        "id": "PLwAH7Zr7rsAwqGypJwh-3r1mFh1eO_1FL",
        "reminder": "Promozione Ubuntu"
        "id": "PLFA125E510B290777",
        "reminder": "Screencast"
        "id": "PL960786605FC8BA7C",
        "reminder": "Liberi di..."


Ubuntu IT scope's dropdown menu

Finally, attach your ubuntu phone to your computer's USB port, and launch:

$ scopecreator build

This way scopecreator will install the scope on your phone so you can test it before asking to publish it in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Ubuntu IT scope in Ubuntu Software Center
Ubuntu IT scope in the Ubuntu Software Center

For publishing your scope you need to go to, log in or create an account and select "new application", fill in the required information and you're done!!

It's easy, so what are you waiting for ? go and create your scope :-D.

You can read more detailed information about creating scopes for Ubuntu here, I created my scope reading from here:

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A day with the BQ Aquaris 4.5 Ubuntu Touch edition

I was wondering how to let you know the different user experience you have using Ubuntu Touch and in particular  on the BQ Aquaris 4.5 as this is the phone I am using it on.
It's hard to explain how easy and intuitive it's use is, so I decided to try to tell you how I use it.
So let's see what you will find while pretending I am using it during a normal work day, what apps and scopes you can find on it
The first app is the Clock App, you can use this to set an alarm to wake you up in the morning. You can also set different locations around the world to have there local time:

Clock App
Alarm set in Clock App

A quick look at your e-mail using the Gmail scope, this is really handy I set it as my home scope, so as soon as I unlock my phone I get all my e-mails on a handy scope, you can swipe between e-mails, decide to mark them as read and if necessary open them in the Gmail App:

Gmail scope
email preview in Gmail scope

email in Gmail web app

I am out of home and I need to connect to a WiFi spot to read some news on the news scope, so I swipe from the top to open the indicators, and go to the network tab to connect to a Wifi spot, next I swipe to the news scope and can easily swipe through different news I need to read:

Network tab in indicators panel

News scope
swiping through different news

I need to call my Mom to tell her that my Son is staying at her today after school, so I swipe from the left to reveal the launcher and select the Phone App to call my mom, I can select witch of the two SIMs to use for the call and search for her number on the Contacts App I can open from the Phone App:

revealing the launcher with left swipe
Phone App

Contacts App
searching for my mom's number

I need to check my appointments so I swipe on to the Upcoming scope where I can see them all, click on one and eventually decide to open it in the Calendar App (I have my Google calendar synchronized):

Upcoming scope
Appointment details
Calendar App

Everything is simple and handy, using scopes is really a new and great experience, you can also find aggregated scopes like the Today scope where you have the details of the day, date, day of week, sunrise and sunset time, the weather forecast, favorite contacts, recent calls and messages, activity, today's news and other info...

Today scope
Today scope scrolling down

Today scope scrolling down

Today scope scrolling down

Well there are really many other scopes and apps, but I think this is enough for today, I will be back with other pictures and experiences in the next days, stay tuned.