Canonical plans dogfood-capable phones by the end of May
Canonical's Vice President of Ubuntu, Rick Spencer, has set out a plan to make the Ubuntu phone images dog food – dogfooding is where a company's employees use its own product for their day-to-day work and comes from the phrase "Eating your own dog food". In his blog post, Spencer outlines the things that the images must be capable of before this plan can be put into action, namely make and receive phone calls and send and receive SMS messages, browse the web on 3G data and Wi-Fi and switch between either data mode, have the display dim when the phone is talked on, and be able to import contacts and then add or edit them. Spencer also says that when the phone is updated it should retain its user data, even if being flashed from the command line of a desktop system. All this work should be done, Spencer says, by the end of May.
He does note though, that things like finding and installing new apps and working with particular bits of reference hardware like the Nexus 7's camera aren't on this dog-food agenda, but hopes that, once Canonical users are using the devices every day, progress on these and other development issues should be greatly enhanced. Dogfoodable phone images would be a huge leap forward for the Ubuntu phone which has, despite February's developer preview, been unusable as a 3G phone, with most of the applications on the phone apparently being demonstration versions. If Canonical can deliver updated images to Spencer's specification, more developers from outside the company will also be able to get a more realistic feel of what next year's Ubuntu phone will be like.