What do I miss out when switching from android?



  • I'm new to UBPorts. I love the idea, and I've seen that I can use anbox to install android apps without dual booting, and it's supposed to be fast because it's not using an emulation layer (anyone have benchamarks on native android performance vs anbox on ubports on same phone hardware?)

    But I'm wondering, are there some major kinks yet to be worked out? What will I miss when switching from android? Is the kernel able to work well with the SoC to optimize for both battery life and performance (e.g. using low-power cores when necessary, etc)?

    Does calling / SMS work in all countries (and all across 2G / 3G / VoLTE / VoWifi / 5G)? Can all sensors and hardware on board be utilized (or are there driver issues? Do anbox apps have full access to hardware (e.g. say if I want to use OEM's camera app)?

    Apart from hardware compatibility issues, are there fundamental deficiencies which are not yet addressed?

    I'm planning to slap UBPorts onto somewhat expensive capable hardware (like a oneplus model from 1-3 years ago), and before I take on that endavour I'd just like to know that I'm not doing something stupid.



  • Hi @peey and welcome to the UBports community.

    Well anbox is not without kinks.
    IDK about benchmarks, but there are inherent limitations.
    For one the android app if working will be limited to network access.

    Ubuntu Touch confinement policy prevent apps to access external data without explicit consent of the user.

    In my case I don't miss much from android. Most apps I used can be replaced using webapps because there is a mobile website. Even for my bank account I don't have an issue.

    Depending on the phone you'll have different potential issues hardware related.
    The most notorious issu we're having is with bluetooth.
    GPS fix can be a bit lon because we don't use A-GPS (IIRC it's a global issue, but I'm not sure).
    Depending on the device your experience with the camera may differ.

    VoWifi or VoLTE are not supported ; for more information you can search the forum there is an existing thread about it.

    5G is not yet a topic. We rely on Ofono to access the modem, so it's not really up to Ubuntu Touch.

    Most people can be disappointed by anbox and the app ecosystem. I found it plenty for my use cases, but depending on your needs your opinion may vary.
    I have a Nexus 5 and the only think that I could wish for is a faster GPS fix and bluetooth headset to use in the car.

    Oups I forgot an important topic for many people : no video chat possible yet.
    Don't imagine using whatsapp ; it won't work except the chat part within anbox.
    We have messaging apps for Telegram (Teleports), Matrix (FluffyChat) and Signal (Axolotl).
    Audio calls using those apps is not yet available and neither video calls as previously stated.

    Best regards
    Richard.



  • So there actually is a lot missing. Thanks for summarizing it @AppLee !

    I guess I wouldn't be ready to switch just yet, but I'll try it out on an old unused phone just for the kicks.



  • @peey Yes, don't expect the same experience than on Android. For the daily-driver phone users here, we place our interest elsewhere. But it is a great place to be



  • @peey
    Yes it's safer to try it out an tinker if you have and old phone.
    See if you like it, if you have everything you really need before taking the leap.

    I didn't take the cautious path, I jumped right to it, but I knew that I needed very few to be happy.
    I realized I missed an app for my domoticz server so I created the app.
    Now I'm good, videochat would be icing on the cake... 🙂


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