Canonical has announced that Nokia HERE (former Ovi Maps) will provide all the location positioning data on Ubuntu Touch, via their accurate A-GPS (Assisted Global Positioning System) and WiFi positioning system.
The Nokia HERE mapping service is already used on Nokia X, Windows Phone, Firefox OS, Sailfish OS, Tizen and other operating systems. While Ubuntu Touch already provides a GPS-based location via it’s integrated GPS feature, the response is not fast enough and so, Nokia HERE has been implemented.
A HTML5 Nokia HERE application is already available on Ubuntu Touch via the Click Store, along with other mapping clients that use OpenStreetMap.
To improve the overall positioning quality, the system collects data on WiFi signal strength and local radio cells and anonymously passes the data to a crowd-sourced location service.
The story so far:
Canonical has been working a lot at Ubuntu Touch, the mobile version of Ubuntu. While the initial plan was to make it available for all the Google Nexus smartphones and tablets, the developers have dropped the support for Galaxy Nexus, Google Nexus 7 2012 and Google Nexus 10, Ubuntu Touch, now based on Ubuntu 14.10, being officially available only for the Google Nexus 4 smartphone and the Google Nexus 7 2013 tablet. (Nexus 5 is not yet support by Ubuntu Touch.) The first Ubuntu Touch powered phones are scheduled to be released this year, in Europe by BQ and on the Chinese market by Meizu, one Asia’s leading smartphone manufacturers.
Due to the fact that Ubuntu Touch is not yet stable enough to be used on mobile devices, the Canonical developers are planning to release a RTM (release-to-manufacturer) branch, where they will be focused on bug-fixes and stability improvements, and not the implementation of new features.
Also worth mentioning, Mark’s Shuttleworth big dream is to reach full desktop-mobile convergence somewhere between the releases of Ubuntu 14.10 and Ubuntu 15.04 (between October 2014 and April 2015).