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Canonical invites input on core Ubuntu Phone apps

A dedicated website is now available for collaborating on this key component of the Linux-based mobile platform.

When Canonical officially announced Ubuntu for phones just a few weeks ago, it demonstrated an attractive interface but was otherwise light on specifics regarding the hardware, carriers, or apps that might be involved in actual devices.

A downloadable image of the upcoming system will reportedly be available in late February for the Galaxy Nexus, but in the meantime the project team is apparently hard at work on what may be considered the most important component of all: apps.

Specifically, it's launched a project called Ubuntu Phone Core Apps through which it's hoping the broader community of Ubuntu Linux developers and fans will help design and create a set of basic open source apps that will come preloaded on Ubuntu Phone devices.

'Millions of handsets'

"Recently we announced the Ubuntu Phone and as part of the phone platform we are inviting our community to participate in building the core set of apps that will ship with the phone," explains the Core Apps page on the Ubuntu Wiki site. "This provides a fantastic opportunity to create software that could run on millions of handsets!

"We have already reached out to our community for programming volunteers (we did this on the launch day) and we are also inviting design suggestions for the apps," Canonical explains.

Among the specific types of apps being sought are a calendar, a clock/alarm, weather, calculator, an email client, an RSS reader, file manager, document viewer, account manager, and terminal as well as integration with Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

An online mock-up tool

There are already key developers assigned to each core app, noted Ubuntu Community Manager Jono Bacon in a blog post on Wednesday.

"We have already defined a set of user stories and functional requirements, and for each app we have also defined a set of the core screens and functionality that we will need to design for," Bacon explained.

A dedicated Ubuntu MyBalsamiq site has been set up for online mock-ups and comments. There's also a simple set of basic design suggestions available online that participants should follow.

Do you have a penchant for mobile apps or a flair for design?

If you're interested in getting involved, Bacon encourages you to join the #ubuntu-phone IRC channel on freenode as well as signing up for the mailing list. Bacon will also provide regular updates through a weekly videocast every Wednesday at 7 pm UTC on Ubuntu On Air.

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