Browsing the web with this version of the software works but isn't really ready for prime time. There are some issues with navigation, and entering a URL requires the on-screen keyboard which is cumbersome at best (see Figure 3). If you're simply hitting bookmarked pages or browsing a site by clicking on links, it works just fine. The Samsung Q1 has a number of buttons on the front face of the device that are programmable under Windows and make some of the tasks like paging down on a web page much easier. These aren't currently accessible with this release, but it's likely they will be with a final shipping version.
With my Q1 I purchased the leather case / USB keyboard accessory to make text entry easier. Open Office works just fine under UME, and I was able to enter and edit text using the keyboard with no issues. The USB keyboard also includes an "eraser head" type mouse that works just fine under UME. I did not try to connect a Bluetooth keyboard although this version is supposed to support Bluetooth devices.
There are a number of developer resources if you have an interest in writing or porting applications to the UME platform. The moblin.org website has links to an SDK and a developer forum where development topics are covered. UME has the Hildon desktop in common with the Nokia tablet platform bringing a good source of developer examples to learn from. Python is a major language of choice for many of the applications that have been created for the Nokia tablets and these should easily move over to the UME platform.
You'll find a great tutorial on the Ubuntu site on how to launch one of the images using the Xephyr environment. One hint that I needed concerned a work around for a DNS issue. The instructions are on the same page under the "Temporary issue with DNS" heading.
Overall this version represents a good start toward making the Linux operating system a viable alternative to Windows for these ultra portable devices. You can follow the development on any of the Ubuntu mobile mailing lists and IRC discussions listed on the UME wiki.This article was first published on LinuxPlanet.com.