Build more than just apps

Ubuntu enables the delivery of content and services directly to the screen – effectively creating a rich, fast and unfragmented experience for users, while giving developers the unprecedented opportunity to create app-like experiences that are integral to the device, at a fraction of the cost to build and maintain traditional apps.

These experiences are developed using Ubuntu Scopes, a new UI toolkit available through the Ubuntu SDK.

A new generation of mobile experiences

Scopes in action

Scopes are a complete reinvention of the content and services experience where you can stop trying to bring the user "in", but simply focus on bringing the content "out".

Users have a new way to access content and apps without having to download individual apps – and developers have the opportunity to be discovered via the device’s categorized home screens.

It’s a world away from traditional smartphones and the app icon grid, and brings a great opportunity for developers and content producers to shine.

How it works

  • Scopes are a point of entry into the Ubuntu ecosystem for all kinds of developers: the API is availaible in JavaScript, C++ and Go.
  • Using keywords, scopes can be aggregated into more general scopes, called Aggregation Scopes: your content is visible in context of what the user is actively looking for.
  • Scopes work with a simple client-server model, where a locally running server mediates data exchange between your content and user requests, keeping every scopes confined and independant from each other.

There are two types of scopes:

Aggregation Scopes

These define the device’s default experience by bringing together content and services from multiple sources and delivering them as a unified experience.

For example, the Videos scope will display multiple video sources, and similarly a Music scope can display music related content from a variety of providers.

Examples: Music, Videos, News, Films, Photos.

Branded Scopes

App-like experiences delivered directly to the screen. This is the fastest path to develop a rich mobile experience on Ubuntu, with higher discoverability and easier to develop and maintain than traditional apps.

By attributing categories (music, news, videos, etc) to your branded Scopes, users can discover them from both the default aggregation Scopes and the Store. They can become integral to the device’s default experience once a user favorites your branded scope.

Examples: Youtube, Flickr, Amazon, Telegram, The Weather Channel, Open Library.

Get started

You're all set up to get started with your first scope, there are tutorials available for JavaScript, Go and C++, that will help you write it.

Start a scope tutorial

Learn more about scopes

When you want to dive further into scopes, you can always find wisdom in our selection of scopes developer and design guides.

Need help?

Thanks to our active community, you can find support from a variety of sources such as Ask Ubuntu, our mailing lists or IRC channel.