Scopes de UbuntuWhat are the Ubuntu Scopes and how do they work? Scopes are individual quick start screens that enable you to access everything you need and group content together by theme.

It’s been some time since we launched the BQ , smartphone running on the Canonical OS. Even though there’s still some way to go, , it has introduced interesting new features in comparison to other operating systems that you may be used to working with. Scopes are a great example of this.

If you use Android often, you will be more than familiar with having various desktops to place your apps or widgets on, however, on Ubuntu you won’t find this option., Information is displayed in a new way using scopes; individual quick start screens that allow you to find all of the content from music, videos, social networks, etc. We could basically describe them as data aggregators. The idea is to display all data of a particular type together, in a logical way. For example, via the “Photos” scope, you can view photos taken with your camera, from your Instagram profile, flicker, Telegram and so on.

The same thing will happen with the YouTube and Vimeo apps under the “Video” Scope and the News scope allows you to view all the latest headlines from BBC, El País, Engadget, Euronews, Xataka…and any other news feed you wish to follow.

This way, you can find and check everything you are looking for in one go, without having to open each app, and to make it more logical, you can adjust the settings individually to suit your needs. All you need to do is press the cog icon that appears at the top right of the screen.

News, photos and video scopes

News, photos and video scopes

Essential and default Scopes

In addition to the scopes mentioned earlier, which you can add or delete as you like, other essential scopes are included by default, such as “Today”, “NearBy” and “Apps”.The “Today” Scope is a small summary of everything that is happening today. You will see information on the weather, calendar events, recent calls and messages, Telegram messages and topics trending on Twitter.

“NearBy” allows you to find information on places closest to your location, depending on your mood (Scopes sadly aren’t telepathic yet, so you would need to choose from the drop-down menu). So if you’re hungry, the closest restaurants will appear on screen or if you’re bored, the closest points of interest.

As you would expect, “Apps” scopeshows you all of the installed apps and access to the Ubuntu Store.

Today, NearBy and Apps Scope

Today, NearBy and Apps Scope

All of the scopes mentioned so far come preconfigured by default. . There are many more preinstalled on the device, for instance, Gmail, traffic alerts, shopping, tasks, weather, points of interest, etc.. You will find several scopes for certain features (such as music) as each one is different and has its own individual settings.

To view them, simply drag up the arrow that appears at the bottom of the screen while browsing the scopes. To add or hide scopes from the favourites list, click on the star icon to the right side of the scope.. You can also rearrange your favourites list by pressing and holding on the scopes Administration list.

Manage options

Manage options

If you still haven’t found an existing scope that satisfies your needs, there are many more to choose and download from the Ubuntu Store. Here are a few interesting ones:

  • Nearby Articles: finds interesting information on your location via Wikipedia.
  • Cinema: provides information on films and TV via The Movie Database (TMDb)
  • Places: similar to the NearBy scope, except it uses the services of Google Places
  • My Activity Scope: if you use Fitbit to track your activity, you can sync your account data via this scope.
  • OMG! Ubuntu!: provides information from the infamous Ubuntu news site.
  • Canal BQ: there´s even a scope for direct access to the BQ channel.
Other Scopes Cinema, BQ and OMG! UBUNTU

Other Scopes Cinema, BQ and OMG! UBUNTU

Example of Scopes to download

There are other alternatives to downloading apps from the official Ubuntu Store, but bear in mind that these sites are not approved or controlled by Canonical and caution should therefore be taken. One of these alternatives is the unofficial “uApp Explorer” store, which indexes content from the official Ubuntu Store every hour. Here you can refine your search to Scopes and take a look at what they have to offer.

If you still haven’t found a scope to your liking, another option is to make your own. Of course, this could be difficult if you don´t have the necessary technical knowledge. In any case, if you´re interested, in creating your own custom Scopes,here is the link to the Ubuntu development website., There is also the useful scopecreator tool for Ubuntu, which was created by Chris Wayne to enable you to create your own custom scope in less than 5min.

Finally, it´s important to remember that scopes are not actually apps;- they are an alternative way to present information. For more general features, you will need to search the apps, which you will also find in the Ubuntu store. If you come across an interesting scope or you happen to invent your own, you can share with the community by leaving a comment below.

Carlos Ávila is an information systems administrator with 10 years of experience in the field. Passionate about science and technology, he maintains his own blog which he uses to share his knowledge about the subject. He also collaborates with BQ, writing articles related to smartphones, tablets, networks and technology.