Canonical announces Ubuntu for phones

Canonical announces Ubuntu for phones

By | January 4th, 2013
4 Comments on Canonical announces Ubuntu for phones

Canonical has announced Ubuntu for phones and Ubuntu for Android, which

will be shown off at CES this month. It will be available in two flavours

for low end smartphones and high end superphones.


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Touting a single OS for PC, Phone and TV, Ubuntu has finally come up with its smartphone operating system. The OS is aimed at two mobile segments i.e. the high end “superphones” and entry level smartphones. The high end smartphones will be able to run Ubuntu in a special docked mode, which will be able to show the full native interface of Ubuntu, which may offer desktop-like applications on the connected screen. It is expected to be popular among enterprise customers, thus replicating the success linux has already achieved in that space. Commenting on the launch of Ubuntu Phone OS – Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu said, “We’re shaping the future of personal computing. Ubuntu is proven on the desktop, and uniquely positioned to be at the heart of the next wave of consumer electronics, combining a beautiful hand-held touch interface with a full PC experience when docked.”

According to a press release from Canonical, it sports the following major features:

  • Edge magic: thumb gestures from all four edges of the screen enable users to find content and switch between apps faster than other phones.
  • Deep content immersion – controls appear only when the user wants them.
  • A beautiful global search for apps, content and products.
  • Voice and text commands in any application for faster access to rich capabilities.
  • Both native and web or HTML5 apps.
  • Evolving personalised art on the welcome screen.

According to reports vendors to ship the device has not been finalized yet, but it is expected that Ubuntu for Android will be seen in the market soon and this will be a stepping stone to the next level of the pure Ubuntu phone experience which will reach our hands at the end of this year.

Developers will be able to start building on an emulated version of Ubuntu Phone OS for low end as well as high end phones, via a development suite which will be available later this week. It claims to remove the Dalvik Machine layer that Android has and uses Qt for UI development and for offering cross platform applications. “We also see an opportunity in basic smartphones that are used for the phone, SMS, web and email, where Ubuntu outperforms thanks to its native core apps and stylish presentation,” said Jane Silber, CEO at Canonical.

It is yet to be seen however, how this actually plays out and which manufactures come out with Ubuntu devices. Mark Shuttleworth has also been stressing on “a single platform for Ubuntu to stretch across all devices”, ironically this makes me compare this to the efforts Microsoft has been putting in the unification of Windows 8 and Window Phone 8 platforms.

Canonical is expected to showcase the device soon at the CES, which is going to be held at the Las Vegas Convention center this month.

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Ankit Mathur
I have a crush on Java, open source and linux. I also love flirting with almost all other stuff related to mobile and web technologi​es. Feel free poke fun at my articles and I tweet: