Ubuntu Unveils OS For Smartphones; To Be In The Market Starting 2014
Tech heads won’t be unfamiliar with Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system for desktops. Its developers, Canonical, have gone to great lengths to offer high-quality computing for free, and today they’ve announced that they’re going to be building software to mobile phones, as well.
Calling the product launch a “significant next step in our history”, Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, demoed the device and spoke of Canonical’s plans for taking the device to an already saturated mobile market. The company says its eventual plan is to offer consumers a unified experience on TVs, phones and PCs.
Ubuntu for phones looks to rely heavily on gestures for its day to day operation, masking power behind a clean design. For instance, the “welcome screen” in the center of the above three phones will feature a user’s notifications and will allows users to swipe in different directions to get to apps. While we’re only getting a brief glimpse of how the OS works, it looks to take on iOS, Android and Windows phones despite their sizable head start.
[quote]”We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions. Ubuntu is already the most widely used Linux enterprise desktop, with customers in a wide range of sectors focused on security, cost and manageability,” said Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical. “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.”[/quote]
The team will offer full native app support in C++ or OpenGL, and claims that apps run faster on cheaper hardware because all apps are native and there is “no Java overhead.”
Earlier this year, Canonical announced Ubuntu for Android phones, which has yet to materialize. The mobile team plans a release for the Galaxy Nexus very soon, though no official date has been set. Ubuntu OS has support for both ARM and x86 processors. This means it could be made to run on most, if not all, of today’s Android-powered smartphones without too much effort.
In the company’s video, they explain that the phone looks to provide support for web apps, games and bringing a PC-like experience to mobile. As most users will know, the operating system is famous for both its customization and its steep learning curve: the company will hopefully be looking to eliminate the latter for the general public.
Ubuntu phones will be released in 2014, and the company intends to freely distribute the code like Google does with Android.