Ubuntu OS expands its reach to Mobiles, First smartphone to ship in a year

The big news for the New Year 2013 has just arrived. Ubuntu – a very popular open source and free Desktop operating system is spreading its reach to pockets through mobile devices. Yes, for any Ubuntu fan – nothing can get bigger than this.

Ubuntu with continued support from Canonical will showcase these new announcements in CES 2013, from 8–11 January 2013.

Ubuntu has also promised to showcase and give hands-on with first ever Ubuntu smart phone (Superphone) in Mobile World Congress (MWC 2013)

What’s New in Ubuntu OS for Phones & Tablets?

We have seen new, path-breaking mobile OSes in recent times – from iOS to ever-growing Android to new Windows Phone and upcoming BlackBerry OS 10. So, why would someone go for Ubuntu?

  • Ubuntu for phones will give more space in same-sized mobile displays, both on phones and tablets.
  • This newly designed OS offers navigation controls from edges of the device instead of the buttons, UI works very much similar to Windows Phone and MeeGo… but the control buttons are available by swiping at the bottom.
  • Favourite App’s List, running applications or going to previously used app all these are available with a simple swipe over the edges.
  • There is no lock-screen, there is no fixed home-screen – everything is customizable to our needs. The new design offers full-screen app experience by showing more of the content instead of control buttons.
  • The standard tray notifications & icons are available like other platforms but on Ubuntu mobile OS – we can simply long-hold on these icons to edit their system settings. We don’t need to go to Settings app every now & then.
  • The home-screen automatically shows contacts’ shortcut for quick call-backs, along with recently used apps or read books etc.
  • Ubuntu uses both HTML5 and native apps and Web Apps, will full global search capability. Similar to what Firefox OS is working on.
  • Voice and text commands are available through all the apps without touching a button.
  • The OS will have integration with Ubunu-1, a personal Cloud backup. All the apps, settings gets backed up on cloud automatically.

Full PC Experience

Ubuntu OS works on entry-level smartphones (least 1GHz + 512MB RAM + 4GB eMMC + SD) but to get the full PC experience, you will need to have a high-end Ubuntu superphone (with least, Quad-core A9 or Intel Atom + 1GB RAM, 32GB eMMC + SD).

Ubuntu hi-end superphone can then be converted into a full-blown PC & can be used just like by simply connecting a dock and a monitor with all the Ubuntu desktop apps available for these devices. This ability of giving complete PC experience is a one step ahead from what’s really missing in current platforms.

Ubuntu OS expands its reach to Mobiles, First smartphone to ship in a year

Advantage for OEMs ?

Ubuntu for phones uses the same hardware and drivers as Android – hence, for OEM’s adopting to this new OS will be a BIG cost-saving deal.  Secondly, Ubuntu for phone also offer full-support in branding opportunities on the software.

The world is looking for change, innovation and excitement all the time & Ubuntu OS will just provide that because; we haven’t seen anything largely different in last 3-4 years. And, this could be the right timing for Ubuntu’s mobile OS.

Enterprises will be their primary focus and then the consumer market, according to the Keynote released. Creating own space in a crowded market of iOS or Android is going to be a tough task for both Ubuntu and Manufacturers. Proven track-record and deliveries are the plus points for Ubuntu to succeed on a large-scale.

In another interesting option – OEMs can actually integrate Ubuntu for Android phones through a different setup.

Their smartphone to be available in the market soon. What’s your thought? Do share with us in comments.

Ubuntu Keynote Video


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