Ubuntu Phone Heading Our Way

ubuntu-phoneOn 2nd January 2013 (Happy New Year by the way) news of an Ubuntu phone was announced.

Ubuntu is a computer operating system based on the Debian Linux distribution and distributed as free and open source software, using its own desktop environment. It is named after the Southern African philosophy of ubuntu (“humanity towards others”). Another translation could be: “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity”- Wiki

Canonical, the developers of Ubuntu, say that Ubuntu Phone will have a new edition of the Ubuntu operating system derived from Debian GNU/Linux and targeted at smartphones and tablets.

“We are defining a new era of convergence in technology, with one unified operating system that underpins cloud computing, data centers, PCs, and consumer electronics,” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and products VP at Canonical.

“When you turn on the Ubuntu phone you’ll see something strikingly different. You’ll see a beautiful reflection of yourself, a visualization of your life crafted by an artist, ever-changing, totally personal, and completely unique, just like you.”

Shuttleworth described how the OS makes full use of a phone’s screen, providing access to content and apps from every edge. For example, he demonstrated how a short swipe from the left edge reveals a user’s favorite apps. What’s more, a full left-to-right swipe opens a screen showing all the applications that are running. Swiping up from the bottom edge of the phone reveals app controls.

According to Infoworld:

Ubuntu Phone’s native applications cover telephony and voicemail, SMS and MMS, email, Web browsing, photography, music, and video. Other features include an all-inclusive inbox that provides access to emails, texts, calls, and social media posts. When a new message arrives, you can swipe down from the top and respond directly to Facebook, Twitter, email, texts, and calls.

The OS fully supports HTML5, and HTML5 apps written for other platforms can be adapted to Ubuntu with ease, according to Canonical. “We’re targeting standard cross-platform Web app development frameworks like PhoneGap to make Ubuntu ‘just work’ for apps that use them,” according to the OS product page.

Beyond supporting HTML5, Ubuntu provides a native developer environment that uses QML, which aims to support development of native apps with engines in C or C++, and JavaScript for UI glue. The QML toolkit and sample application are available for download today. Also provided: full native OpenGL, popular among game makers.

Canonical have said there will be two Ubuntu Phones to begine with:
– The entry-level model uses a 1GHz Cortex A9 processor, 512MB to 1GB of memory, 4GB to 8GB of Flash storage, and multitouch support.
– The high-end “superphone” runs quad-core A9 or Intel Atom, and it has a minimum of 1GB of memory and a minimum of 32GB of flash. In addition to multitouch, it supports desktop convergence.

If things go to plan we should be seeing the phones in 2014.

The big question is will the Ubuntu phone be able to make its mark against the likes of Apple and Microsoft?


Posted on January 4, 2013, in App, Hardware, News, Tech and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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