Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu linux Distro, has announced Ubuntu for phones. Ubuntu for phones seems to use the same Linux kernel that powers the desktop version of ubuntu, but with a touch based UI optimized for mobile phones and tablets.
The major benefit of Ubuntu for Phones is that you will be able to run the same apps on both the Desktop and Phone versions of Ubuntu. App developers don’t even need to compile a separate version from each platform. This interoperability between each version of Ubuntu will surely continue to Ubuntu for TV’s and Automobiles.
Not only will this phone run the same apps as the Ubuntu Desktop distro, but it can function as a desktop as well. Canonical has stated that they would like Ubuntu phones to dock to standard a keyboard, mouse and monitor a la the Motorola Atrix. Docking the phone will allow users to use the phone as a thin client or to run the standard Ubuntu Unity desktop UI, essentially giving users a full featured PC in their pocket.
Canonical has stated that Ubuntu phones will not available until 2014, but in the mean time any phone that runs Android will do. Ubuntu for Phones uses the same drivers as the Android platform allowing users to easily run Ubuntu on their current phones. Not only will Ubuntu run on Android phones, but its only a matter of time until you can run Android apps as well.
One major advantage that Ubuntu for phones seems to have is that native apps will not rely on Java for its apps like Android does, instead apps will run on native code. Because Java has so much overhead this should mean better performance out of the same hardware that a Android uses.
In a crowded mobile OS world it’s hard to be optimistic about a new mobile OS, but Ubuntu seems to have a well formulated game plan to take on Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry devices. Ubuntu for Phones looks to be gunning for the coveted #3 spot in the mobile OS world, and may be an a position to become #1 in the future. It looks like 2013 is shaping up to be and intresting year for mobile phone users.
- Uses the same device drivers as Android
- Can run on any device that runs Android
- The phone becomes a full PC and thin client when docked
- Docked phones can feature standard desktop Unity UI
- Flow naturally from app to app with edge magic
- Native or HTML5 based apps
- Apps will work on both Ubuntu Desktop and for Phone without recompiling