Nine more months until Ubuntu goes mobile
Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth has confirmed that the first smartphones running the mobile version of Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux distributions in the world, will appear on the shelves in October.
The approximate launch date was revealed at a press event in New York City on Tuesday.
Canonical currently uses Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus smartphones to showcase its OS, and previously said that any Android phone could be adapted to run Ubuntu, since they share the same Linux kernel and essential set of drivers.
Ubuntu for phones, which officially launched in January, is a fully-featured desktop OS with an interface designed for touch interaction and small screen size. It will support both HTML5 apps written for smartphones in general, as well as the native apps specific to Ubuntu, developed using QML, OpenGL and C++.
The familiar Unity interface has been redesigned to include gesture recognition and swiping from the edge of the screen, and once connected to a monitor and a Bluetooth keyboard, the new OS can transform into a regular Linux computer capable of running remote Windows applications.
At the Tuesday event, Shuttleworth said that the OS will be available in two geographic markets by October, but failed to mention which markets exactly, reports the Wall Street Journal. The CEO also said that Ubuntu was drawing strong interest from carriers and manufacturers, but once again didn’t mention any names.
Canonical previously announced that it will release the Ubuntu code to the open source community in late February.
The OS could provide an answer to the problems surrounding the BYOD (bring your own device) trend, since any Ubuntu phone can be managed through the same familiar tools used with Ubuntu servers. shuttleworth believes it is also more secure than Android, which is generally considered to be the most attractive operating system for malware creators, largely because of its open nature and massive popularity.
Despite these innovative ideas, Ubuntu came second in TechWeekEurope’s own popularity poll. The most popular ‘alternative’ mobile OS turned out to be the upcoming Linux-based Sailfish, developed by Finnish start-up Jolla.
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