Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu operating system, has announced the introduction of a smartphone version of its Linux based operating system. According to reports, the new operating system has been built around existing Android kernel and drivers which means existing Android device manufacturers can take advantage of the new free mobile OS. Right now, the OS can run on Galaxy Nexus devices, (the phone in the image above).
According to a post on the Canonical blog, the phones themselves are not available yet but the company is “we are ready to start working with partners with an aim to releasing phones before the end of 2013.” The company will however have phones for demo at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this month.
Here are some important things to note about the Ubuntu phone OS:
- Canonical says the OS will provide a great experience on entry level smartphones (we’re thinking sub $100 stuff) as it doesn’t have Java virtual machine overhead allowing its core applications to run at “full native speeds with a small memory footprint.” This will likely attract Chinese device manufacturers, whose imitation phones are minimal on device power, but have had to rely on Android for their emerging market phones.
- The OS has ‘superphone’ capabilities, which basically means you can turn it into a full Ubuntu desktop by docking it to a monitor and keyboard.
- It will support both native apps and web apps and developers can already start familiarizing themselves.
- The phone will feel different from your usual iOS, Android or Windows phone in the sense that it relies more on swipes than buttons for actions.
- According to canonical, the phone will handle multitasking at a whole new level compared to current mobile OS offerings. In short, keeping many apps open at once won’t be a pain.
The Ubuntu phone OS has announced as another much reported open source smartphone, Jolla’s Sa Jolla’s Sailfish, comes onto the scene, a clear sign the future holds more choice for mobile device manufactures.
Will your next smartphone run Ubuntu or you’re sticking with Android, iPhones & Windows?