October is not far from now but folks who are drawn to open-source devices are already rejoicing with the news that Ubuntu smartphones are going to be introduced that month. Moreover, this February, there will be a sort of a "test drive" using Ubuntu operating system on a Google Nexus phone. Along with Samsung, these two tech giants are inviting developers and enthusiasts to beta, tweaking and experimenting with an open source smartphone before the formal unveiling of the said Ubuntu phones.
Ubuntu's introduction as a potential competitor to Apple's IOS and Google's Android is somewhat polarizing. Furthermore, there is Microsoft Windows to take its share in the smartphone market. Many open-source patrons are naturally waiting for October to come, but it remains to be seen if much of the other smartphone enthusiasts will shift from their current operating systems and are willing to actually try Ubuntu smartphones. One thing is sure; Ubuntu phones will surely be promising when it comes to modification and the potential results of collaboration between talented developers and devotees.
We can't wait to see the demo phone at the CES 2013 next week. Based on press videos I've seen so far, Ubuntu on a phone looks as polished as iOS and open as Android, which could make for an attractive combination. The platform doesn't require a hardware button for the home screen or task switching. Instead, users swipe from the edge of the phone display for in app navigation, settings and the home screen. Web and native apps will be supported.
Ubuntu for phones will have two ‘versions', with different hardware requirements. The high-end option will also come with ‘turns into a PC when docked' functionality, just like Ubuntu for Android. The low-end offering won't support this, because the hardware will be tailor made for cheap devices focused on emerging markets.
"At the high end of the smartphone market Ubuntu creates an entirely new ‘superphone' category: a phone that becomes a full PC when docked with a keyboard and monitor. Ubuntu is a popular desktop in security-conscious enterprises and government deployments. It includes thin client software that enables Windows apps to be delivered, securely, from the cloud or the enterprise data centre. That full desktop is included in every high-end Ubuntu phone, and the phone can be managed just like an Ubuntu desktop or server, using standard Ubuntu management tools."
Watch 60 seconds of the stunning features and interaction design that characterise Ubuntu on smartphones.
Ubuntu Smartphones are set to be shipped on October this year, which will definitely tickle the fancies of people who love open source gadgets. This type of OS makes these smart phones' UI and whatnot highly customizable at will.
Presently, open source smartphones are either discontinued or are only available to a few developers. Furthermore, the market for Ubuntu Smartphones is highly specific, being North America as well as other geographic markets that prefer open source systems, according to a report by Wall Street Journal.
The source further states that Ubuntu has captured the interest of popular mobile carriers, but no word is given yet as to who and what companies were drawn to developing Ubuntu smart phones.
Developers and enthusiasts will definitely want October to come and a select few will also have access to this Linux-based OS as a pilot ROM for the Galaxy Nexus late February.
A developer preview of the Ubuntu mobile OS has been introduced and some Android phones may actually be used to try the new mobile operating system. However, before doing so, be forewarned that installing it on your Android phone will wipeout all of your data so it is better to perform a back-up before experimenting on this open source system. Some of the devices that it supports are the Nexus 4, 7 and 10 as well as the Galaxy Nexus.
It is also important to note that since the OS is new, it is not without flaws and it is expected that it will not function as optimally as well-established mobile operating systems in the market. Ubuntu Touch will entice open-source enthusiasts and some already report that it is quick and is better than what they had thought. Again, remember to back-up if you want to try to experience it.
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