Ubuntu for Android arrives: In pictures

Ubuntu for Android arrives: In pictures

Summary: Canonical has shown ZDNet the new Ubuntu for Android platform, which provides a context-sensitive version of Ubuntu that runs when an Android smartphone is connected to a monitor

TOPICS: Mobility

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  • Ubuntu for Android Launcher

    Canonical has revealed the latest component of its mobile strategy for the Ubuntu operating system, unveiling what it is calling 'Ubuntu for Android'. This is a hybrid mobile/desktop platform that the company hopes will enable a smartphone to become your sole computing device.

    Ubuntu for Android runs alongside Google's mobile OS on a smartphone, only activating when placed in a dock that's connected to an external monitor via HDMI.  This is reminiscent of the way Motorola's Atrix provides an external web browsing experience when docked. However, Ubuntu for Android goes much further.

    "Ubuntu for Android is a capability to have your desktop and smartphone converged on a single device," Jane Silber, chief executive of Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, told ZDNet UK on Tuesday. "It is not an Ubuntu application on Android, it's a full Ubuntu desktop experience powered by the smartphone, which you interact with when it is docked in a desktop environment."

    The platform also detects the kind of device to which it is being connected. For example, when placed in a TV dock, it boots into the Ubuntu TV UI rather than Ubuntu for Android. Despite its chameleon-like nature, some level of Ubuntu's common look-and-feel is retained — for example, the launcher on the left-hand side of the screen pictured here.

    Image credit: Ben Woods/ZDNet UK

    Read Behind Ubuntu's shift into mobile on ZDNet UK.

  • Ubuntu for Android continuous productivity

    Ubuntu for Android only activates when docked, so the smartphone provides a normal Android experience until that point. Once docked and activated, Ubuntu for Android allows you to resume activities such as web browsing sessions or email creation automatically without the need to manually reopen any open tabs or windows (pictured).  

    According to Richard Collins, engineering project manager at Canonical, Ubuntu for Android is "not looking to encroach on Android". Silber, however, told ZDNet UK that the company's ultimate goal would include its own standalone OS, but that it has no roadmap or product to share at this stage.

    Silber said that the initial strategy is to have the platform preloaded on smartphones to act as a differentiator at the point of purchase. She added that Canonical expects large-scale adoption of Ubuntu for Android to come initially from enterprise customers.

    "We've seen a lot of initial interest from enterprise IT departments," Silber said. "However, everybody we show it to is interested, at the individual consumer level as well; everybody can see the appeal to simplifying their life to one device, regardless of a work scenario. I think the initial market is enterprise, but the themes there translate equally well."

    Image credit: Ben Woods/ZDNet UK

    Read Behind Ubuntu's shift into mobile on ZDNet UK.

  • Ubuntu for Android retains core Android functionality even when docked

    When docked, Ubuntu for Android provides access to key smartphone functionality such as contact management, text messaging, email and phone call handling, as well as providing the extra features afforded by a full desktop OS.

    Image credit: Ben Woods/ZDNet UK

    Read Behind Ubuntu's shift into mobile on ZDNet UK.

Topic: Mobility

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • As a person who uses Ubuntu almost everyday I am very happy. Ubuntu is going to shake things up! The word CompPhone needs to be coined.
  • If they can pull it off with phone manufacturers, this could be the back door for relatively widespread adoption of Ubuntu: who wouldn't want a free desktop computer as well as a phone?
    Jake Rayson
  • this would llitterly be a pocket pc!!!!!