Ubuntu for Android arrives: pictures

Ubuntu for Android arrives: pictures

Summary: 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.


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  • (Credit: Ben Woods/ZDNet UK)

    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 a 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 user interface 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.

  • (Credit: Ben Woods/ZDNet UK)

    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 stand-alone 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."

Topics: Android, Google, Linux, Open Source

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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  • I may sound old fashioned but as long as I can use packages equal to Word and Excel (not Google's crappy imitation versions or Open Office) this would be worthwhile. Otherwise, forget it.
    James Y
  • Looks promising. I use Ubuntu atm. So i could use this for my android phone.
  • Ubuntu is the os which dont get viruses easiyl.