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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.