Update – the mystery is solved. Canonical unveiled Ubuntu for phones, a full-fledged mobile operating system optimized for mobile devices. See press release below.
We are sure many of you would love to install Ubuntu on your Android device and try out a new operating system just for a change. For those eagerly waiting for such a release Canonical has announced that “all-new Ubuntu product” will be released on January 2nd, which happens to be today.
While Canonical has only revealed that the product will be released today, it is still unknown what this Ubuntu product is like and what it will have to offer. At this point in time we could only guess but we can expect that the release Canonical is talking about is Ubuntu for Android, which has been in the pipeline for quite some time now.
The announcement is definitely very interesting but don’t get too excited, as the possibility of an Ubuntu phone or tablet is very unlikely. Canonical founder had already made it clear that the operating system won’t be ready for use on phones or tablets until the year 2014. As for this Android release, we suspect that it could make it easier for Ubuntu users to sync their Android smartphones and tablets easily with their computer.
Also, Ubuntu for Android could be activated when the device is docked to an Ubuntu computer, after which users will see whatever they are doing on Android like an instance on Ubuntu. This will be helpful in giving users an idea of what Ubuntu for mobile devices will be like.
Ubuntu is currently running a timer on its official site, which as of this time or writing says that “So close, you can touch it” with the timer sitting at around 1:30 hours remaining. We will find out what Ubuntu has up its sleeves in next few hours.
· Leading open PC platform with huge global following announces mobile version for network operators, OEMs and silicon vendors
· Fast, beautiful interface for entry level smartphones
· Unique PC experience on superphones when docked with a monitor, keyboard and mouse
· Ubuntu raises the bar for mobile UI design, for richer and more immersive apps
· A single OS for phone, PC and TV
London, UK, 2 January, 2013: Canonical today announced a distinctive smartphone interface for its popular operating system, Ubuntu, using all four edges of the screen for a more immersive experience. Ubuntu uniquely gives handset OEMs and mobile operators the ability to converge phone, PC and thin client into a single enterprise superphone.
“We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions. Ubuntu is already the most widely used Linux enterprise desktop, with customers in a wide range of sectors focused on security, cost and manageability” said Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical. “We also see an opportunity in basic smartphones that are used for the phone, SMS, web and email, where Ubuntu outperforms thanks to its native core apps and stylish presentation.”
Ubuntu is aimed at two core mobile segments: the high-end superphone, and the entry-level basic smartphone, helping operators grow the use of data amongst consumers who typically use only the phone and messaging but who might embrace the use of web and email on their phone. Ubuntu also appeals to aspirational prosumers who want a fresh experience with faster, richer performance on a lower bill-of-materials device.
The handset interface for Ubuntu introduces distinctive new user experiences to the mobile market, including:
1. Edge magic: thumb gestures from all four edges of the screen enable users to find content and switch between apps faster than other phones.
1. Deep content immersion – controls appear only when the user wants them.
2. A beautiful global search for apps, content and products.
3. Voice and text commands in any application for faster access to rich capabilities.
4. Both native and web or HTML5 apps.
5. Evolving personalised art on the welcome screen.
Ubuntu offers compelling customisation options for partner apps, content and services. Operators and OEMs can easily add their own branded offerings. Canonical’s personal cloud service, Ubuntu One, provides storage and media services, file sharing and a secure transaction service which enables partners to integrate their own service offerings easily.
Canonical makes it easy to build phones with Ubuntu. The company provides engineering services to offload the complexity of maintaining multiple code bases which has proven to be a common issue for smartphone manufacturers, freeing the manufacturer to focus on hardware design and integration. For silicon vendors, Ubuntu is compatible with a typical Android Board Support Package (BSP). This means Ubuntu is ready to run on the most cost-efficient chipset designs.
In bringing Ubuntu to the phone, Canonical is uniquely placed with a single operating system for client, server and cloud, and a unified family of interfaces for the phone, the PC and the TV. “We are defining a new era of convergence in technology, with one unified operating system that underpins cloud computing, data centers, PCs and consumer electronics” says Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and VP Products at Canonical.
Canonical currently serves the leading PC OEMs: ASUS, Dell, HP, and Lenovo all certify the majority of their PCs on Ubuntu and pre-install it in global markets. Over 20 million desktop PCs run the OS today, and Canonical estimates that close to 10% of the world’s new desktops and laptops will ship with Ubuntu in 2014. Ubuntu is also wildly popular as a server platform, the number one server OS on the key major public clouds and the leading host OS for OpenStack, the open source IAAS.