It appears Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS are about to face some new competition: Ubuntu Phone.
Ubuntu Phone is a mobile platform developed by Canonical Ltd for smartphones and they aim to give us a similar user experience as the Ubuntu desktop edition. The OS which was previewed on January 2013 will be release officially in February 2013 . Ubuntu Phone is not an operating system for Mobile phones, it is the standard Ubuntu operating system that is used on desktop computers deployed on smart phones, so the same native applications can be run on both. There is uncertainty about when first devices will ship with the OS preinstalled since no OEMs have committed to producing hardware yet, though first estimations are set at the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014.
The new smartphones will include an “entry level” model powered by a 1GHz Cortex A9 with 512-1024MB of RAM and 4-8GB of flash storage and a “high-end superphone” handset, which will feature a quad-core A9
or Intel Atom APU, 1GB or more RAM and pack 32GB of internal storage.
Ubuntu for smartphones appears to take some cues from Palm OS or even BlackBerry 10, favoring gestures like
finger swipes and taps to intuitively reveal settings, display features and switch tasks. Interestingly, Ubuntu mobile should work on ‘any’ Android-based device, as both operating systems share the same driver module support. Ubuntu has already been adapted to run on chipsets using the ARM and Intel x86 architectures relevant for mobile devices, with the core system based around a typical Android Board Support Package (BSP). So chipset vendors and hardware manufacturers do not need to invest in or maintain new hardware support packages for Ubuntu on smartphones. In short, if you already make handsets that run Android, the work needed to adopt Ubuntu will be trivial.
Ubuntu is also pushing its boundaries beyond just PCs and smartphones though, hoping to land itself on your television or even alongside your existing Android device. Canonical is touting its OS as the only truly “universal” OS that can find a home on virtually anything. Many thanks to Rick Burgess.