Ubuntu announces phone OS, throws its hat into the mobile race

administrator

January 2, 2013 4:01pm

Tech heads won’t be unfamiliar with Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system for desktops. Its developers, Canonical, have gone to great lengths to offer high-quality computing for free, and today they’ve announced that they’re going to be building software to mobile phones, as well.

Ubuntu for phones looks to rely heavily on gestures for its day to day operation, masking power behind a clean design. For instance, the “welcome screen” in the center of the above three phones will feature a user’s notifications and will allows users to swipe in different directions to get to apps. While we’re only getting a brief glimpse of how the OS works, it looks to take on iOS, Android and Windows phones despite their sizable head start.

The team will offer full native app support in C++ or OpenGL, and claims that apps run faster on cheaper hardware because all apps are native and there is “no Java overhead.”

Earlier this year, Canonical announced Ubuntu for Android phones, which has yet to materialize. The mobile team plans a release for the Galaxy Nexus very soon, though no official date has been set.

In the company’s video, they explain that the phone looks to provide support for web apps, games and bringing a PC-like experience to mobile. As most users will know, the operating system is famous for both its customization and its steep learning curve: the company will hopefully be looking to eliminate the latter for the general public.

Ubuntu phones will be released in 2014, and the company intends to freely distribute the code like Google does with Android.

Jump to around the 5:00 mark for the good stuff.

Source: Ubuntu
Via: The Verge

  • GENERAL WONG

    Looks promising!

    • Erpdh

      Rip rim.

    • Ontario Teacher

      Please support your teachers in their courageous fight with the bully government. Teachers deserve wage increases yearly, the gov’t is a bully and should be ashamed.

    • kp0w3r

      some of the concepts in this look quite cool hope fullay it can find a place in the market

      @ Ontario Teacher: Thats great you want to spread awarenes and all but spaming random unrelated threads isnt the best way to do it

    • Brad F, Brad F(anboy), jack

      @General Wong

      Hey, are you cronichead on Redflagdeals?

  • Derp

    something with decent security maybe? :)

    that would be a switch..

  • briggs

    I can get behind this. Looks like my galaxy nexus might find new life when they finally do make a release.

  • DrBadass

    Say what??

  • Ray Dube

    Now I wonder what phones it will support, and if it can be modified to convert older mobiles into cheap mp3 players. (Yes, I have a Nexus 1 that needs a new life!)

    • Eduardo

      I’m on the same boat!! It would also be great if my old Nexus S could run it without that damn search button bug!

      It looks very very interesting!

    • CRTC

      Any android phone could run it, although not very well on a n1. They have stated that min specs are 1gb ram dual core a9 cpu for the “lean” version and at least quadcore a9 for full featured os. Devices with dual core krait will be powerful enough to run full mode. N1 will get a port no doubt but the performace is not gonna be worth it, the n1 hardware will probably run jellybean better.

  • Omega Jimes

    “Steep Learning Curve”?
    I loaded up Ubuntu on my mom’s computer because she had a hard time with the metro interface. :/

    • Chris

      Yeah, Ubuntu is great for parents or grandparents too.

  • ile2010

    Looking forward to seeing this on the market.

  • Cody

    It looks good but personally I think it’s too late in the game to introduce a new OS and think it can compete with the growing Android ecosystem and IOS.

    • GlassBackBadIdea

      It is not too late, they are coming at the right time, cause they know how crappy and bloated and slow Android has become, and that people want a better alternative other than what is in the market right now.

  • r3viswan

    Looks an awful lot like BB10 in terms of gestures for functions like peek, flow and full screen apps without a visible status bar.

  • Haxor99

    Very interesting. I hope they find success.

  • ehoustoun

    This looks wonderful, the idea of having a desktop, TV, and smartphone experience all unified tantalizing. I can’t wait for this to be released, I just hope I can throw it on the ol Nexus S.

    As for the ‘steep learning curve’ It’s pretty widely accepted that ubuntu is the easiest to install and most user friendly Linux based OS around so I’m not sure I agree about that part.

    • 45

      Compared to Windows and OS X, it’s not as easy and simple to do most tasks. It’s certainly not too difficult to those who are more advanced with technology, but to the average user, it wouldn’t be as easy to use.

  • 45

    Very interesting. Will be fun to see where this goes.

  • Rich

    Android will really have to step it up in the future as all their competitors are using better coding languages as the base for their OS. Right now, hardware & value is really pushing them ahead, but in the long term they’ll likely need to reboot the OS.

  • Dylan D

    I am interested but its far to early to make judgement on it. I had no doubt there would be a “phone friendly” version coming soon, so its not a surprise.

    But its keeping me interested, as of right now it wouldn’t be worth switching to unless it would work WITH Android, that, or you had apps you knew and loved on the Ubuntu OS.

    It looks nice, has the right kind of UI to help make nearly any phone capable, but as I said its too early to make any call on it, as you could tell in the video it seemed slow. But it did look nice.

    We will have to see how it goes through time, since the expected release is Q4 2013 / early 2014.

  • Cmarenburg

    This is the first phone OS i am excited for! Being a ubuntu user for a few years now this just the icing on the cake! There is a reason why ubuntu will be shipping pre-installed on more computers this year. Ubuntu Phones look slick, clean,and useful in day-to-day tasks!

  • Zeake

    I’m in!

  • gord

    Looks promising and very nice. I do wonder though if there is room for any more phone OS’ though… with iOS, Android, BB10, Firefox OS, Ubuntu OS…. I’m sure there are. Competition is good though. At least forces some innovation (or at least duplication :) on the others.

  • TouchMyBox

    The interface looks really nice and seems to have a solid foundation. The added benefit of turning the phone into a full-blown linux desktop when docked has some pretty mind-blowing potential. Sure, many existing traditional apps would need to be retooled to support ARM processors, but with intel being aggressive with their Atom line-up in the coming years, we could potentially be seeing a phone that you could hook up to a monitor keyboard and mouse and play Dota 2 on. I think that’s incredible potential.

  • Kevin

    This is what I call Competition…with Samsung announcing Tizen…there’s iOS, Droid, WP8, Ubuntu, Meego and BB10…I love choice :)

    • mehmeh

      WTF is “Droid”?

  • GlassBackBadIdea

    More power to them. I will definetly try Ubuntu Mobile. I am sick of Android Google Crap and their slow system. Gingerbread was fine but no, they had to mess things up with ICS and jelly bean crap.

    • nerd fury

      Ics and jelly bean are crap…compared to gingerbread?? Either you’re on some seriously out dated hardware or truly have no idea what you’re talking about, our about Android in general. Sorry, someone had to say it.

  • asdfj

    meh, not really interested yet :)
    they’re saying that there’s no unified os yet, but i think windows nailed it perfectly.

    phone, tablet, pc is all perfectly synced in one ecosystem

    im still an android guy though

  • GlassBackBadIdea

    Death To Anroid Robots. May the Ice Cream Sandwich melt and the Jelly Bean squashed

  • Tarielen

    The most promising thing I see in Ubuntu is it’s universal approach. I would love to see Ubuntu work together with the visionaries at Corning Incorporated to make their Youtube video “A Day Made of Glass” a reality. By focusing on gestures along with location/wireless/bluetooth technologies, being able to work on my phone, find something I want to see like a Youtube video, and swipe my phone screen towards my TV and have the screen appear there would be a true integration of the universal OS imo. A complete network of display devices around the home would be spectacular for techies and gamers like myself. Go another step with integrating home automation systems and security, along with vehicle devices, could turn your home and car into a truly “smart” environment that never leaves your side. Ubuntu seems to have the potential for doing something along those lines and creating a truly innovative future.

  • Dan Levy

    Looks super cool but seemed to me in this video they had swiping up and swiping down doing more than one thing.

  • zzZZzz

    @GlassBackBadIdea, only thing I’ve seen from you was trolling and badmouthing the nexus 4 having glass backing.

    Anyway, on topic, probably the best news I’ve heard this year (well, it’s only been 2 days :D ). I don’t usually watch many software presentations/proposals, but this guy sure seemed to take Jobs by saying “magic” a lot; though to be fair, he used pretty much every superlative out there. This irk aside, it seems the OS is already baked and all it requires is industry support.

    Should be an interesting couple of years ahead.

  • Cool

    Cool

  • chris c.

    Yes, I will have my nexus phone run this later this year! Then I’ll have had experienced at least 3 different operating systems in my lifetime (Android, QNX, mobile Ubuntu).

  • GlassBackBadIdea

    I reset my Galaxy S2 phone and now this stupid phone will not work. There you go, that is the quality of Samsung and Android phones. Garbage. now I have to send it for RMA.

  • Kevin

    Was that comment really necessary “mehmeh”? Troll.

    • GlassBackBadIdea

      yes, to indicated that Android is not without its problems, hence Ubuntu has an opporunity to bring another mobile OS to the market that works better. I thought you are smart to figure that by yourself, guess not, mehmeh

  • gun26

    It looks nice enough, but what chance does it have in the market? Lots of us love Linux on the desktop (me included) and Ubuntu certainly dominates that space, but ALL of Linux and BSD amounts to just 2% of the desktop market. (Windows is still at 91% and the Mac has 7% or so). Ubuntu is a big fish in a vanishingly tiny pond. In the phone market they are facing a two-horse race between Android and IOS, plus two more determined competitors in RIM and Microsoft. What room is there for Ubuntu to do much better than all of *nix has in the desktop market? What incentive would developers have for developing for this system?

  • Nothin But RIM

    This looks interesting and I like it… however, a few things stood out to me that could pose problems. First of all, the swiping left and right is all well and good while outside of an app but anyone who uses the facebook app on iPhone knows that those bring up menu’s. So if you swiped what would it bring up, the phone menu or the in-app menu (could be frustrating for a lot of people).

    Also, with the side bezels being used this would either mean they would need to be wide enough to accomodate a case without interference or they would be small and likely to cause frustration when a case is put on.

    Interesting looking UI, just thought that issue might be valid.

  • Hank

    it seems cool but I dont think anything that was said made me think “oh, thats cooler than android”. The way i see it android will always reign supreme.

  • GlassBackBadIdea

    Best part was when he said you can run programs in Binary! Means we can use programs that utilize the full processing power of the hardware!

  • Chief

    Looks like I’ll be holding out for these puppies now.

  • OMG BASEDGOD #taskforce #tybg

    I would love to try it out. Hope it does well.

  • Bren

    The concept seems exciting but as usual it will come down to the availability of native apps.