Canonical announces Ubuntu for Smartphone

Written by | Apps and OS, Gadgets

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Via their virtual (Apple-esque) keynote Mark Shuttleworth Ubuntu founder and VP Products at Canonical announced the release of Ubuntu for smartphone mobile OS. The Ubuntu Mobile OS will be demoed at their booth in this years CES 2013.

Operators and OEMs are expected to support Ubuntu for smartphone once it’s release this year. The Ubuntu for smarphones has a number of notable features that are not available by current mobile OS in the market, such as;

  • Edge magic: thumb gestures from all four edges of the screen enable users to find content and switch between apps faster than other phones.
  • Deep content immersion – controls appear only when the user wants them.
  • A beautiful global search for apps, content and products.
  • Voice and text commands in any application for faster access to rich capabilities.
  • Both native and web or HTML5 apps.
  • Evolving personalised art on the welcome screen

Ian Drew – executive vice president, Marketing and Business Development of ARM said about the announcement…

“This announcement is good news for consumers who are already living in a mobile-centric world. Ubuntu will hand users the ability to enjoy a unified experience across the multiple platforms on which they lead their digital lives. It will also help to deliver the highly personalized interface, operating system, content and applications that are central to the creation of compelling new digital experiences.”

Ubuntu is also working with app developers to complete the Content, App/Services, OS and Hardware ecosystem. It’s interesting to see how will Ubuntu compete with the likes of Apple, Google and Microsoft in the mobile arena, specially with Apple and Google, since both company practically own the market.

To see Ubuntu Mobile OS in action, checkout the video below.

Here’s Canonical’s full PR:

Ubuntu comes to the phone, with a beautifully distilled interface and a unique full PC capability when docked

  • 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 2nd 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:

  • Edge magic: thumb gestures from all four edges of the screen enable users to find content and switch between apps faster than other phones.
  • Deep content immersion – controls appear only when the user wants them.
  • A beautiful global search for apps, content and products.
  • Voice and text commands in any application for faster access to rich capabilities.
  • Both native and web or HTML5 apps.
  • 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.

For more visit us at CES: Las Vegas Convention Centre, Upper Level South Hall 3, Booth #30659

Last modified: January 4, 2013

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