Ubuntu for phones

Canonical wish you “happy new year” by introducing their all-new product for future release sometime late in 2013: Ubuntu Smartphone! Internet and social media are “on-fire” posting videos and articles about the new phone. All clues point to the same direction, and the Mobile War has been declared. Please, make no mistake here, Ubuntu phone is not running Android, but a new long-awaited mobile version of Ubuntu — which comes with a new UI adapted for smaller screens.

First look and new Interface


The handset interface for Ubuntu introduces distinctive new user experiences to the mobile market, including:

  1. [highlight color=”yellow”]Edge-Magic[/highlight]: thumb gestures from all four edges of the screen enable users to find content and switch between apps faster than other phones.
  2. Deep content immersion – controls appear only when the user wants them.
  3. A beautiful global search for apps, content and products.
  4. Voice and text commands in any application for faster access to rich capabilities.
  5. Both native and web or HTML5 apps.
  6. Evolving personalised art on the welcome screen.

The basic user navigation relies upon the edge swipes method instead of using buttons. This is a feature similar to Windows 8 tablets but Ubuntu has a unique implementation on that. More info about GUI : http://www.heavy.com/news/2013/01/ubuntu-mobile-os-is-revealed-10-things-you-need-to-know/

According to Engadget hands-on:

First and foremost, the UI relies heavily on edge swipes instead of buttons — much like Windows 8 on a tablet or indeed other mobile OS’s like MeeGo, although here each swipe has its own Ubuntu-esque functions. Beyond that, the icons along the top have some interesting features, which will be explained after the break. We’re also told that voice control is in attendance, and that an app store is in the works, with a mix of both web apps and native apps — with the latter type being able to make better use of the hardware.



Hardware specification

Speaking of hardware, here’s where you might get a twinge of disappointment: there are no immediate plans for actual Ubuntu phones, and no carriers have been signed up yet. But here’s the basic idea:


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.


There will be high-end and entry-level devices

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.

“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.”


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