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While the fight of the mobile operating system goes on, there is another potential entry into the game. Ubuntu, the popular Linux-based desktop OS, from Canonical, announced their ambitious plan for the new Ubuntu Mobile OS. Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu, presented the world with an early preview of the new OS, through a virtual keynote on YouTube. Let’s look at what Ubuntu brings to the table, and our first thoughts.

Ubuntu Ready With A Mobile OS, Hitting Smartphones In Q4 2013: Too Ambitious?


The short preview of the Ubuntu Mobile showcases some salient features of the new OS. It focuses on the human touch using gestures,  easy navigation, and a new concept of lock screen. Ubuntu, Canonical sums it up really well —

Your phone is more immersive, the screen is less cluttered, and you flow naturally from app to app with edge magic. The phone becomes a full PC and thin client when docked. Ubuntu delivers a magical phone that is faster to run, faster to use and fits perfectly into the Ubuntu family.”

Of all the features, the one that stands-out is its capability to turn into a full PC operating system when docked to a PC. A feature that has been longed by users of all popular mobile operating systems in the market. Motorola tried that with the Webtop app, but it flopped sooner.

Check out this quick overview of the new Ubuntu mobile operating system – the human touch —

Amongst other features, is the simplified layout and navigation. There’s something at all the four edges of the phone, waiting to be pulled by the user. As with all new things, the UI looks refreshing, and neat.

Ubuntu has also tried to innovate with the lock screen. They don’t call it a lock screen anymore, but it’s a sign saying “come in”. It visualizes complex data in a beautiful signature flourish.


So, all this looks good. How about the performance?

Ubuntu Mobile is designed to make good use of the multiple cores in smartphones, and supports both ARM and Intel x86 architectures in terms of processor. Ubuntu also claims that the OS will run as good in the leanest smartphone without the requirement of premium hardware components. While these are early stages to comment on the performance, it will be interesting to know how well it fares with the like of Android’s Project Butter, Windows Phone 8, the super smooth iOS and the upcoming BlackBerry 10.

What about apps?

As with any mobile operating system, it’s soul lies in the app ecosystem. Ubuntu knows that, and has therefore opened its gates for the developers. With support for both web and native apps, Ubuntu has gone the Windows 8 way. Existing web properties can be installed on the Ubuntu phone, where they can run as web apps independent of the browser, with full access to the system just like native apps. HTML5 is fully supported. To use the full power of the hardware, you can develop native apps, using OpenGL and QML, with C or C++ and Javascript compiled for extra performance. Ubuntu SDK is already available for developers to help start the process. And all the apps you develop, will run both on Ubuntu Mobile and Desktop OS!

Too ambitious?

Now, here is a new mobile operating system is the making and a potential candidate to challenge the likes of iOS, Android and Windows Phone. So much of it, do you feel it’s too ambitious? Surely it is, and why shouldn’t it be? We are in a world where innovation is so important. Though it has taken some inspiration from all the popular operating systems in the market, and mashed it up well, it looks good. A new OS will bring more choices for the consumer, and that’s what we want. You may not see an Ubuntu smartphone in retail stores until early 2014, but it will start hitting markets by Q4 2013 as per Ubuntu. For now, Ubuntu will be showcasing their new OS at the CES 2013.

We are excited about this new development, how about you? Share your thoughts below.

For more information about Ubuntu Mobile visit this link or watch the full keynote video here.

I am a tech-enthusiast and a web developer-n-designer. I follow technology and the web world closely, and I have a passion for writing about and reviewing the latest and greatest from the world of tech. I started innowrx! in an endeavor to keep you updated with news and information that you can use. I am also an avid web developer and designer who loves to create awesome web and apps. I love food, music, travelling and exploring new places.

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