Ubuntu Phone OS Unveiled by Canonical
An Ubuntu-powered phone has been unveiled by Mark Shuttleworth in London, today.
Calling the product launch a “significant next step in our history”, Shuttleworth demoed the device and spoke of Canonical’s plans for taking the device to an already saturated mobile market.
And the interface of the OS is, possibly more than the brand-name behind it, going to drive adoption.
Delivering a personalised full screen-to-screen experience - with a ‘welcome screen, not a lock screen’ – the Ubuntu Phone proffers more screen space for your apps than any other mobile OS’, Shuttleworth says.
“We also invited a way to use an app without having to use buttons at all via a voice-controlled ‘HUD’.
So when can you get one? Sadly not just yet. Although talks are taking place no major vendor has yet signed up to ship the device.
But there is hope.
Canonical are ‘confident’ a major manufacturer will ship Ubuntu for Android this year; that will be the first step. But the first pure Ubuntu Phone devices will appear towards the end of the year.
The device will be shown off later this month at the CES event.
Unlike Android, Ubuntu Phone OS has been designed from the ground up to deliver a ‘crisper, sharper’ experience on low-powered devices – a market segment Shuttleworth sees as being key to adoption.
These ‘starter smartphone’ users will, he says benefit from a leaner, ‘less complex’ user experience than rivals – something many emerging markets are calling out for.
Half the UK said to own smartphones, Canonical will be hoping to carve out a niche in an already established market.
Although Canonical’s ‘primary market will be selling Ubuntu Phones via retail, users will be able to download and install the phone OS on certain device handsets.
The specifications required by the OS varies between the “lean” and the “high” end. A basic A9 ARM processor and 1GB RAM phone will run the OS in its ‘lean’ mode.
A Quad-core A9 processor will be required to run the phone in its super-duper dockable desktop mode.
Mobile development suite will be available later this week. Developers will be able to create one app, with twi interfaces: a smartphone UI, and, when docked, a desktop UI.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the entire announcement is that many of the innovations shown off as part of the phone UI will be making an appearance in the forthcoming release of Ubuntu 13.04 – including changes to the dash, the voice-controlled HUD, and a new ‘snap decisions’ framework.
Powered by Facebook Comments