Canonical Announces Ubuntu For Phones

Jan 03, 2013

Canonical announces a smartphone interface for the Ubuntu operating system.

With the new interface, Ubuntu is targeting entry-level smartphones as well as high-end “superphones” that can be docked to become full PCs.

“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,” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and VP Products at Canonical.

The Ubuntu smartphone interface features simple swiping gestures from the edges of the screen that let users access content and switch between apps. For example, swiping from the right-hand edge takes the user to the previously used app, while swiping up from the bottom edge reveals app controls. The handset interface for Ubuntu also includes: Supported swiping gestures from all four edges, disappearing controls, global search for apps, content, and products, voice and text commands in any application, native and web or HTML5 apps, and personalization of the welcome screen. Native apps include: telephony and voicemail, SMS and MMS, email, web browsing, photography, music, and video.

The system requirements for an entry-level Ubuntu smartphone are a 1Ghz Cortex A9 processor and 512MB-1GB of memory. A high-end superphone will require a quad-core A9 or Intel Atom processor and at least 1GB RAM. No phone carriers or manufacturers were named in the announcement.

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