Ubuntu Linux adapted for Android smartphones

Open source software

Ubuntu Linux adapted for Android smartphones

Warwick Ashford

The open source Ubuntu operating system, a distribution of Linux, has been adapted to run on smartphones.

Phones running the software will be showcased at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on 8-11 January.

The code will be released initially in February as a file that can be installed on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone that will enable users to replace the Android operating system.

The Debian-based Linux software will allow users to run desktop apps on their handsets, enabling them to double for full consumer PCs when docked to monitors, according to the BBC.

Ubuntu’s head-up display (Hud) option introduced last year will enable users to control the phone by spoken or typed commands, rather than using a series of menus.

Ubuntu gives handset makers and mobile operators the ability to converge phone, PC and thin client into a single enterprise device

Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth claimed he was in talks with manufacturers for devices to be sold with the system pre-installed within the year.

He predicted that within three to five years Apple and Microsoft would have to make the transition to bring phones and laptops together.

The new version of Ubuntu has been designed to work on last and current-generation Android handsets which share the Linux kernel.

To enable touch-based controls, Ubuntu has adopted the QML (Qt modelling language) framework that has also been used for the coming Blackberry 10 operating system.

Some pundits question whether there is a demand for the power of a fully fledged computer on a mobile phone, but Ubuntu gives handset makers and mobile operators the ability to converge phone, PC and thin client into a single enterprise device, according to TechCrunch.

The handset interface for Ubuntu also introduces distinctive new user experiences, including thumb gestures from all four edges of the screen to enable users to find content and switch quickly between apps, controls that appear only when the user wants them, voice and text commands in any application, native and web or HTML5 apps, and global search for apps, content and products.

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