We’ve heard an awful lot about Canonical’s Ubuntu OS making its way to mobile devices. The Linux based operating system has been widely popular over the years and it got us even more excited to hear that it’s making its way to mobile devices, particularly Android smartphones. Even in the official announcement, Canonical showed us the Samsung Galaxy Nexus running the said OS, so it was pretty obvious that Ubuntu Mobile will be made available for Android smartphones in due time. To make that a reality, the company will make the Ubuntu Mobile OS image available for developers so that they could work their way around it and build it with the smartphone of their choice. This version of Ubuntu will be up for download starting from next month. And now, the kind folks at Ubuntu who had a booth at CES 2013 have managed to show off how the device performs on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and also shed some light on its features (mostly gesture based).
Pocketnow managed to get a live demo of the Galaxy Nexus running on Ubuntu and the first impressions are quite good. As shown in the video, the device borrows a lot from the MeeGo OS, in the gesture UI and the way apps or multitasking is handled. The swipe down bar which is iconic on Android (even on iOS now) is also prominent here but with its own unique twist to it. The idea basically is to eliminate the use of onscreen or physical buttons on a device and it seems to be work to some extent. Also noticeable is the fact that Ubuntu on smartphones runs both web apps and mobile apps seamlessly without giving the impression of being different. This is vital for apps which are web based and don’t have a dedicated native app. There is certainly more to be told in the coming days when the OS image is launched late next month, but this is good enough for now to go with.
There are plenty of new OSes launching this year which includes the likes of Firefox OS, Sailfish OS and of course Samsung’s Tizen OS which the company is co-developing with Intel. But with little to no information about either of those OSes for now, it’s only Ubuntu Mobile that we know of. And what we’ve seen looks fairly smooth and ready for consumer use, since there’s everything a casual user would want from a mobile OS. There’s camera, there’s music, there are apps, and there’s a dialer and messaging facility. As the days go by, we should see more detailed analyses of the Ubuntu OS for mobile. Make sure to check out the video below to get a gist of what’s to come.