The crowdfunded Ubuntu Edge smartphone may already be dead but that doesn’t mean that we won’t be seeing Ubuntu run on smartphones. The Ubuntu phone team recently announced through their mailing list message that the Ubuntu Touch, the OS that would have been used by the Edge, will have an October 17 release date which also coincides with the release of Ubuntu Linux 13.10.
Canonical technical architect Loïc Minier announced that “only four and a half weeks to go and phone 1.0 will be a reality! Obviously we’re all trying to finish or fix lots of things in the remaining time, but that might include hard-to-track-down and painful regressions.”
QA community coordinator Nicholas Skaggs mentioned in a blog post that “We are exactly one month away from the release of [Ubuntu 13.10] Saucy Salamander. As part of that release, Ubuntu is committed to delivering an image of Ubuntu-Touch, ready to install on supported devices.”
The Ubuntu Touch developer preview was first launched last February and is compatible with Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Google Nexus 4, Nexus 7, and Nexus 10 devices. It is basically a custom ROM that users can install that provides a way to experience Ubuntu on mobile devices. If a device has an unlocked bootloader and can run on CyanogenMod then chances are it can also run on Ubuntu Touch.
Aside from providing an interface for mobile devices Ubuntu Touch can also be used to run the full desktop version of Ubuntu. Users simply have to dock their mobile device to a desktop monitor to make this happen.
Those who own a Nexus device are encouraged to try out the developer preview which is available for download right now. The important task right now is reporting any bugs that may exist so they may be corrected once the first stable build gets released.
Devices that will be released in the market running on Ubuntu Touch won’t happen anytime soon. This is despite the fact that the first stable build will already be released next month. Canonical says that discrete devices running on Ubuntu Touch will probably be released in late 2013 or early 2014.