Quick review of Ubuntu for Phone


Canonical showed us the Ubuntu for Phone on first working day of year 2013. We all thought that they are going to launch the Ubuntu for Android officially, but I was surprised to see that Canonical went ahead and launched Ubuntu for Phone, so let’s take a look at what it has got to offer us.

We have had Ubuntu for TV, PCs and tablets, and now it is being developed for phones. The operating system will be Ubuntu based, which is Linux if you want me to be politically correct. Also, Android is Linux based. So why do we need another Linux based smartphone OS when we already have a popular open source smartphone OS. First of all, Ubuntu for Phone is not just any other smartphone OS, but a fully featured Ubuntu OS with an interface that is designed for touch screen interaction. This project is basically the continuation of Ubuntu for Android project. Here are the first impressions:

The interface is stunning. It is sleek and it is beautiful. Looking at the name, you may expect it to look like the desktop version of Ubuntu, but sadly that is not the case, or I may say that it is good that it is not the case because what Canonical has designed is perfect for a touch screen device. The interface itself bears little resemblance to the desktop version, apart from the graphical style. The interface is based around swipes and gestures. For example, instead of a back button, you have to swipe from the right-hand edge of the screen to return to a previous app. Swiping up from the bottom, reveals an app’s menu, which remains off-screen until then.

Smartphones don’t enjoy the same screen real estate advantage that desktop PC’s do. If we take a look at Ubuntu on PC, the interface is totally sleek and there is more concentration on screen space utilization, and the same advantage has been passed onto the mobile OS as well. The Ubuntu phone site itself calls the experience “immersive,” because it allows more room for the apps themselves.
Advantages of Ubuntu Mobile OS:

Apps are a major concern when it comes to smartphones, and that is where Android and iOS have an edge over Windows Phone devices. Since Ubuntu for Phone is basically Ubuntu OS with a new interface, it also means that all the apps that are available in Software Center (Ubuntu equivalent of Play Store) can be run on mobile devices. Yes, the developers will have to redesign the screens, but then it is far better than having to write new apps from scratch. Ubuntu for Phone has definitely got a head start in apps department.

Unique features: Well, like Ubuntu for Android, you will be able to dock these devices on an HDTV or monitor and use a complete Ubuntu desktop PC, thus effectively combining two worlds into one.

What are your thoughts on Ubuntu for Phone? Let us know in the comment section below.

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