Canonical’s Ubuntu OS for smartphones has been talked about on numerous occasions. The folks even had a dedicated booth at CES last month demonstrating the functioning of the OS. The good news for us Android fans is that this OS is compatible with Android devices. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was the first smartphone to run a stable build of the Ubuntu OS and it performed fairly well although there were a few tweaks to be done. And now, Canonical has announced the arrival of the bootable image of Ubuntu Mobile for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and the LG Nexus 4 on February 21. By this we mean that from the aforementioned date, users will be able to flash the Ubuntu Mobile OS on their beloved Nexus smartphones without much trouble. Canonical will make all the necessary tools available for flashing the Ubuntu Mobile image onto the Nexus smartphone. To make things more convenient for the users, Canonical will also have a booth at the upcoming Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, and will apparently flash the image on the smartphones for free to all the visitors. It’s a little disappointing though that the OS can be flashed only onto Nexus devices, but the developers have mentioned several times in the past that the OS is compatible with any Android phone. So we’ll wait until we have more on that.
To make things clear to all, Canonical has clearly mentioned that this device isn’t supposed to be a replacement for Android Jelly Bean or any version of Android that the phone is running. The idea basically is to bring forward developers who have spare devices to work around with. This version of Ubuntu Mobile apparently is– “intended for enthusiasts and developers, to familiarise themselves with Ubuntu’s smartphone experience and develop applications on spare handsets.” This is not to say that the OS is terrible or unusable, it’s just that the Ubuntu for Mobile OS is a work in progress. And as with any OS, it will take time to perfect and set in with the developers. So this shouldn’t be as exciting to the normal people as it is to other developers. The preview version of the OS that Canonical is launching on February 21 seems to be a touch only OS. So whether Ubuntu plans on supporting devices like the Samsung Galaxy S III (which features a physical button) is yet to be seen. Either way, the folks at Canonical have made tremendous progress and we wish this turns into something fruitful and exciting in the future.
With this preview version, the developers will get a free idea of how the OS works and will be aided in building apps around it. But even the casual users are free to try it as there’s always a way to revert back to the stock image of Android. What’s your take on the new Ubuntu for Mobile OS? Will it gain traction in the market? Let us know in the comments box below.