Ubuntu coming to your smartphone “late February”

The mobile phone market is fierce. Handset manufacturers aside, there are four major smartphone operating systems fighting for your attention. Android, Blackberry OS, iOS and Windows Phone all want your hard earned cash and have more than capable hardware to give you what you want. But soon, there'll be a fifth platform vying for your attention.

Following their announcement and reveal last week, Canonical’s Alan Pope has said that an installable image of Ubuntu for the Galaxy Nexus handset will be available “late February.” The source code will also be made available.

With the OS still in development and the Galaxy Nexus as the handset being used to demo the OS, anyone wishing to install the OS shouldn’t expect a fully featured experience. The phone experience - calling and texting - work a treat, and the design and fluidity of the OS is a joy. But there is a distinct lack of an app store and incomplete features and functionality, like the Webkit-based browser.

But if you fancy getting your Linux on, on a smartphone, keep your eyes peeled and ear to the ground and grab the image when it is made available.

Source and Image: OMG! Ubuntu!

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I have used Windows since v3.1 and no doubt windows look fantastic with lot of software but when I gave a try to Linux which happen to be Ubuntu, I never turn back to Windows. Linux give us 100% freedom to the world of computing, not only it let you use it, it let you learn it and having 100% control as well. I still remember when I tested out a Netbook with Windows 7 Starter edition inside a roadshow, I can't even change the desktop wallpaper due to some so called better technology change placed by M$ which affect the licensing feature, what a joke. For IOS iphone, user can't even upload picture from its built in Mobile Safari Web Browser, what a cripple. For Android OS why can't it be totally OPEN platform and grant everyone equal access right like your Linux Kernel heart inside, why can't you show a Penguin or something like "Powered by Linux" or "Inside Linux" beside your Robot . Unlike the above, Linux always work towards the benefit of the user, that is why so many developer contributed to the Linux Kernel and so on.

I would say, I have waited for such a wonderful Ubuntu OS for such a long time. Of course, from the consumer point of view, it is still far from iPhone, Samsung or even Win8, but this kid got its potential. In mobile world, it is never too late, last time, we have Motorola, Nokia, Sony Ericsson dominated the Market, it is still not too late for (IOS) iPhone to catch up and followed by (Android) Samsung, (Android Clone) KindleFire. Unlike the PC world, Mobile world is more dynamic, you don't have your processor manufacturer, hardware dealer, employer, software publisher, games maker forcing you to use a specific OS platform like what happen to PC last time. The whole decision is in the hand of User, making the switch easier, cheaper and faster with less pain and future worry.

Ubuntu Smartphone, from its concept has solved a fundamental problem of Desktop vs Mobile Computing, it let you work on your Data on both world without switching hardware and without depends on some immediate cloud platform which need constant network connectivity. It also solved a fundamental problem of Native vs HTML5 warfare where both of it can live in peace within the OS. It would be better than FirefoxOS which only allows HTML5, I don't care how OPEN or STANDARD you have, if your HTML5 games give bad user experience, you are out !

Remember, it's too late in the game for Windows Phone, Open WebOS, Tizen, and everyone else...

...but OMG UBUNTU EVERYBODY CIRCLEJERK.

Joshie said,
Remember, it's too late in the game for Windows Phone, Open WebOS, Tizen, and everyone else...

...but OMG UBUNTU EVERYBODY CIRCLEJERK.

Just because it's late doesn't mean that a new OS can't be interesting (even if it has no chance of succeeding).

And well, Ubuntu Phone is not that interesting as a whole, IMO, but it still has some nice features:

-A multiplatform framework (like WP only that supporting pretty much every platform and not just Windows).
-A full Linux stack (again not a first, but interesting nonetheless).
-Full Linux desktop when docked, being able to also use all your phone apps and features from there (and this one would actually be new, if it works as advertised).

So yeah it'll most likely fail, but unlike WebOS or Tizen (so far at least) it has some stuff that gets people interested in tinkering with it.

I agree there are interesting points, but as someone who's nauseated by the performance of mobile Java apps, I worry that mobile Ubuntu would just become another platform for delivering apps written with it.

Joshie said,
I agree there are interesting points, but as someone who's nauseated by the performance of mobile Java apps, I worry that mobile Ubuntu would just become another platform for delivering apps written with it.

It shouldn't, the point is writing apps with Qt/qml.

I just hope this doesn't suffer from the same problem that Android does- namely, fragmentation and loss of consistency between different devices.

superconductive said,
I just hope this doesn't suffer from the same problem that Android does- namely, fragmentation and loss of consistency between different devices.

No, it'll just suffer from the same thing desktop Ubuntu does: unapologetic, sweeping design decisions that peeve off 90% of their users.

/but it's OPEN so it's okay because your average consumer is totally willing to fark around configuring their own smartphone environment from scratch

Seeings as this is supposed to be compatible with Android drivers, I'm really hoping my radios and stuff just work. That would be swell.

The sideswipe menus remind me of the Windows 8 menus.

That weird circle with notifications seems silly. The ones on WinPhone, Android and iPhone are more intuitive.

That clunky Android-like icons and UI are ugly and outdated.

Nice approach, but no thanks. Im sure they'll find people who are interested though.

Linux minus the googlopoly? this may actually be interesting. I'm sure google is running in panic mode for this is the way out of the android trap for OEMs that are tired to getting scroogled

If there is anyone who would be running scared, it will be Microsoft and Apple. The key thing here is carrier support. Carriers always wanted a third horse. Now they have one, without a behemoth like Microsoft dictating terms to them, nor the Apple tax that they have to cough up on every contract phone they sell. If they start pushing this the same way they are pushing Android, Windows Phone would be pretty much dead (if it isn't already), and Apple should be seriously worried.

Lets all be honest here and admit that the only phone the average customer asks for is the iPhone. Everyone else takes what is recommended to them by the salesgal at the store. Apple still has enough people caught up in the RDF to sustain their profits, but Ballmer et all must be crapping their pants. They know they can't pull tricks like SecureBoot on phones to keep Linux out, and unlike the PC market, they do not have the clout to dictate terms to OEMs. The only ammo they have left is Software patents, but if they play that card against Ubuntu, they would be waging war on linux itself, and consequently the entire open source community. Worst case, the USPTO might finally wake up leading to a major overhaul of the patent system itself, which would be an arrow to the knee of their patent racket.

Windows Phone isn't gaining traction, Windows 8 appears to be the new Vista, and the Surface isn't selling. It looks like Linux is here to stay and if I were Microsoft, I would be very very worried.

recursive said
Windows 8 appears to be the new Vista
No.. Just, no.. Vista was a fail on other reasons and Windows 8 is actually a lot better than that and the reason why it's having a hard time selling is that it's new and because Microsoft didn't make a good-enough effort of teaching people how to use the new UI on touch and on non-touch screens

I'm sorry but lets be realistic, this isn't going to take off- at all:

1) Marketing and image. No consumer knows what Ubuntu is and Canonical don't have enough money or advertising expertise to change that.
2) Consumers want reason to use that OS, iOS has the image and easy to use setup with a humungous app selection, Android has a large app selection and is defacto for devices that are non-iPhone and Windows Phone is fast, clean and has some beautiful hardware like the 920. Ubuntu has none of the above.
3) Apps. I don't care about this too much per se, for a phone at least, but your average joe wants his "angry birds" and he also wants a couple of other apps which don't and won't for a long time- that's if its even adopted at all.
4) Lets face it, Unity is crap (no one liked it... ok there are a couple but they are rare), why would anyone volunteer for it?

This will strictly be for the geeky tech guy and possibly the hacker that wants to be able to use reaver and aircrack on his phone (I'm just waiting for the guys over at XDA to make a packet injection supported driver...) other than that I think its cool that they do it but its pretty much DOA if they think this is going to be walking out the door with consumers.

ingramator said,
I'm sorry but lets be realistic, this isn't going to take off- at all:

1) Marketing and image. No consumer knows what Ubuntu is and Canonical don't have enough money or advertising expertise to change that.
2) Consumers want reason to use that OS, iOS has the image and easy to use setup with a humungous app selection, Android has a large app selection and is defacto for devices that are non-iPhone and Windows Phone is fast, clean and has some beautiful hardware like the 920. Ubuntu has none of the above.
3) Apps. I don't care about this too much per se, for a phone at least, but your average joe wants his "angry birds" and he also wants a couple of other apps which don't and won't for a long time- that's if its even adopted at all.
4) Lets face it, Unity is crap (no one liked it... ok there are a couple but they are rare), why would anyone volunteer for it?

This will strictly be for the geeky tech guy and possibly the hacker that wants to be able to use reaver and aircrack on his phone (I'm just waiting for the guys over at XDA to make a packet injection supported driver...) other than that I think its cool that they do it but its pretty much DOA if they think this is going to be walking out the door with consumers.


From what I heard it's possible to use android apps, linux apps and also HTML5 apps. That's more than enough apps selection to choose from if you ask me.

Ingramator and WaveZero, both of you have great points, but the biggest question is, would regular joe want to update his/her phone to Ubuntu? Phones, even when you get it for cheap, isn't really cheap because you have to pay for it in a monthly basis.

RommelS said,
Ingramator and WaveZero, both of you have great points, but the biggest question is, would regular joe want to update his/her phone to Ubuntu? Phones, even when you get it for cheap, isn't really cheap because you have to pay for it in a monthly basis.

No I just buy an android device and make my own ubuntu ROM if I really wanted to test it out. Or just leave that to the modding community.