Ubuntu phone OS promotional images. (via Ubuntu)
Ubuntu has grown to be one of the most loved operating systems available. Whether because it's free and open-source or because it looks great and is easy to use, Ubuntu has been making a name for itself as of lately. Lenovo, Dell, HP, and Asus are all beginning to support and launch PCs with Ubuntu pre-installed. Additionally, major software platforms are beginning to make their way onto Ubuntu. The latest has been Steam, undoubtedly the largest online gaming platform ever.
Just recently engineers have announced that the popular Linux derived OS will soon be making its way onto mobile platforms. As soon as late next month, Galaxy Nexus owners will be able to download the system image and give it a go. However, this will not be the full phone OS being released next month. The version coming out will be more of a trial version, which may lack an app store. It seems to be aimed more for developers also, such as a testing ground for programmers to see what they can get out of it or create with it.
Nevertheless, the OS does have very unique features and looks good on the Nexus. The system has been optimized to use the entire screen for display and swipes from the sides of the screen are the way to access all of your content. Multiple apps can be opened at once by using a hidden panel accessed by swiping the left side of the screen; while swiping at the right side will bring you back to a previous app, almost like a 'back' button in a web browser. Furthermore, as you continue to use the phone it will become more personalized according to the way you use it. The most recent and most frequently used apps will all display on a fully customizable home screen, which is also accessed as an app would be through the left side of the screen. Overall, the phone is made to use the screen to display as much information as possible while accessing and using apps will still be simple and intuitive.
The Ubuntu OS on phones could be significant depending on how open people are to accepting it. There is always room for competition, but what may make Ubuntu stand out will be its ability to act as a full PC. Using a bluetooth keyboard connected to the phone and a display, the phone can essentially act as a full blown computer. This is due to the system optimizing CPU and GPU usage to crank out information as smoothly as possible. In addition, apps written by developers will work on any Ubuntu platform. With this developers can write HTML5 apps for quickest internet access, or for the ones more interested in gaming, full support to the native OpenGL and GLES is available.
We will have to see what the developers think of the new OS next month and we also may see more of what Ubuntu has to offer. Next month is also when the Mobile World Congress conference will be taking place. Located in Barcelona this year, all the leading mobile industry professionals will be there from all around the world. If Ubuntu really wants to show us what it can do on a mobile phone, we will see it there.
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