It was something that all were waiting with impatience, and is that since Mobile World Congress, nearly a year ago, Canonical had not given many more steps with its commitment of bringing Ubuntu to mobile devices.
During the fair we could see Ubuntu for Android, an innovative idea that allowed Ubuntu pre-installed on our Android devices, in a kind of dual-boot, so that we could use interchangeably in our smartphone Android and Ubuntu on a PC by connecting the terminal to a dock with keyboard and mouse.
It was a good idea, but something incomplete if what they wanted was to generate a more homogeneous ecosystem, which comes as no surprise us announcement of Ubuntu Mobile (Ubuntu for phones), arriving to compete in a market that today almost monopolize full iOS and Android.
Ubuntu becomes therefore a complete alternative, its own operating system, and not need Android or any other system to give life to our smartphones. Which do not induce to error based Ubuntu Mobile on Android Board Support Package (BSP), and that this does not imply compatibility and coexistence, but that drivers of Android terminals are easily portable Ubuntu Mobile, whereupon it can be installed easily on an Android device.
Not in vain, the first images that have been made public with the announcement have been made about a Galaxy Nexus, where we can see a very clean and with a working design interface and very careful. Ubuntu Mobile is an operating system that will be used by gestures, and in which four basic movements mark the user interface:
Superior-> bottom: similar to notifications of Android, the best part of Google’s operating system, Ubuntu will also deploy a notification bar with access to configurations, State own notifications and terminal.
Lower-> upper: moving the finger to the top open the typical application launcher, with icons and configurations. In addition, this gesture also opens the menu of any application.
Left-> right: from left we can activate a menu of favorite applications, very similar to the Ubuntu Desktop.
Right-> left: on the right side of the screen you will find the latest applications open in a kind of multi-tasking Manager.
We leave a demo video where you can fully see the performance of Ubuntu Mobile:
Looking for the evolution in the timeline
To succeed evolve, show something different is needed, and where Canonical has his eye is on one aspect that Android could improve, and that will surely improve in the next updates: the timeline.
Music, contacts, applications, photos, videos, everything in Ubuntu Mobile is part of the same timeline, everything well organized and with your defined site. Canonical has highlighted the Gallery of images with instant ascent and agile sharing to the network, but that is something that Android users already know.
Especially interesting is the messaging Center designed for Ubuntu Mobile, which unified all the timelines of all applications: Messaging sms, social networks, email, calls, etc. All in a same timeline, everything organized and easy to follow, due to its filtering.
An operating system to integrate them all
Another aspect where Ubuntu puts their sights is in the integration, although this is something that Microsoft has already tried with Windows 8 with success, at the moment, very relative. Canonical retrieves the idea of the dock we saw in Ubuntu for Android, and makes it to implement the same ecosystem in smartphones and desktop PCs.
Ubuntu Mobile just connect our smarpthone to the dock, at the same time will be connected via HDMI screen and a keyboard and mouse using Bluetooth. Thus, already We will have a desktop PC complete and functional, that given the power of current smartphones you suffer no excess with almost no activity.
Launch Desktop mode is simple, connect the terminal to the dock and ready, and this will also have USB ports to connect other types of peripherals.
Put at our disposal the same computer ecosystem in all devices is perhaps, the Trump that will play Canonical, trying to win users of desktop thanks to those who use Ubuntu Mobile.
Minimum hardware requirements
The minimum requirements will not be a handicap, much less knowing that Ubuntu Mobile can be operated in devices that now use Android. Has distinguished between “input terminals” and “supersmartphones”, which will be the most basic range and high range, allowing different prices and different usage profiles.
For the input terminals the required minimum processor is 1 GHz, with 512 MB and 1 GB of RAM, and 5 GB of internal memory. The high range you will need a processor quad-core, 1 GB of RAM or higher and 32 GB of internal memory.
As much amazed you, in the input terminals will not work desktop mode, so to use the ecosystem Ubuntu fully we will need a supersmartphone.
Applications such as scales of Justice
However, and despite all the good ideas that might have a mobile operating system, nowadays the success or failure is defined by applications, so Ubuntu Mobile can not neglect this aspect.
Again intersect with the Microsoft Canonical purposes, and it is that the idea is to create a unique ecosystem with the same applications, adapted to each type of device. The code is easily shareable between applications for desktop and mobile, although it will require some adaptation, and Canonical also provides its cloud infrastructure so applications can synchronize information.
Landing by 2014, would then affect the Android ecosystem?
The first screenshots of Ubuntu Mobile in live will be next week at the CES in The Vegas, and probably also let them see at the end of February in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress.
Specific dates there still, though the SDK will be released soon and the first Terminal Ubuntu they could arrive at the beginning of 2014, a date possibly ballast you, which is that Android will cut much fabric in this 2013.
For the time being It is still early to make assessments, Although the ideas that Ubuntu Mobile presents are very good, and evolve in the aspects that have to do to get to differentiate itself in a market such as mobile telephony.
You can make many think that the aforementioned market is already trite, and that dominated by iOS and Android almost in its entirety, even Microsoft with similar ideas is having problems to win a good market share thanks to Windows 8.
Indeed, is a tough market, and Android is the peak of its expansion is, with very high market shares and already reaching some advanced users, who are that finally give the operating system a solid base as that had Symbian in its day. We have repeated it much, who gives benefits are not advanced with very expensive terminal users, but users with more affordable terminals, which are the bulk of the market share.
As alternative Ubuntu Mobile will need to gain a path e try that its convergent offer is very good as a lure, Since the existing ecosystems will grow still more this year, and will be very mature when Ubuntu is operating. Caring for developers is basic, and we all remember Google at the Google Developer Labs giving Nexus One everywhere a few years ago.
Of course, more competition is always positive, so the arrival of Ubuntu as an alternative is very good, giving users more wealth and options for your choice. Site is there for all to a greater or lesser extent.
If it affect Android or not, define it first steps that Android in this 2013, and that the next Android updates are crucial, with all the sights set at a game center online, offer more converged between smartphones, tablets and computers, and several improvements that are expected for the interface and the internal workings of Android.
Android already has made way, just not to disappoint, and Ubuntu Mobile still has travel ahead to be the alternative, so This 2013 is more interesting. Front is see if Ubuntu Mobile will arrive as a ROM to current Android handsets, MIUI style, or on the contrary will wait until 2014.