While we already knew that Canonical’s Ubuntu mobile OS will be coming to dedicated devices in October, and to the Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus in February, the company has now made the date official. Besides announcing that the Ubuntu OS port for the Galaxy Nexus will be available from February 21, Canonical also added support for Google’s latest Nexus smartphone, the LG-made Nexus 4.
The Android-specific builds are aimed at developers with the intention of building on the SDK and creating more apps for the Ubuntu OS platform. Next week, Canonical will make the software and installation guide available to make it easy for developers and early adopters to begin using the mobile operating system and testing and reporting bugs.
Coming soon to Nexus devices
If you are visiting the Mobile World Congress 2013, which begins in Barcelona on February 25, you can also have the Ubuntu OS flashed on to your Galaxy Nexus or Nexus 4 by Canonical’s staff at the Ubuntu booth.
“Developers who have experience bringing up phone environments will find it relatively easy to port Ubuntu to current handsets,” said Pat McGowan, who leads the team that developed the Android-specific ROM. “We look forward to adding support for additional devices for everyday testing and experimentation,” he added. The forthcoming code release is a major milestone in the development programme for the Ubuntu mobile OS and will enable developers to port the platform to other devices besides the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4.
The company announced in its press release: “The release also marks the start of a new era for Ubuntu, with true convergence between devices. When complete, the same Ubuntu code will deliver a mobile, tablet, desktop or TV experience, depending on the device it is installed on, or where it is docked. Ubuntu 13.10 (due in October) will include a complete entry-level smartphone experience.”
A docked phone gets a full fledged desktop OS
Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu, said, “This release marks the threshold of wider engagement – both with industry and community. For developers, contributors and partners, there is now a coherent experience that warrants attention. The cleanest, most stylish mobile interface around.“
Canonical has been preparing two Ubuntu devices for the October launch. The low-end smartphone is expected to run on a 1GHz Cortex A9 processor with 512MB or 1GB of RAM in tow. It will have 4 to 8GB of storage and support for external cards. The high-end Ubuntu will either have a quad-core A9 or an Intel processor, minimum 1GB of RAM and desktop convergence to better support the Ubuntu ecosystem.
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