Finally, Ubuntu for smartphones is here. Ubuntu has reared its head today in the form of an all-new Galaxy Nexus, and Ubuntu fans all around the globe are rejoicing. Details surrounding the new phone and OS are somewhat vague, but there are some concrete items worth noting. If you’ve been waiting for Ubuntu for smartphones to arrive, today is your lucky day. Here’s the scoop.
Swipe, Swipe, Swipe
The new Galaxy Nexus running Ubuntu is swipe-heavy. Much like its Windows 8 tablet counterparts, the new Nexus pushes buttons to the side and makes way for sideswipes. In addition to swiping, the latest Nexus comes with some features that are interesting and entirely original.
The Ubuntu home screen doesn’t act like a lock screen, but includes a full-screen that can be swiped to bring users anywhere. For example, swiping the left side of the screen will reveal apps in a neat row. Ubuntu developers have done away with the idea of a lock screen completely, which aims to make using the phone much easier. Some users might find the idea of a non-existent lock screen somewhat unsettling, but Ubuntu presenters claim that the OS is entirely secure all the same.
The Ubuntu UI can be entirely customized too. The Ubuntu phone comes with a bunch of pre-loaded native apps, and the company is working on creating an app store that will include some of the most popular apps around (hopefully). This phone’s home screen also changes and adapts according to usage, which is an interesting idea. The video that Ubuntu has posted on the company website is inspiring and obviously aims directly at the competition.
Ubuntu has been a hard sell outside of tech circles when it comes to computer usage, so it will be interesting to see whether or not the general population grasps the idea at hand. So far, though, the Ubuntu smartphone OS looks sleek, has some great features and concepts, and is intriguing in all the right ways. Right now, though, no carrier is on board with the Ubuntu smartphone OS, though this is likely to change.
Getting Your Hands On an Ubuntu Smartphone
If you can’t wait to test out what Ubuntu has come up with, the sad story is that you will have to wait a bit longer. The Ubuntu team still has to work with carriers and manufacturers in order to bring consumers the Ubuntu phone. At the moment, the Nexus phone that’s being shown across the Internet is more of a prototype. However, it’s clear to see that the Ubuntu team has put a lot of thought into the new smartphone OS, and that Ubuntu will give competitors something to think about when the new phones do finally surface.
While it might be hard to tear people away from familiar smartphones that have cornered the market for some time now, Ubuntu definitely has more than a fighting chance if the video created by Ubuntu is accurate. There is room in the smartphone market for more operating systems, and there’s no doubt that Ubuntu has a strong following. Stay tuned for additional details about this phone and OS as they are revealed.
UPDATE: The Verge is reporting that the first Ubuntu Galaxy Nexus devices will start shipping in 2014.