It seems that this year will be more about mobile software than the hardware itself, and brands doing things with a twist could help create a niche, which is exactly what we are seeing with Ubuntu Phone OS at CES 2013. There are of course some smartphones taking hardware to new levels and creating a niche, and this had been seen with the original Samsung Galaxy Note, which followed with an even more popular Note 2, although it doesn’t take long for other brands to spot a growing market and this is why some people are calling 2013 the year of Phablet.
Mark Shuttleworth is the founder of Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Phone OS, and he has been busy showcasing the software on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus this week. More recently Mr. Shuttleworth has been at CES giving visitors a hands-on with the same Galaxy Nexus running Ubuntu Phone OS, which we’ve featured some of these hands-on demos below this article in the videos.
In a nutshell, if the smartphone specs include at least a 1.5GHz dual-core processor then that device could run the more advanced desktop version of Ubuntu Phone OS. It is worth pointing out that Ubuntu for phones will be very familiar to users of Linux based software, this is thanks to it using the same Unity user interface that Canonical developed for desktops.
Ubuntu for phones uses the same device drivers as Android, which means the Ubuntu Phone OS works on a massive variety of smartphones. This ranges from basic mobile phones to advanced smartphones with multi-core chips. Handsets that are running Google Android already only need a small amount of work done to support the new Ubuntu Phone OS.
The first video below runs for just over 6-minutes and is one of the early demos that took place about a week ago, which is before CES 2013. This video includes a demo by Mark Shuttleworth himself. The second and third videos were taken at CES, and deliver a quick hands-on at the electronics event with the main features discussed and benefits of Ubuntu for phones.
How can I install, and where is the Ubuntu Phone OS download? The software is in the testing phase with developers, but we hear that a download of the version running on Shuttleworth’s Galaxy Nexus could become available by MWC 2013, which is at the end of February.
Have a watch of the videos below and let us know what you think in the comments, are you excited about running Ubuntu on a smartphone?