Imagine a world where instead of Android your smartphone was running an extremely unique Linux-based mobile OS. Now take a deep breath and continue reading as yes, you guessed it, the highly anticipated mobile version of Ubuntu has been unveiled. You may have heard of Ubuntu last year, but this announcement comes with a more specific scope and direct features aimed at the smartphone user. To clarify, Ubuntu for Android was designed to run alongside Google’s mobile OS. It would only offer the user a complete Ubuntu desktop experience when docked. Ubuntu for smartphones is a very unique OS by itself and is entirely separate from the Android OS.
After spending some time with the UI it’s clear that it has been adapted for smaller screens and is centered on edge swipes instead of buttons, similar to Windows 8 on a tablet or like the MeeGo OS. Other striking features include voice control and a mix of both web based apps and native apps. The app store itself is still in development.
In regards to specific hardware there are no Ubuntu phones in the works, and no carriers have jumped on board yet. However, any phone designed for the Android OS running at least a dual Cortex-A9 processor, one gig of RAM and 800 x 400 resolution would be compatible to run Ubuntu. So, don’t loose faith just yet. In spite of not having its own hardware to call home, Ubuntu has found a friend in the form of the Galaxy Nexus. Rumor has it that a Galaxy Nexus specific build will be released into the wild in the coming weeks.
As any Linux fan will tell you, Ubuntu for smartphones is a proposition the mobile industry should take seriously and we hope 2013 is the year we see this become a reality. While we wait to get our hands on the Galaxy Nexus build, check out the full press barrage below.