Ubuntu for Android official coming in Q2 2012
Ubuntu for Android is officially a reality and will be demoed at Mobile World Congress 2012 next week. Know Your Mobile spoke with Mark Shuttleworth, founder and product strategist at Canonical, to find out more
Using Ubuntu via your Android device will be simple: just plug it into a TV or monitor, hook up a mouse and a keyboard, and you’re away. All of the phone’s applications will work inside of Ubuntu, so you can pull an image from the Photo app, for instance, and edit in a Ubuntu desktop photo editor application.
‘Microsoft’s entry to the market is going to shake things up,’ said Mark Shuttleworth, founder and product strategist at Canonical, speaking about how Google’s share of the tablet market is going to be affected by the entry of Windows 8 devices on ARM.
Microsoft will offer enterprise-quality applications, excellent support for developers, a new Marketplace as well as its existing relationship with VMWare on its up-coming Windows 8 platform.
Android, argues Shuttleworth, will struggle to compete with this – particularly in the enterprise sector.
This is where Ubuntu fits in. The Linux-based open source operating system will work on Android-powered handsets and tablets, as well as with PCs, TVs and monitors, meaning the Ubuntu you get on your Android phone will be the same Ubuntu that you use on your PC.
All applications that run on the desktop version of Ubuntu will work on Ubuntu for Android.
Ubuntu for Android will only be available on high-end smartphones, according to Shuttleworth, and all that will be required to initiate the docking mechanism will be a HDMI-out.
Shuttleworth also assured us that Canonical will be doing everything in its power to ensure that as many accessories from third parties manufacturers as possible will be supported, which means if you have an old Bluetooth keyboard knocking about and an HDMI cable you’ll be able to get Ubuntu up on your HD TV in no time at all.
Ubuntu for Android is currently being demoed to OEMs. Shuttleworth told Know Your Mobile that Canonical has already presented Ubuntu for Android to ‘a few OEMs’ and ‘they loved it.’
Shuttleworth was also quick to point out that Ubuntu for Android will run seamlessly alongside Google’s Android operating system. There’ll be no need for a reboot. Once the handset is docked, Ubuntu will launch. It’s that simple, according to Shuttleworth.
He added: ‘Ubuntu has been modified to work on standard Android kernel. We developed a bunch of technology that allows for communication between the Android and Ubuntu threads. By creating a bridge between the two, Ubuntu can talk to Android applications as well as Ubuntu ones and this avoids the necessity for duplicating content.’
Canonical will be debuting Ubuntu for Android at MWC 2012.
Shuttleworth told Know Your Mobile that we can expect to see Ubuntu for Android inside Android-powered handsets towards the end of the year.