Ubuntu now fits in your phone

My earlier blog posting Ubuntu Linux for Smartphones from 2011 reported Ubuntu Linux heads to smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. Canonical plans to compete against Android, iOS and Windows on the smartphones.

Now Canonical has something to tell on smartphone sector: Canonical unveils Ubuntu phone OS that doubles as a “full PC”. Ubuntu now fits your phone. Canonical is now seeking OEMs: Who will build Ubuntu phones? Ubuntu phones are expected to be available at year 2014.

For more details go to Ubuntu for Phone page and view Canonical announces Ubuntu for smartphones, we go hands-on (video).

Ubuntu for Phone use technology from Android: core system is based around a typical Android Board Support Package (BSP) and it uses same drivers as Android. The system is designed to run native apps and lightweight HTML5 apps. All core applications are designed to run at full native speeds with a small memory footprint without overhead of a Java virtual machine. The system runs on ARM and Intel x86 architectures.

Entry level Ubuntu smartphone would use 1Ghz Cortex A9 ARM core with 512MB – 1GB of memory. That’s pretty normal for a decent today’s smartphone.

Ubuntu tries to pave the way for a new category of superphones, with a full PC desktop accessible just by docking the device to a monitor and keyboard. That category would use Quad-core A9 or Intel Atom processor with at least 1GB of memory. The idea is that high-end smartphones would have have a brain as powerful as ultra-light laptops.

Let’s see if this new mobile system finds it’s place on the mobile market place or not. It is a very hard place to push into at the moment because Android and iOS dominance. Even big players like Microsoft with huge resources have hard time in competing there.

61 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Ubuntu phones are an audacious attempt to take on Android
    Actual devices from Canonical finally take the stage at MWC 2015
    http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/4/8146925/ubuntu-phones-are-taking-on-android

    The mobile journey of Linux-based OS Ubuntu has felt like an eternity. Canonical, the company that leads development on the platform, first announced the smartphone OS back in 2013; after an unsuccessful dalliance with crowdfunding, Canonical said over a year ago that phones from BQ and Meizu would launch with the platform in 2014. That goal was missed, but the BQ device was made available a few weeks ago, and it’s on show at Mobile World Congress alongside a Meizu counterpart.

    Ubuntu is late to the smartphone party, and not in a way that could be described as fashionable. But Canonical remains bullish on the future of the platform. “We’re taking on Android,” says mobile VP Cristian Parrino with a confident grin.

    Android, of course, has a considerable head start, with over a billion devices shipped and over a million apps in the Google Play Store. But instead of attempting to build an app store and ecosystem from scratch, Ubuntu is taking a different approach to how software works on a phone. The primary OS interface is underpinned by what Canonical calls “scopes”; essentially, a series of categorized homescreens that developers can plug into.

    The interface is entirely driven by gestures and turns out to be very intuitive, but Canonical has its work cut out.

    The devices Canonical is showing off at MWC are both based on existing Android hardware, and neither is intended to be a big seller just yet. The first, the Aquaris E4.5 UE from Spanish manufacturer BQ (below), is a mid- to low-end device that keeps up with the OS well enough, but doesn’t impress in build quality. That’s to be expected given its €169.90 (about $190) price point, which even then only applies if you can actually secure a device in a flash sale — there’s no retail availability

    The second Ubuntu phone (top) is a more appealing proposition. It comes by way of Meizu, a Chinese company that has been making high-spec phones at low prices for years, and is based on the current MX4. The phone has a 5.36-inch 1920 x 1152 display, a 20-megapixel camera, and an eight-core MediaTek 6595 processor, all wrapped up in a reasonably attractive design with ultra-thin bezels. The MX4 Ubuntu is set to hit Europe soon, with a release in China coming later.

    Canonical is still pushing the concept of convergence, too. At MWC, the company is showing how devices running an early tablet version of the OS can switch to desktop Ubuntu when a USB keyboard is plugged in. The long-term plan is for Ubuntu phones to act as a PC once connected to a larger display.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ubuntu’s top mobile phone will be this year

    Ubuntu Linux administering of Canonical tried autumn 2013 to apply for a number of financial campaign finance Ubuntu-based Edge mobile phone. Now, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth promises that the same type of top-equipped device will be launched during this year.

    Ubuntu’s Mark Shuttleworth has not told the forthcoming Ubuntu super phone manufacturer or device information, but it will be the first two screens doing linux smartphone.

    Source: http://etn.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2773:ubuntu-huippukannykka-tulee-tana-vuonna&catid=13&Itemid=101

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ubuntu May Beat Windows 10 To Phone-PC Convergence After All
    http://news.slashdot.org/story/15/05/06/1844203/ubuntu-may-beat-windows-10-to-phone-pc-convergence-after-all

    “Despite the recent announcement that Windows 10 phones will be able to be used as PCs when connected to an external monitor, Ubuntu—the first operating system to toy with the idea—hasn’t conceded the smartphone-PC convergence race to Microsoft just yet. ‘While I enjoy the race, I also like to win,’ Ubuntu Foundation founder Mark Shuttleworth said during a Ubuntu Online Summit keynote, before announcing that Canonical will partner with a hardware manufacturer to release a Ubuntu Phone with smartphone-PC convergence features this year.

    Ubuntu may beat Windows 10 to phone-PC convergence after all
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2919552/ubuntu-may-beat-windows-10-to-phone-pc-convergence-after-all.html

    Windows 10 for phones is slipping

    Windows 10 for PCs will ship this summer—in late July, according to AMD’s CEO. But Microsoft recently announced that Windows 10 for phones will be released after Windows 10 for PCs. Microsoft called this a “staggered launch,” which is just another way of saying the phone version isn’t done yet and will be released later.

    This is no surprise, as the phone version is in much rougher shape than the PC version. We don’t know when the phone version will ship, but we can probably expect to see Windows 10 for phones arrive later in 2015.

    Microsoft isn’t waiting for third-party manufacturers to take advantage of the convergence features. It will reportedly release a flagship phone codenamed “Cityman” with support for Continuum for Windows 10 phones

    Canonical’s schedules have been slipping, too

    There are reasons to be a bit skeptical. The Unity 8 desktop interface and Mir are still in fairly rough, unpolished shape—you can see it for yourself by trying the Ubuntu Desktop Next images.

    Unity 8 and Mir were supposed to have been part of the default Ubuntu desktop image for several releases now, but this is clearly taking longer than expected. Unity 8 and Mir may be ready for Ubuntu 15.10, “Wily Werewolf,” in October. We’ll see.

    On the Ubuntu Phone front, the BQ Aquaris is still the only Ubuntu phone that’s ever been released, and it’s only available in Europe. The first Ubuntu phone for the rest of the world, the Meizu MX4, still isn’t out. Meizu and Canonical haven’t even announced a release date for it yet.

    Canonical will probably still get there, but Microsoft might beat Ubuntu to convergence even if it does launch the new phone this year. If the phone slips to 2016, Microsoft will almost certainly beat them to market

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition gets an invitation-only European launch
    Handset will be available to buy from Thursday, if you’re lucky
    http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2414490/meizu-mx4-ubuntu-edition-gets-an-invitation-only-european-launch

    CANONICAL HAS ANNOUNCED that the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition will be available to buy in Europe this week, but you’ll need an invitation to bag one.

    Following in the footsteps of the OnePlus One, Canonical has said that those interested in picking up the Ubuntu-powered Meizu MX4 when it goes on sale on Thursday will need to get themselves an invitation.

    Cristian Parrino, VP of mobile at Canonical, said during a briefing with The INQUIRER: “This is a device for enthusiasts. We want to make sure the right people are buying the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition, for the right reasons.”

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Paul Hill / Linux Veda:
    Ubuntu powered BQ Aquarius phone now available for order globally, do not support 4G in US

    Ubuntu powered BQ Aquaris available in US
    http://www.linuxveda.com/2015/08/07/ubuntu-powered-bq-aquaris-available-us/

    BQ just announced on their Google Plus page that their Aquaris Ubuntu Edition phones will be available ‘wherever you live’, this makes it the first Ubuntu device available in the Americas, Australia, Africa and some of Asia (China already has the MX4).

    Now onto the caveat, frequencies. One major pain with mobile phones is the frequencies they operate on, say you see a really cool phone that’s only available in China, you find a reseller, buy it and get it delivered to your door. You rip open the packaging, pop in the SIM and find out the best internet connection you can get is EDGE (2G) because your mobile carrier doesn’t operate on frequencies that are compatible with your phone.

    The BQ devices that have just been announced as internationally available do not support 4G in the US because carriers run on a different frequency, the devices were targeted for Europe and this is why the issue exists, it is recommended that you check your carrier first to make sure you can even get 3G connectivity.

    Reply
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  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ubuntu Tablet Will Be Available To Pre-Order On Monday
    http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2016/03/ubuntu-tablet-m10-goes-sale-monday

    The world’s first Ubuntu Tablet will go on pre-sale this coming Monday, March 28.

    The Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition tablet will be available to pre-order in two versions: a HD (1280 x 800) model and a high-spec FHD (1920 x 1200) model.

    Pricing will be announced on Monday. The tablet will, as with the phone, be sold direct by Bq through its international website.

    The Meizu Pro 5 Ubuntu Edition may have been met by a frosty reception during its MWC debut. but the M10 was dealt a far warmer response.

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ubuntu Phone lineup
    http://www.ubuntu.com/phone/devices

    Ubuntu Phone is available on a growing range of commercial handsets.

    Meizu Pro 5

    BQ Aquaris E5 HD

    BQ Aquaris E4.5

    Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition

    Reply
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  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fair Phone is a smartphone, which has not been used in the manufacture of ethically dubious raw materials and which, after its useful life is fully recyclable. Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress presents Fairphonen 2 version. The device owner may also choose the Ubuntu operating system.

    The Ubuntu community is UBPorts says that it would launch a new operating system Fairphonelle, because it wants to combine the ethics of sustainability device open platform. Normal operating system in a new Fiarphone2 for Android 5.1.

    Source: http://www.etn.fi/index.php/13-news/5823-eettinen-alypuhelin-osa-2-toimii-myos-ubuntulla

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
    Canonical will discontinue its Unity desktop interface, focusing on GNOME instead, and will shutter its mobile projects — Ubuntu phones and tablets are dead, but the desktop, server, and cloud live on. — Six years after making Unity the default user interface on Ubuntu desktops …

    Ubuntu Unity is dead: Desktop will switch back to GNOME next year
    Ubuntu phones and tablets also dead, but the desktop, server, and cloud live on.
    https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2017/04/ubuntu-unity-is-dead-desktop-will-switch-back-to-gnome-next-year/

    Six years after making Unity the default user interface on Ubuntu desktops, Canonical is giving up on the project and will switch the default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME next year. Canonical is also ending development of Ubuntu software for phones and tablets, spelling doom for the goal of creating a converged experience with phones acting as desktops when docked with the right equipment.

    Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth explained the move in a blog post Wednesday. “I’m writing to let you know that we will end our investment in Unity8, the phone and convergence shell,” he wrote. “We will shift our default Ubuntu desktop back to GNOME for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS,” which will ship in April 2018.

    Growing Ubuntu for cloud and IoT, rather than phone and convergence
    https://insights.ubuntu.com/2017/04/05/growing-ubuntu-for-cloud-and-iot-rather-than-phone-and-convergence/

    Reply

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