Ubuntu for Smartphones Announced

Canonical is making a push on the mobile market, taking on Apple and Google

By on January 2nd, 2013 18:22 GMT

Canonical is becoming one of the biggest players in today’s market and it's going head to head with Apple and Google by launching Ubuntu for smartphones.

We can’t really say it’s much of a surprise, but still, Ubuntu going to smartphones is one of the few directions left for Canonical.

According to Canonical, Ubuntu uniquely gives handset OEMs and mobile operators the ability to converge phone, PC and thin client into a single enterprise superphone.

"We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions. Ubuntu is already the most widely used Linux enterprise desktop, with customers in a wide range of sectors focused on security, cost and manageability" said Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical.

Canonical is also targeting basic smartphones that are used just for their simple functions such as email, SMS and Web.

Ubuntu for smartphones has a few features that will set it apart from the direct competition, Google and its Android OS.

The interface will allow thumb gestures from all four edges of the screen, enabling uses to find content and switch between apps faster than other phones, voice and text commands in any application, it has HTML5 support, and users can personalize the art on the welcome screen.

Canonical also offers some incentives for the potential Ubuntu phone buyers, such as a cloud service, Ubuntu One, providing storage and media services.

The company also thinks that by offering a single family of products, for PC, TV and phones, it will greatly benefit the customer.

"We are defining a new era of convergence in technology, with one unified operating system that underpins cloud computing, data centers, PCs and consumer electronics" says Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and VP Products at Canonical.

The new QML-based Ubuntu SDK also insures that an application developed for Ubuntu will run both on PC and the phone.

Ubuntu phones are not yet available for purchase, but Canonical is ready to work with partners and expects to ship the first models by the end of 2013.

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