Thursday February 21 Canonical will preview its Ubuntu OS based smartphones.
According to the firm, “Images and open source code for the Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu will be published on Thursday 21st February, supporting the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 smartphones.”
The preview is intended for enthusiasts and developers, to familiarise themselves with Ubuntu’s OS smartphone experience and develop applications on spare handsets. The firm added that tools to manage the flashing of the phone will be available on the same day in the Ubuntu archives, making it easy to keep a device up to date with the latest version of the Touch Developer Preview.
The firm promises the attendees of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, 25th – 28th February that their phones can be flashed to Ubuntu.
According to Pat McGowan, who leads the integration effort that produced the images being released, “The code release is a milestone in the development program for Ubuntu’s phone experience, and enables developers to port the platform to other devices.
The Ubuntu OS platform supports a wide range of screen sizes and resolutions and porting to Ubuntu from other phones operating systems is not a tough task. McGowan says the firm will also test and experiment with various devices.
The install process and supported device list are maintained at wiki.ubuntu.com/TouchInstallProcess and will be updated as new devices are added.
Ubuntu OS for smartphones marks a new era for Ubuntu, with a promise of convergence between devices from mobile, tablet, desktop to TV while Ubuntu 13.10 (due in October) will include a complete entry-level smartphone experience.
The firm has published a Preview SDK and App Design Guides for developers to create applications for the full range of Ubuntu platforms while the App Design Guides shows how these templates can be used to design and build beautiful and usable apps.
Canonical says Blackberry Touch developers will be familiar with the Qt/QML environment, which supports rich native touch apps. Developers will not need to cross-compile or package applications differently for phone, tablet, PC and TV. One platform serves all four, a single application binary can do the same. Native and web or HTML5 applications on Ubuntu are the same as on HTML5 so the firm promises developers easy time.
Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu said, “This release marks the threshold of wider engagement – both with industry and community,” and added that, “For developers, contributors and partners, there is now a coherent experience that warrants attention. The cleanest, most stylish mobile interface around.”