Canonical, the company behind the Linux based Ubuntu operating system, has unveiled an Android version of the operating system. The new Ubuntu Android app will enable any multi-core Android smartphones docked with a keyboard and monitor to offer a full desktop experience. The new solution will be showcased at the Mobile World Congress which is to be held later this month in Barcelona, Spain.
When the smartphone with Ubuntu is connected to a computer, a full Ubuntu desktop will appear on the latter’s display. It’s exactly the same desktop that you will find on any computer running Ubuntu OS, and includes certified applications, from office productivity to photography, video and music.
With the app, you can also share data and services between the Ubuntu and Android environments. So, Android applications such as contacts, telephony and SMS/MMS messaging are accessible from the Ubuntu interface. All data created using the Ubuntu OS on PC can be accessed through the smartphone at any time, docked or not.
While Ubuntu is marketing it as an enterprise tool to reduce cost and management for the IT teams, which will need to manage only the phone while offering desktop experience as well. It will be of equal importance to home users in reducing the cost of computing.
Ubuntu offers a range of native applications and excellent support for web browsers like Chrome and Firefox. The desktop can also include Windows applications, using thin client and desktop virtualisation tools.
With a range of dual core and quad core Android phones in the market, it makes perfect sense as it will unlock the full potential of the power of these phones.
What is also great is that fact that Intel and Nvidia are working on brining affordable dual core Android handsets to the market. This will make it even more lucrative for users to use this Ubuntu and Android combination.
Hardware requirements for installing Ubuntu on Android includes support for HDMI and USB, which is a standard features in high-end handsets planned for 2012.
Motorola has done a similar thing with its lapdock, however it is a dedicated hardware that one needs to buy.
On the contrary with Ubuntu Android, the total investment apart from the phone will be in the range of Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 depending on the computer that one prefers.