Ubuntu OS demoed on Galaxy Nexus at CES
Operating system gets its first public outing
Published: 9 January, 2013
It's not only Mozilla's Firefox OS which is being shown off at CES this week but Ubuntu for phones as well, though the handset which the Linux-based offering is running on is no secret. It was already revealed in the run up to the event that the OS would be appearing on a Galaxy Nexus and as promised the Ubuntu has invaded Android's flagship territory.
Just like the Firefox OS, reports indicate that while Ubuntu for Phones may hold some promise the version on show was far from the finished product. There doesn't appear to be any big surprises other than that it works and early impressions reflect the fact that even if it has its own personality there are definitely similarities to other operating systems, especially iOS. Unlike the Firefox OS however it seems destined to run on more powerful hardware.
What hasn't been shown off at CES is its ability to turn a phone into a desktop computer. This will be a major feature of the OS and the side navigation bar that's present on the desktop interface can be accessed on the phone as well. In addition to future Ubuntu users being able to enjoy this functionality, the company behind the OS, Canonical, is also working on Ubuntu for Android which is going to offer the ability to turn a docked Android smartphone into an Ubuntu desktop PC.
Despite this underwhelming news though it doesn't change the fact that a build of the OS is still on track to be released for Galaxy Nexus handsets next month. Canonical has admitted that the initial release won't be fully featured - features like Voice Control and an app store won't be there at the start, while others like the webkit-based web browser will be but not in a finished state.
While a date hasn't been named for the release of Ubuntu for Phones, curious Galaxy Nexus owners can expect to be able to download it in late February, quite possibly around the time of the Mobile World Congress.