As the Ubuntu Edge smartphone never materialized, Canonical’s mobile OS will have to find a temporary home in the form of Android Nexus devices, which are able to dual-boot.
Ubuntu 13.10, codenamed Saucy Salamander, is set for release on October 17. Canonical decided that this would be the perfect occasion for launching its mobile operating system, as well. At CES 2013, people saw this OS running on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and by the looks of it, it seems that the members of the Google Nexus family will be the first ones to get the stable version of Ubuntu Touch. After all, both Android and Ubuntu Touch are based on Linux, so there shouldn’t be any hardware incompatibility problems. Canonical technical architect Loïc Minier seemed very excited this week, at the prospect that Ubuntu Phone will become a reality in less than a month, and I bet that many other tech enthusiasts are anxious to play with Ubuntu Touch.
Even if there are any special requirements that would prevent Ubuntu Touch from running on other Android devices, I’m sure that the talented guys on the XDA Developers forums will find a way. The Touch Developer’s Preview is already available on the Ubuntu website, so if you have an Android smartphone or tablet and want to have a taste of Ubuntu Touch, the wait won’t be long. When launched, it will be available as a “ready to install” image for Samsung Galaxy Nexus, LG Nexus 4 and the Nexus 7/10 tablets.
What could have been the best smartphone available, the Ubuntu Edge, never got all the funds necessary for mass production. Despite all that, Canonical ensures us that there will be a smartphone especially built around its mobile operating system, but it refused to disclose any other details.
The Nexus devices running Ubuntu Touch will need to be connected to larger displays in order to get the full Ubuntu desktop experience. The connection will be possible either via HDMI or via a smartphone or tablet’s MHL. Once the first version of Canonical’s mobile operating system is released an extensive bug troubleshooting campaign will most likely begin. It is possible to submit bug reports even now, provided that you are willing to test the Developer’s Preview, but after the launch day, there will be a lot more people running this OS on their smartphones and tablets.