Hello Linux Geeksters. As a reminder, Meizu has presented their Meizu MX3 powered by Ubuntu Touch at the Mobile Asia Expo 2014 event, last week.
According to Canonical’s Michael Hall, Ubuntu Touch has been installed on over 10.000 devices (most likely Nexus devices), this representing an important milestone for Canonical:
“Ubuntu phone (and tablet) users sign into their Ubuntu One account on their device in order to download or update the applications on their phone. This allows us to provide many useful features that users expect coming from Android or iOS, such as being able to re-install their collection of apps on a new phone or after resetting their current one, or browsing the store’s website (coming soon) and having the option to install an app directly to their device from there.”
Due to the fact that Ubuntu Touch can be installed on Android devices in dual boot, the users don’t have to ditch their main OS to try Ubuntu. While some important features like voice call, or camera don’t work yet, Ubuntu Touch provides an interesting and gesture based operating system.
Also, via the Ubuntu SDK, the developers can easily create Qt and QML applications for Ubuntu Touch. While there aren’t a lot of applications for Ubuntu Touch available, Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth hopes that by the time the first Ubuntu Touch powered phones hit the market, the top 50 Android/iOS apps will be available for Ubuntu Touch.
Canonical has been working a lot at Ubuntu Touch, the mobile version of Ubuntu. While the initial plan was to make it available for all the Google Nexus smartphones and tablets, the developers have dropped the support for Galaxy Nexus, Google Nexus 7 2012 and Google Nexus 10, Ubuntu Touch, now based on Ubuntu 14.10, being officially available only for the Google Nexus 4 smartphone and the Google Nexus 7 2013 tablet. (Nexus 5 is not yet support by Ubuntu Touch.) The first Ubuntu Touch powered phones are scheduled to be released this year, in Europe by BQ and on the Chinese market by Meizu, one Asia’s leading smartphone manufacturers.
Due to the fact that Ubuntu Touch is not yet stable enough to be used on mobile devices, the Canonical developers are planning to release a RTM (release-to-manufacturer) branch, where they will be focused on bug-fixes and stability improvements, and not the implementation of new features.
Also worth mentioning, Mark’s Shuttleworth big dream is to reach full desktop-mobile convergence somewhere between the releases of Ubuntu 14.10 and Ubuntu 15.04 (between October 2014 and April 2015).