Hello Linux Geeksters. While Ubuntu Touch 1.0 (based on Ubuntu 13.10) has been optimized for Google Nexus 4, Canonical aims to release an Ubuntu Touch 13.10 image for the Google Nexus 7 and Google Nexus 10 tablets.
The existent versions of Ubuntu Touch can be installed on tablets, but they don’t have support for camera, while Mir, the display server and the user interface are not optimized well to work on tablet screens. Also, Canonical wants to add the Windows 8-like function for running apps side-by-side, in order to enable the users to fully benefit from the large display.
Ubuntu Touch 1.5 (based on Ubuntu 14.04) should come with serious battery life improvements and a good limit for on the amount of memory that can be used by applications. Last but not least, Canonical aims to add vibrating support and a way for shutdown and restart, that will enable the user to restore the phone if the OS crushes.
While Ubuntu Touch 1.5 will be still using Unity 8, the desktop version of Ubuntu 14.04 will be coming with Unity 7, which has already been tested on Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander.
This being said, Mark Shuttleworth’s plan of reaching a full desktop-mobile convergence with the arrival of Ubuntu 14.04 will be delayed for sure, at least until October 2014, when Ubuntu 14.10 will be released.
For those who don’t know yet, the first stable image of Ubuntu Touch, based on Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander was released on the 17th of October 2013. Not long after that, the development of both the mobile and the desktop version of Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr has began. For now, Ubuntu Touch provides only the basic functions of a phone and lacks at many features that should have been included in a normal smartphone, not being mature enough to compete with Android and iOS yet.
Besides the Ubuntu Touch Core Apps and the Ubuntu Desktop apps, many apps have been already created for Ubuntu Touch (or ported from other Linux compatible systems, in order to work on Canonical’s mobile OS):
- Reminders, an open source Evernote client developed by Canonical
- A Facebook app
- CalculusTouch, a smart calculator app
- Web Browser App, a web browser developed by Canonical
- Mappero, a GPS app ported from Maemo
- Karma Machine, Saucy Bacon and Snake, the winning apps of Ubuntu Apps Showdown 2013
- Eyrie Music Identifier – like Shazam or SoundHound, the app recognizes the song and provides the song name, artist name, album name, etc