Canonical is bringing the Ubuntu desktop OS experience to Android and they’re planning to show it off at MWC 2012 in Barcelona next week. Unlike Motorola’s Web-top environment for select devices, Ubuntu for Android will be the world’s first full-featured desktop on a docked smartphone.
Once docked with a keyboard and monitor, multi-core Android handsets will be able to transform seamlessly from a mobile OS experience to the Ubuntu desktop experience. Users will have the full suite of Ubuntu desktop applications available to them, including office software, web browsing, email and media services. Furthermore, phone services, like contacts and messaging, will still be accessible while docked in Ubuntu mode. All data and services are essentially shared between both Ubuntu and Android environments.
It’s unclear when we can realistically expect Ubuntu for Android, since they’re still working with manufacturers, but we should have a better idea by the time Mobile World Congress rolls around at the end of February. Read on for a list of features and requirements.
Secure full-featured web
Sit back and enjoy a full desktop browser for multi-tab, multi-window web productivity. Ubuntu supports both Chromium and Firefox, the world’s fastest browsers, and is naturally resistant to web malware, which is why enterprises and governments are adopting Ubuntu on desktops.
Surf on the move with the Android browser, then dock to continue your session on the desktop. You get the same web pages, the same bookmarks and the same browsing history, with all the real-estate of a desktop. Using web applications with a full keyboard and mouse is so much better than a tablet when you’re at a desk, even in a hotel.
Both Ubuntu and Android access the same mobile address book. So even when the phone is docked, you can view, edit, call, text or email a contact. You can even check their profiles on Facebook or Twitter.
As with your contacts, your Android calendar data is shared with Ubuntu. This enables synchronisation with any desktop or web-based calendar application, like Google Calendar.
Messaging and calls
Read and reply to incoming SMS messages from the desktop, using Ubuntu’s message indicator. You can also make and receive calls via the desktop – and you’ll be alerted to voicemails so you can manage them while you work.
Simple integrated settings
Alarm clock settings on the phone can be synchronised to alert you when working in the Ubuntu environment. You’ll have one place to enter wifi passwords and one place to pair your bluetooth headset, then everything just works.
Manage and view photos stored on your smartphone using the Ubuntu Gallery application. Then edit them on the Ubuntu desktop and save them back to the phone. Create, edit and consume, all on one device.
Social networking services
All your Android social network account credentials are synchronised seamlessly, using the Ubuntu social networking client to provide easy access to your online communities.
- Chromium web browser
- Google Calendar
- Google Docs
- Thunderbird email client
- VLC Player
- Ubuntu Music Player
- Ubuntu Photo Gallery
- Android dialler
- Dual-core 1GHz CPU
- Video acceleration: shared kernel driver with associated X driver; Open GL, ES/EGL
- Storage: 2GB for OS disk image
- HDMI: video out with secondary frame buffer device
- USB host mode
- 512 MB RAM
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread or higher