ubuntu mobile os

Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android OS have dominated the mobile space for quite some time now, but the third place spot is still up for grabs. Both RIM and Microsoft are currently vying for the spot, and we’ve heard that Amazon and Mozilla will soon be joining the race.

Today, we’re adding another name to the list: Ubuntu. On Wednesday Canonical offered up details regarding its new Ubuntu mobile OS, an Android-based operating system that it says is more immersive, less cluttered, and easier to navigate than its Google counterpart…

Admittedly, the video looks and sounds vaguely familiar, with Canonical’s founder using words like “magical” to describe Ubuntu against a white backdrop. That being said, the OS looks great — for a working a concept, that is — and it definitely seems like it has potential.

In addition to its good looks, Ubuntu is also being pitched as a mobile OS that’s powerful enough to function as a PC — it can hook up to peripherals like a keyboard and mouse, and work just like a desktop. There’s already stuff like this out there, but it’s still noteworthy.

Of course, as neat as it all looks, Canonical is fighting a seemingly impossible battle. Microsoft, despite spending hundreds of millions, hasn’t gained much traction with Windows Phone in its 3 years, and RIM is still in the mix. Plus, Ubuntu phones won’t start shipping until 2014.

But what’s most interesting to me here is that like Amazon’s Kindle Fire, this is a forked version of Android — meaning that it doesn’t have to use Google’s Search, Play or other services — otherwise known as the stuff it makes money off of. And that’s actually a pretty big deal.

You see, the more popular these forks become, the less successful Android will be for Google, regardless of marketshare. For example, Samsung and HTC could both create their own versions of Android, using their own content ecosystems, and Google couldn’t do anything about it.

What are your thoughts on Ubuntu? Is there anything special here?


  • Pedro Diogo

    I believe it is interesting indeed. I don’t see it as an actual Android fork – in fact, I don’t think it is at all. Ubuntu Phone OS ditches the JVM Android works on and works directly on top of the linux kernel which could, theoretically, improve performance and stability of the whole OS in general.

    I’ve never been as excited as I am right now when it comes to iOS competitor. Android was never a 2nd option for me…Windows Phone, in the other hand, looks good to me. Lets see how it goes…it is definitely something big.

    • im not excited

    • notewar

      really hoping that this wont turn me down like when MS released it’s Surface RT

  • Parnak

    i certainly looks interesting, it has always been my favorite amongst all OS’s in Computing world and i really wish UBUNTU fare welcome to the market and how they do an amazing work in the mobile OS. 🙂

  • ExRoot

    Stunning. Really!

  • Dan

    Looks promising! Hope it works out, with competition comes innovation 🙂

    • Also copying and frustration Comes with competition at rapid pace 😉

  • Wow. Looks really amazing. Great new implementations and a fresh perspective from Ubuntu

  • Max Katzmann

    It’s not based on android. If it was it could run android apps, but it can’t. It’s a ‘distilled’ version of Ubuntu. Which means it is Ubuntu itself but with a different interface. Which is much better than being android-based. IMO.

    • Pedro Diogo

      Exactly. Linus Torvald said himself Android is linux-fork and criticized Android developers and supporters for drifting away from the Linux core due to poor coordination between these two. Ubuntu will correct this and will finally unveil the potential of Linux. I believe it won’t be a linux-fork. It is starting well, so far, ditching Java!

      • no it won’t it will simple create more unneeded fragmentation

      • Pedro Diogo

        And how exactly do you know that? they are aiming big and it looks like they are thinking of an ecosystem – android didn’t do so and i’m guessing they never will.
        I just hope they don’t end up with tons of Ubuntu Phones just like Android and just focus on a couple of smartphones.

      • “I just hope they don’t end up with tons of Ubuntu Phones” yes they will

    • lol it cant run android apps which mean it will have a very small app ecosystem which means it will be in 3rd place after IOS and android,,lol

  • UBUNTU had first announced this “new” platform nearly a year ago, and was seeking manufacturing partners then!

    I love their LINUX platform, and would love to see them succeed with this project.

    So, my question is why today are you reporting this as if it were “new”???

  • 2 problems …. “this is a forked version of Android” and UBUNTU is a stupid sounding name just like ZUUN was

    • ExRoot

      Wow. You seem
      Very closed minded. Almost as if you want them to fail. Why? Who cares what it’s called? iPod sounds stupid also. And I believe it was ‘Zune’ not ‘Zuun’.

      This unbuntu device actually looks like fun. JMO.

      • Falk M.

        They won’t ban this troll because he’s made too many posts on here and probably is hence seen as iconic/stable poster.
        Oh and the more BS in the comments, the more discussion there is, which makes this place seem fuller of life.

        So I guess my inquiry to ban him won’t ever get honored.
        This place is going downhill anyways – not due to jailbreaking etc etc, but due to some writer(s) and yes, the comments.
        Probably some more things that bug me, but I can’t be arsed to point them out from the top of my head now.

      • i dont want anything i am logically accessing this OS and it will fail.. its un needed and lacks support its below android and windows mobile for chist sake..lol

    • SoCoMagNuM

      If ur looking for all things apple..try reading an article catered to appleminded people. Thats ur 3rd post on a subject you careless about. Entitlement much?

      • ExRoot

        Actually his 5th.

    • goofygreek

      have you ever used ubuntu before? I thought it was a stupid name too, but once i used it, that stupid name became awesome. I love ubuntu, and they just keep improving it, for free. And every one loves free things.

      • USA product successes is all about marketing and “ubunto” will no go over will in American culture thats a fact its to afrocentric sounding..

  • Acicey

    finally the is a another kind of phone!!

    it is insane that apple and google are
    fighting electronicly

  • Looks very interesting. Worst OS name ever though. Plus, having yet another ecosystem to deal with, will be the death of it before it begins.

    • UBUNTU has been around for a long while and has been a very stable contributor / OS in the LINUX platform – which, BTW, Apple is built on LINUX which is one reason it is so stable.

      UBUNTU OS has been updated consistently every 6 months. If you have not checked it out, give it a try. Especially if you have an old Windows PC / Laptop laying about.

      I have loaded it on an old tower, an old HP laptop and also an old Dell laptop – when Windows “bloat ware” bogs them down, they now have a “new life” with UBUNTU. 🙂

      • the name is to afrocentric for the American market…FACT

      • Blahblahtldr

        People seem to think that it is based on linux. Which it isn’t. MacOS has its own kernel, called Darwin. The rest of the OS is also not entirely like a linux distribution. Namely, where linux distributions generally are based on the FSF GNU software distribution for the ‘world’, MacOS stems from BSD, where the BSD distribution code is used, and only certain parts are taken from the GNU world (such as the GNU Compiler Suite).

        The differences are very small, the software mostly looks the same from the outside, but the origins of BSD are different, as is the licensing (obviously). I find it a bit strange that linux seems to have become equivalent to any Unix-like OS, in the minds of a lot of people.

        So, linux distributions are named after their kernel, which is the linux kernel. Since OS X does not use this kernel, but its own XNU kernel (from the Darwin project, which is built upon earlier work done by NeXT, the company that Steve Jobs started when he left Apple), that is already a glaring dissimilarity. Another major feature of most linux distributions is that they mainly depend on GNU code (under the GPL license), and the correct way to refer to a linux-based OS as a whole is to refer to it as GNU/linux (yes I’m actually citing Stallman here!). Now, since OS X is mainly based on BSD code (taken from the FreeBSD and NetBSD projects), that is a second glaring dissimilarity. If anything, OS X would be called something like BSD/Darwin/XNU, not GNU/linux.

    • i told them it was a stupid name …… many Americans will secretly hate it..

    • Ubuntu is Zulu for “Humanity Towards Others.” Considering the founder of Canonical, and Ubuntu, is from South Africa, it makes perfect sense. Their slogan is “Linux for Human Beings.” It has, more likely than not, the biggest software repository of any Linux variant out there, and had a “Software Center” long before most any other OS did. Granted, I’ve been using it since 10.04 Lucid Lynx, but that’s just me.

  • selcukcura

    ‘Inspired by Zephyr’

  • rosssimpson

    Some of the things in that ubuntu mobile demo I wish apple had done/will do, it’s very pretty!

  • dady king

    I just want to say ‘apple be prepared’ god knows..its all abt os.. So apple should work really really hard for making ios very intresting and innovative.. If apple willing to face a big competition in near future.. I am hardcore fan of apple and I don’t want to loose apple.. Plz bring a breakthrough ios7 which will blow users expectation. All the best

  • Oh it sure looks nice!
    Looking forward to it