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[Extreme Tech] Canonical reveals Ubuntu for Android

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
ubuntu-for-android-540x305.jpg

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Quote:
Canonical is making good on its promise to bring its popular Ubuntu flavor of Linux to a broader range of devices by announcing Ubuntu for Android, a release that will enable a full desktop computing experience on a docked Android smartphone. More than just a virtualized app that behaves like Ubuntu, the developers have melded together the Ubuntu architecture with the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) AOSP build at the kernel level. The result is, from what we’ve seen, a harmony between the two platforms that could make a lot of sense for demanding mobile users.
Quote:
When you are using your Android phone that has Ubuntu installed as well, it will behave in exactly the same fashion it does now. You will have access to all the Google applications, the Market, your contacts, and the ability to make calls. So in the morning when you grab your phone to check on the emails and SMS messages that came in overnight, nothing will change there. When you arrive to your office however, your phone can become your desktop. You will simply plug the HDMI-enabled device into its dock, and you have a the full Unity experience on your big screen.

This is phenomenal. Basically, this is a full Ubuntu build that activates when it is on docked mode, while the phone itself runs on AOSP Gingerbread just like - you've guessed it - the Motorola Atrix with its LapDock functionality. Canonical does it further of course with a much more capable desktop OS and not just a stripped-down version of Linux, kinda like how XDA modders have been shoehorning Ubuntu at any LapDock-capable Motorola device we have so far. This time, it's more official.

However, there's a catch; Canonical aims to bring Ubuntu for Android to OEMs and carriers, not to users and developers - at least for the time being. So, you may see future Android handsets capable of using Ubuntu if the deal goes through with these manufacturers, but not on existing handsets. I'm guessing Google will be a bit surprised it has competition now, given that its upcoming Android 5.0 Jelly Bean is rumored to have a full desktop version as well when in a docked state.

In any case, I hope this will be available to the public within the year or so. I can't wait to fiddle with an Android device that's officially capable of being a desktop given some accessories. biggrin.gif
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post #2 of 29
Now if just good distros would do it and not the bloated Unity booger.
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post #3 of 29
Not a fan of Ubuntu but I like this.
post #4 of 29
inb4 "ubuntu was better without unity!"
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post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm sure there will be mods at some point when this becomes commercially available. I'd imagine devs could put in some other Linux build in one way or the other.
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post #6 of 29
If Ubuntu could be installed, would it be possible to load a different distro? Or, like you stated, it's all up to carriers and Google?
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post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jellis142 View Post

If Ubuntu could be installed, would it be possible to load a different distro? Or, like you stated, it's all up to carriers and Google?

If the OEMs and carriers agree to manufacture and sell them first. Hopefully, they will.

Now if it happens that there will be Android phones loaded with Ubuntu, and you buy one, then you can pretty much do anything to it from that point. It'll be like rooting a phone, and installing a custom ROM - only this time, it's a custom Linux build you're after.
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post #8 of 29
Saw this a little while ago on Ars Technica, so cool!

I would love to have my phone as a mobile workstation thumb.gif

Bring it home from work, dock it, and work on other projects biggrin.gif
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post #9 of 29
My first thought was how I could get this for my iPhone. It would be great if this took off and Apple did the same with OS X through an iPhone. One problem, how do we hook 'Ye iPhone to a monitor. tongue.gif
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post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Torch View Post

Now if just good distros would do it and not the bloated Unity booger.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy_Clocker View Post

inb4 "ubuntu was better without unity!"

You were beat.
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