Linux Ubuntu is the latest smartphone OS

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Canonical has introduced a smartphone-specific version of Linux Ubuntu which uses all four edges of the screen to render a more immersive UI experience.

According to Canonical CEO Jane Silber, Ubuntu offers handset OEMs and mobile operators the ability to converge phone, PC and thin client into a single enterprise superphone.

"We expect Ubuntu to be popular in the enterprise market, enabling customers to provision a single secure device for all PC, thin client and phone functions. Ubuntu is already the most widely used Linux enterprise desktop, with customers in a wide range of sectors focused on security, cost and manageability," said Silber. 

"We also see an opportunity in basic smartphones that are used for the phone, SMS, web and email, where Ubuntu outperforms thanks to its native core apps and stylish presentation."

As Silber notes, Ubuntu is targeted at two core mobile segments: the high-end superphone, and the entry-level basic smartphone.

Unsurprisingly, a number of new smartphone-specific features will be packaged along with the OS, including edge magic (thumb gestures from all four edges of the screen), deep content immersion (controls appear only when the user wants them), a slick global search for apps and support for both native and HTML5 apps.

"In bringing Ubuntu to the phone, Canonical is uniquely placed with a single operating system for client, server and cloud, and a unified family of interfaces for the phone, the PC and the TV," added Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth.

"We are defining a new era of convergence in technology, with one unified operating system that underpins cloud computing, data centers, PCs and consumer electronics."