Canonical was one of our first stops inside AppPlanet here at Mobile World Congress. After hearing about Ubuntu for Android, my personal favorite flavor of Linux, I had to hunt them down. We were showed the app running on a Motorola Atrix 4G 2. Ubuntu tells us that they do have a minimum spec recommendation. While they didn’t go into detail, we know that you’re most likely in the clear if your phone has video-out, 1GB of RAM and a dual-core processor.
The operating system is just as it is on desktop PCs. You’re getting that lovely Gnome-based user interface and suite of features alongside all of the preinstalled applications you’d expect. Out of the box, you can do things like edit photos, create documents, listen to music and more with very little hassle, if any at all. The greatest thing is that Ubuntu knows what a photo is and where they are on your phone. When you edit a photo on your in Ubuntu, it will automatically be transferred back to Android. It’s convenience like that which gets me excited.
You can do system-wide searches for documents and apps, and even use your Android apps while Ubuntu is running. Since both Android and Ubuntu are Linux-based operating systems Ubuntu said that it was the perfect first choice for their mobile aspirations.
They offer even more integration by pulling in your contacts and appointments. All of it is seamlessly synced between Android and Ubuntu so you won’t have to reach for your phone while it’s running. Everything ran smoothly and stably – not to be mean to Motorola when it’s being demoed on their own device, but it blows WebTop completely out of the water.
Ubuntu tells us that the operating system updates will happen side-by-side with PC and netbook updates. Android users also get full access to software repositories, Ubuntu One and other major features which make Ubuntu a great operating system to use. You can find our hands-on above and look forward to seeing this preinstalled on devices sometime soon. Hopefully Ubuntu will make a public release available for several phones down the line, but they could not confirm that they were working on that.