The first question we had when Canonical showed Ubuntu for Phones off is “when can we get our hands on this.” At the time, we were only afforded a window of “in the coming weeks,” and which devices would get the treatment weren’t disclosed (though we had strong suspicion that the Galaxy Nexus would be one of them).
Well, it looks like Canonical is keeping its word as the company’s Alan Pope has reportedly confirmed a late February distribution date to OMG Ubuntu. As we suspected, since the Galaxy Nexus was the first public reference device shown off to the public then it will be the first device to get a flashable image. We want to assume that this will only apply to the unlocked HSPA+ version of the phone, of course, because Verizon and Sprint’s proprietary cellular code will create quite the obstacle.
That said, the source code will also be released so the fine developers around the Android community will do everything they can to make sure every Galaxy Nexus owner can get in on the fun. And who knows — perhaps some coding mastermind will find a way to get this onto other devices, as well.
Note that Canonical will distribute the OS in an unfinished state. A lot of stuff will work, but a lot might not be implemented or properly working right away. We can at least expect basic phone calling and messaging to work, though, so those looking to download it for laughs can probably use it as a daily driver if they really wanted to. We’ll be getting a closer look at this thing in Vegas very soon.