Ubuntu Phone image for Galaxy Nexus to be available for download late February


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.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  2. and I sold my Galaxy Nexus…

    Interested in trying this. I like the idea of it.

  3. Even if Verizon’s CDMA functionality uses proprietary code, wouldn’t it be possible to make a Verizon image that only has LTE functionality? Yeah, I know you wouldn’t be able to make calls or send SMS messages, but with just Internet access it would be interesting to mess with anyways.

    Ideally, once VoLTE comes online, the phone call issue would be fixed. But… hmm… We’ll see…

  4. I don’t understand why everyone here is so excited for an Ubuntu phone, yet at the same time repeatedly make fun of RIM and Microsoft.

    I was not impressed by this at all, it looked really laggy and the interface is needlessly complicated to navigate.

    1. I totally agree. Besides, if they are going to do it, it should be dual boot with JB 4.2 on my Nexus 4.

    2. Exactly. Like the drop down menu is way too complicated. There’s like at least 4 different menus that you can drag down.

    3. I don’t think many people are excited. I only saw a few people comment that they were on board with this project, and they were all Ubuntu or Linux users. Ubuntu for Android is a joke. It isn’t going to compete with WP or BB10, let alone iOS, and especially Android. All I can ask is that they keep this junk off of our Android devices. By late February KLP will be a few months from its release. It’s a wasted investment.

      1. Perhaps, but this isn’t Ubuntu for Android. I’m excited for it myself, not because of any smoothness in the UI, but because it will allow even greater usability of my device than does Android.

        1. Let’s call it Ubuntu for Android devices in that case.

          1. But.. this isn’t ubuntu for android devices, this is an early prototype designed to work with the hardware in the Galaxy Nexus. They will have their own devices in the future specifically for their OS.

            This will be a very good product and with the ease of adoption and with a lot of devs already using Ubuntu and other Linux releases for dev purposes, I think we’ll see a pretty fast adoption rate, at least among devs to provide native apps.

          2. Last time I checked the number of Windows users was a billion and some, yet they can’t even scratch the mobile market. Do you honestly think that this Ubuntu mobile OS is gonna do any better? Nope. In fact I put my money on it not even grabbing 1% of the mobile market. People can always dream though.

        2. how so? What exactly do you want to do with your SMARTPHONE that android won’t allow? You have cl, have you root, you have access to thousands more apps than UbummerTu will ever give you. So you’ll sacrifice a vetted OS with a ton of support for a weekend warrior OS with limited support and extremely laggy?

          1. You shouldn’t point out the lag so soon, especially when the product is incomplete. They’re releasing a similar (if not the same) unfinished image that they demo’d in that video a while ago. It will get better in that area.

            That said, it does have a few features that Android doesn’t right now, most notably those “edge of screen” features. This can be fixed with an App, sure, but there are none that do the same right now. I wouldn’t exactly call the usability “greater” but rather different in some areas that may be important to some people.

          2. Having a full working desktop environment accessible by simply docking your phone would be a great improvement over currently available technology on any phone O/S.

      2. I agree. I really wish Ubuntu would have focused on providing a polished desktop before jumping on the the smartphone and smartTV bandwagons. It doesn’t seem like a good use of resources to me at all.

    4. Its easy to make fun of RIM. Microsoft on the other hand made a very solid OS with Windows Phone. I’m excited for this just how I’m excited to see BB10. There are some great features in there that I would love to try. It looked laggy, but it was demo’d in an incomplete state. If you owned a G1, you know Android, in its infancy, was laggy too (and it wasn’t entirely the fault of the hardware). I’m excited for this Ubuntu OS specifically because I’d like to see some of its features implemented in Android, either in custom ROMs by ROM Devs, in Apps by App devs, or by Google themselves.

  5. I don’t want it, but there’s a couple concepts and/or features that I’d love Android to have.

  6. I’m not laughing. I’m genuinely interested in a dual boot between this and Android.

  7. Can’t wait to see this fully released!

  8. tumbleweeds roll through the other 99% of the android community over this news. *finger twirl*

  9. I’m most interested in getting my hands on it so I can see what could be picked and added to a custom Android ROM. I like what I saw in this OS but there aren’t enough aspects to get me to switch. That said, it does have some awesome features. The whole “edge of screen” things is just brilliant.

  10. I hope they release the version of Ubuntu with feature of mulitboot so we can run Android as well as Ubuntu in same phone.

  11. I wonder they’ll do it to Nexus 4 too…

    1. Galaxy Nexus Sold more than 20 millions, how many Nexus 4 were sold yet? 5000?? LOL We cant compare samsung production capacity to LG´s one, I love all my samsung devices (everything i got is Samsung) and galaxy nexus behave better than s3 and note 2 believe me. This phone is a LEGEND and now will have 2 OS Choices! EPIC MOBILE!

  12. I can’t wait to try ubuntu on my android device

  13. Surely the whole point of this exercise from Ubuntu is that, in contrast to the existing market, they are NOT producing two versions of their OS, but the SAME OS, only with slight GUI tweaks between the two. Certainly, there is much work top be done but I for one, am really looking forward to this…

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