Canonical releases Ubuntu Touch developer preview for Nexus devices

By on February 21, 2013, 1:00 PM

Canonical has launched a new version of its Ubuntu operating system designed with smartphones and tablets in mind. Available as a developer preview ahead of a full release sometime early next year, the software is available to download right now and is compatible with a handful of different Nexus products: the Nexus 4 ("mako"), Nexus 7 ("grouper"), Nexus 10 ("manta") and GSM variants of the Galaxy Nexus (“maguro").

Besides limited device compatibility there is not much you can do with the software at this point. Canonical says that the shell and basic apps like browser, contacts, gallery, camera, and notes will work and users should be able to connect their device to the Android Developer Bridge tool. Wi-Fi support is also present, while Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 users can connect to GSM networks to make phone calls and send SMS messages.

The new operating system claims to offer real multitasking with a Windows 8-esque side view option that lets you have two apps open and on-screen at the same time. It also supports multiple accounts with full encryption for personal data, built-in voice searching, and a number of gestures to navigate the OS.

Ubuntu for phones and tablets will run the full desktop operating system, meaning developers can create a single app for both the desktop and smartphone, while this also allows a device to become a full PC when docked with a monitor, mouse, and keyboard. Canonical says the main purpose of this early release is to lure in developers and get them to contribute to the project.

Those interested can head on over to the Ubuntu wiki for full instructions on how to install the Touch Developer Preview. If you want to try Ubuntu without wiping Android from your device dual booting is also an option.

User Comments: 6

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JC713 JC713 said:

This is basically like Windows 8... an OS which is late to the game and has to catch up. This could have awesome potential, we just need to see the app ecosystem develop.

maxxxenem1 maxxxenem1 said:

Ever time I install Ubuntu it needed some kind of hack like they can never finish it ..What a wast

JC713 JC713 said:

Ever time I install Ubuntu it needed some kind of hack like they can never finish it ..What a wast

I disagree, I am all for open source OS' competing with Windows

Guest said:

What about their biggest business asset, open office on phone and tablet, This will be the best mobile business tool, now that Microsoft believe they are the new Apple with matching prices. However time is short and this needs to be on sale before next year, why not concentrate on tablet release first and speed up the process.

Railman said:

With a Linux OS I would imagine you could load Wine which could potentially allow the use of standard Windows programs on an ARM device. The advantage being you dont have to buy an expensive Surface.

Guest said:

Ubuntu is one of those "it just works" installations. Another [better] example is Linux Mint ( ). Not sure why you'd have much trouble. It's not like spending the whole day trying to get all the scattered Windows drivers needed for a new install.

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