In January this year, Canonocal has introduced Ubuntu OS for mobile phones, and yesterday the London-based company has announced the tablet version of its new mobile operating system. Based on the same GNU/Linux, Ubuntu OS for tablets will run on any device that packs a screen between 6 and 20 inches, thus completing the mobile version, and, of course the popular desktop version.
The test version of Ubuntu OS for tablets will become available as of tomorrow and it can be installed on Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets. The Galaxy Nexus and the Nexus 4 terminals will also receive an optimized version for smaller displays as of tomorrow.
The minimum hardware requirements for the new software platform are: dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processors, 1 GB of RAM, and 8 GB of internal storage, but Canonical’s plans also include higher end devices, based on Cortex A15 or Intel Atom chipsets and featuring 10 – 12 inches. According to the Mark Shuttleworth’s statements the low-end and mid-end terminals, are for the time being the company’s priority.
By announcing Ubuntu OS for tablets, which will be detailed at MWC 2013, Canonical aims to provide an unique and unified experience for devices with small screens to desktop systems and smart HDTVs with big diagonals. But all the Ubuntu versions will not be truly unified until later next year, in April, when the London-based company will launch Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.
Depending on the terminal it is running on, Ubuntu OS will have different user interfaces, optimized for one-hand usage, two hands, keyboard or mouse, but the kernel will be the same and it will provide an easy migration between the systems it is running on and optimized to work best with periferals or displays that are connected. The developers will be able to write unique applications capable of adopting to the platform they are runned on.
Canonical also posted a short presentation video, emphasizing the real multitasking, the Split Screen mode, multiple user accounts and a unique way to switch between apps.
Mark Shuttleworth said that, contrary to the rumors that surfaced in January, the first mobile terminals running on Ubuntu OS will not be launched this fall, but only when the software platform will be finalized, sometime in the first quarter of 2014.