Via Canonical’s Pre-CES Announcement and Ubuntu Phone landing page.
I thought this was interesting, as it fits right in with my “way of the future” dreams back when I got my first Palm OS phone.
“These will one day replace my computers…”
While that idea doesn’t necessarily seem to fit for 100% of the users anymore, the idea of “one device to rule them all” is still tantalizing and is already becoming a reality for many iPad users as they forgo their “desktop” OS’s entirely. Unfortunately for me, I’m a developer – so I may not see this future, though us developers can always dream (with an iPad mini wifi+cellular and my phone for calls, I can get close and technically could do remote break-fix web work in a pinch if I had to).
The developer tools look pretty interesting, as the native toolkit seems to derive from QT5 and the Ubuntu QML implementation. I haven’t had a chance to dive into the API documentation yet, nor do I know if I will – as this could easily go the way of the Motorola Atrix’s webtop (everyone jumped on that bandwagon right?).
The gestures very much remind me of what I loved from Palm’s WebOS and the openness(?) reminds me of what everyone was chanting when Open Handset Alliance announced Android. The main difference here is that Canonical has shown its ability to work with major manufacturers while also keeping their dedication to the platform and what Ubuntu/Linux stands for. Meanwhile Google has enforced restrictions on those who wish to have the full suite of Google Apps available to their users while also showing some shady behavior in regards to Android deals and distribution. The Open Handset Alliance page hasn’t had a news item since 2011, which just furthers my beliefs that the Alliance is really more of a cult following.
For the masses, the Ubuntu phone could mean a stab at Google’s reign with Android as users become increasingly irritated with Google’s constant collection of their data and invasion of privacy, or simply a reasonable alternative for those that cling to AOSP roms for their handsets in order to run a modern operating system when the manufacturer fails to produce a promised update (or takes forever to do so).
For Linux users, the Ubuntu phone could finally mean a handset coming to market that more accurately represents their desires of openness and freedom which could prove to be a worthy alternative to Android or iOS for their mobile phone/tablet needs.
Speculations aside, with RIM flailing, Nokia seemingly following suit, and Windows Phone barely making a dent in the market, some fresh competition by a player big enough to “bring it” is much-needed.