Ubuntu Linux is coming to smartphones soon. The news was confirmed by Canonical that the test version known as “Touch Developer Preview” will be available in a few days and rolling updates will be released afterwards.
The news of the impending release was announced in an interview recently done by Canonical’s founder with the Wall Street Journal. The most notable indication was the Canonical blog post that revealed the Touch Developer Preview would soon be available for Nexus handsets. The post mentioned the Nexus handsets as a target device. Hopefully Google will be able to keep up with the demand for Nexus handsets.
Canonical also announced that with the Touch Developer Preview there will also be tolls available for making it possible to flash the OS to devices that users will be able to download from Ubuntu archives. For now only current Ubuntu users will have access to the technology. There was no word as to whether the program will be available for Windows or OS X any time soon or for other variations of Linux.
Developers say the long term goal is for Ubuntu to be supported on a wide array of devices using the same code for each different type. There are also plans for the next version of the platform to be released later this year. This newest version of Ubuntu will supposedly include a complete basic level experience for smartphone users. What exactly the new version will do has not been completely defined yet.
One of the goals for the February test release is to encourage developers into building apps that support the smartphone use. Canonical is hoping to gain support by making the OS code for Touch Developer Preview available to developers. Canonical says that developers experienced in mobile device applications should have little difficulty porting Ubuntu to current handset models. The company is also hoping for support in testing and experimentation with additional devices. Because the Ubuntu for phones is a full distribution, developers will be able to use a wide array of tools for creating apps as well as running ones written in HTML5 alongside ones with native binaries. To get developers started, Canonical has made a Preview SDK available for download along with an App Design Guide for consistency in design for how the apps operate and look.
All the mystery and speculation surrounding the Touch Developer Preview should be put to rest when Canonical makes the official launch in a few days.