Ubuntu Mobile OS Hands-On Video: Sleeker, Faster, Prettier

Software company Canonical made waves recently with the announcement that Ubuntu, the popular open-source operating system, was making the leap to smartphones. But does the world need another mobile operating system? The folks at Canonical seem to think so. And after going hands-on with the latest build of Ubuntu Mobile during Pepcom at CES 2013, we tend to agree.

During our demo, the Canonical rep used a Google Nexus phone that ran the new OS. Instead of a lockscreen, Ubuntu Mobile appealed to our inner artist with a colorful infographic of our recent phone use. Another notable difference is phone navigation. Ubuntu Mobile ditches the Android’s familiar buttons (Back, Menu, Search and Home), using the edges of the display to navigate between apps, menus and notifications.

For example, a small swipe from the left edge of the display revealed all the phone’s apps. A swipe from the right edge scrolled through apps. Accessing the notifications shade involved a gentle pull from the top edge. However, unlike Android, we were able to scroll left or right to access both settings and content like music and movies. An upward swipe reveals the menu, meaning users would only see the menu when they wanted to.

As the rep took us through the demo, we were impressed with the speed and fluidity of the navigation. Despite running on a year-old phone, navigation was blazing fast. The UI is very clean and lovely to look at. Previewed images in the gallery were large and inviting, as were the app icons in the app bar. It’s a very compelling case of art intersecting with technology. 

We were also told that when docked in a compatible device, an Ubuntu mobile device will be able to run the full PC version of Ubuntu. While the rep was unable to give us carrier information, he said that Ubuntu smartphones would be hitting stores sometime in 2013. Overall, Ubuntu Mobile is a breath of fresh air in a room filled with Android and iOS. The UI is remarkably fast and beautiful, and with the legions of Ubuntu fans, Ubuntu-powered smartphones could become the dark horse in the smartphone race.

LEAVE A REPLY
Name*
Email* (will not be published)
Website
*Indicates required field
Comments*
Submit Comments

  1. Nikolay Dimitrov Says:

    could this be put on lets say a nexus 7?

  2. Gary Says:

    I’m ready to install it on my VZW Galaxy Nexus.

  3. Gusgus Says:

    Looks like this will be my next smartphone OS.

FIND A REVIEW
Laptops
All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Brand
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating Editor's Choice 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
Resolution
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options
SUBSCRIBE