Canonical, the lead commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu, Linux is launching a new effort that will bring mobile phones and desktops together in a very different type of experience. The new “Ubuntu for Android” effort isn’t about running Ubuntu Linux on an Android phone, it’s about enabling a new type of converged device.
“Ubuntu for Android is a converged single device that gives a full Android smartphone experience as well as an Ubuntu desktop experience, when docked with a keyboard and monitor,” Jane Silber, CEO of Canonical, told InternetNews.com. “We’re working with handset manufacturers and mobile network operators to bring this to market.”
The ability to run Ubuntu on an Android phone is not a new idea and has been available via apps such as the Ubuntu Installer, which is not developed or marketed by Canonical. Silber stressed that Canonical’s Ubuntu for Android is not simply an Ubuntu app that runs on Android.
“It’s two operating systems with a shared kernel and one basically takes over for the other, depending on whether it’s docked or not,” Silber said. “It’s a bit of a new category, being a converged device and experience.”
Silber also stressed that Ubuntu for Android is not an Ubuntu phone. Rather when the device is being used as a phone it’s Android and when it’s docked then it’s Ubuntu. Ubuntu for Android is also not initially an effort that will enable any user to re-image an existing Android device in order to make it an Ubuntu for Android device. According to Canonical, hardware partners will work closely with Canonical to enable the device.