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A Preview of the Ubuntu Smartphone OS from CES

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 15 comments

A promising contender in the smartphone OS space.

Even with the continued strength of iOS and the growing dominance of Android, there's still room for innovation in the smartphone OS space. Just as how Ubuntu finds its place among Mac OS X and Windows, Canonical has revealed a version of its Linux-based OS for smartphones.

We were fortunate enough to go hands-on at a demonstration at CES. Overall, we were extremely impressed with the polish of the OS. It manages to do something different from both iOS and Android, and while those systems are tried and true, there's still plenty of room for innovation.

Check out the video below for what we saw:

Ubuntu Smartphone

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  • 4 Hide
    burnley14 , January 14, 2013 8:55 PM
    It's nice to have competition, but this interface looks a little clumsy. Even in the demonstration she had trouble swiping to the left without pulling out that "launch menu." I'm sure it will be more polished before final launch, but this video wasn't enough to make me abandon the old phone OS's.
  • 2 Hide
    antilycus , January 14, 2013 8:58 PM
    Yes Please. Now just dont update stuff for the sake of making something new. That's the one thing I dont like about Ubuntu. Stability is sacrificed for "new" (and people have a tendancy to think new is better, just look at win8 for why that's not true).

    If this can replace my current Andoid OS I'll be all over it. Though I dont know if I like having to hold my thumb on the left side to toggle through apps.
  • 5 Hide
    aicom , January 14, 2013 9:02 PM
    Heh, reminds me of Windows 8 with all the gestures.
  • 1 Hide
    phate , January 14, 2013 9:02 PM
    antilycusYes Please. Now just dont update stuff for the sake of making something new. That's the one thing I dont like about Ubuntu. Stability is sacrificed for "new" (and people have a tendancy to think new is better, just look at win8 for why that's not true).If this can replace my current Andoid OS I'll be all over it. Though I dont know if I like having to hold my thumb on the left side to toggle through apps.


    I'm curious how much of that is your fault? I too find myself trying out each incremental Ubuntu release, but regretting it half the time. I've finally steeled myself and now just use the LTS releases.
  • 1 Hide
    freggo , January 14, 2013 10:16 PM
    hydac7If i ever see anymore of that unity gui crap (like linux though) I'm gonna .. I'm gonna kill the neighbors or something ...


    Now why would you make someone else or something else 'pay' for your dislikes?
    Seems very egoistical to me.

    :) 
  • 0 Hide
    warbler boy , January 14, 2013 11:07 PM
    I love Unity. I have no idea why people complain about it. I'm using it for this message & it's my favorite desktop OS. It reminds me a bit of OSX before it started to look like an app.
  • 1 Hide
    TomsSound , January 15, 2013 12:35 AM
    The problem with this and windows ... the new gestures are not quite as intuitive as they'd like us to believe. The person showing off the phone was fumbling around quite a bit. (umm which side do i pull or push... hmmm).
    Not that it's a bad system.. it's just something that would need a little bit of playing with to remember what to do or which gesture to use.
  • 0 Hide
    GhosT94 , January 15, 2013 1:30 AM
    looks nice , certainly not easy to use like the other but Initiative and could be gotten used to
  • 5 Hide
    tuch92 , January 15, 2013 2:19 AM
    I got rid of Ubuntu on my desktop in exchange for Fedora because I didn't like the way Ubuntu was heading with the Amazon connection and Unity (I use Gnome 3). However, even with having tried out plenty of Android ROMs on my Galaxy S 4G, this looks more of what I want out of a phone than anything I've played with thus far (including Windows Phone 7.5 & 8 and iOS).

    I am a linux user through and through and while I would love this as is, I hope this also helps other linux developers to get into the phone OS. Having the option between say a Ubuntu, Fedora, Puppy( for old phones) and even a few new comers, would be great.
  • 1 Hide
    bit_user , January 15, 2013 2:35 AM
    Been waiting for a smartphone that's not going to spy on me, not overpriced & from a company in bed with the content industry, and is not from Microsoft.

    I was sad to see Nokia drop Maemo. Now, finally something to take its place.
  • 2 Hide
    hp79 , January 15, 2013 2:57 AM
    I hate Unity crap!!! But it looks kinda okay for a phone. Never gonna put that crap on a desktop/laptop though. I'm using Ubuntu 10.04, and if I need to switch, I'll go to Linux Mint.

    Ubuntu's Unity really really sucks, I hate it so much. Windows 8 is not great, but okay, I can get used to it. Ubuntu's Unity, I'll never get what their direction is. Are those idiots trying to make a OS X clone? I thought it is a terrible direction ever since they started imitating the minimize/maximize buttons, and then moved the menu items on a top task bar. Horrible design. Probably okay on a phone though.
  • 0 Hide
    myromance123 , January 15, 2013 4:30 AM
    This is something I'm seriously looking forward to!
    I hope this also means better optimizations for the desktop version of Ubuntu in the future.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 15, 2013 6:29 AM
    I would stick a bit of minty all over my phone if I could. Hope Mint follows suit!
  • 0 Hide
    richarduk , January 15, 2013 7:13 PM
    Where is the queue? Got tent and sleeping bag ready. :) 
    Me want now!
  • 0 Hide
    digitalvampire , January 15, 2013 10:37 PM
    warbler boyI love Unity. I have no idea why people complain about it. I'm using it for this message & it's my favorite desktop OS. It reminds me a bit of OSX before it started to look like an app.


    Of course it reminds you of OSX. Mark Shuttleworth has mentioned before that is the intended direction for Ubuntu. Ubuntu is often referred to as the "Apple of the Linux world." And just for the record, Unity isn't a Desktop OS. It's not even, technically, a Desktop Environment. It's a shell for Gnome 3 (in the same way that Gnome Shell is a shell for Gnome 3).