Ubuntu for phones has been officially revealed by Canonical, with the software set to make an appearance at the upcoming CES 2013. The developer of the platform says that the smartphone interface will use all four edges of the screen to pull up menus, amounting to a more immersive experience on mobile.
Ubuntu for phones won’t have a lock screen. Instead, swiping gestures from the edges of the phone take precedence. The company claims this will give users access to much more of their precious screen space while making content and apps available instantly and keeping it close at hand.
For example, getting to favorite apps needs only a swipe from the left edge of the display panel inwards. This means that users can go directly to a utility. Even when there are tons of applications loaded on a phone, quick admission is afforded from the home screen which can be accessed via a button at the bottom of the favorites list.
This is something the company calls edge magic. As mentioned above, the gesturing support that has been infused into the OS finds its way to all 4 edges of the screen, making it simpler and more efficient to get to content, check notifications, change settings, and quickly go back to running apps.
There will be an eye-catching interface for entry-level smartphones, while those using high-end mobile devices will be able to take advantage of a ‘unique PC experience’ with a keyboard, mouse and monitor attached. And for developers, the web app framework used on the mobile platform is exactly the same as the desktop web app framework that first came out with version 12.10.
A few features in the handset interface will comprise of a completely new user experience, according to the company. For starters, users will have the option to launch global searches for apps and content. Then the simplicity of running both native and web apps has been included.
It has to be said that there isn’t a dedicated phone running the mobile OS yet. But the company has made Android kernels and drivers compatible with the Ubuntu OS for the mobile platform, making it easier on the consumer to add the platform to their phone.
Additionally, the OS also boasts of voice and text commands within any application, thus granting faster access to data. Controls appear only when the user wants them to, giving greater screen visibility and more immersive an experience.
We should hear (and see) much more about Ubuntu for phones at this year’s CES which is scheduled to kick off in a few days time. And at the MWC later in February, a demo of a handset running the mobile OS is expected.