Operating Systems

Canonical Unveils Ubuntu for Tablets

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We already know Ubuntu Linux is set to arrive on mobile devices-- now Canonical reveals how the upcoming version of the OS will take on the tablet experience. 

Ubuntu tabletAble to run the same applications as the desktop version, tablet Ubuntu promises the best of both PC and mobile worlds with "side stage" multitasking allowing users to run phone and tablet apps side-by-side (for example a video playing on one side, a Twitter app on the other) on a single display. 

Once connected to a keyboard and mouse Ubuntu tablets also provide a desktop experience complete with remote Windows access via VMware, Wyse, Microsoft and Citrix virtual desktop tools.  

"Multi-tasking productivity meets elegance and rigorous security in our tablet experience," Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth says. "Our family of interfaces now scales across all screens, so your phone can provide tablet, PC and TV experiences when you dock it. That's unique to Ubuntu and it's the future of personal computing."


The Next Smartphone OS Contestant is...

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Look out iOS, Android, et al, a new kid is headed towards smartphone OS town-- Linux in Ubuntu form, as developers Canonical set to focus attentions on smartphones from 2013 onward. 

Linux phoneIt won't be a cut-down version of the PC OS either. According to Canonical Ubuntu 14.04 designed for use in smartphones and smart TVs as well as computers. 

The interface is enhanced for touchscreens, apparently using all screen edges "for a more immersive experience" and thumb gestures for fast switching between apps. 

Canonical aims the OS at two markets-- lower-end smartphones and an enterprise customers wanting to converge phone, PC and thin client into "a single enterprise superphone."

Now the company looks for OEMs and carriers willing to go for Linux, providing engineering services and compatibility with the typical Android Board Support Package (BSP). Programming language support includes HTML5, QML and OpenGL, but no Dalvik (the Android Java Virtual machine). 

Ubuntu 14.04 is currently on show at CES 2013, but will only be available from 2014. Perhaps by then Canonical will manage to get a big name mobile vendor on board the Linux train. 

Go Ubuntu Comes to the Phone

Jolla Sails on With Mobile OS

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Finland-based mobile developer Jolla finally shows off the fruit of its labours-- CEO Marc Dillon appears on MTV 3 Finland with a live demo of Sailfish, its MeeGo-based smartphone OS.

SailfishRunning on what looks like a Nokia N950 developer device, the OS looks rather interesting. It has a tile-based UI, with running apps showing up on the homescreen as large, interactive widgets.

A "pulley" menu allows users to control music playback or answer/end calls, without need to open separate apps. Customisation is automatic through "ambience," a system generating the look and feel for a device via photo analysis.

The company promises the OS runs many Android apps "unaltered" (via Myriad Alien Dalvik), while other apps will need tweaking. It also has partnerships with at least one vendor (ST-Ericsson) and a mobile network (Finland's DNA) for future Sailfish mobile devices.

Jolla first made an appearance on July 2012 as a collective of ex-Nokia employees from the MeeGo N9 division. Named after a kind of sail boat, it hopes to create an alternative to Android and iOS using MeeGo, the shortlived OS merging Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo projects.

Watch Presenting Jolla

Go Here is the New Sailfish Operating System

Go MeeGo Sails on in Jolla

BlackBerry 10 Gets Launch Date

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Research in Motion (RIM) announces the date for the global BlackBerry 10 launch-- January 30 2012, with the date marking the launch of the new BlackBerry platform and 2 new BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

Blackberry 10BlackBerry 10 is the last great hope for a RIM struggling against the iPhone and Android devices. The company promises "a truly unique mobile computing experience" through BlackBerry Flow, a system allowing easy navigation between apps and a "hub" containing messages, notifications, feeds and events.

RIM also says the platform has FIPS 140-2 certification, making it suitable for government deployments.

January 30 will also see the launch of the 1st BlackBerry 10 devices-- a full touchscreen device (probably similar, if not identical, to the RIM test unit) and one more in line with the current BlackBerry Bold series.

Go BlackBerry 10 Launch Event to be Held on January 30 2012

webOS is Dead, Long Live Gram

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It looks like HP did not give up on the mobile dream-- an internal email from senior HP VP Martin Risau obtained by webOS Nation details how the webOS Global Business Unit (aka Palm) is turning into internal startup "Gram."

gram“We are no longer a consumer hardware brand," Risau writes. "We are a different company with a focus on software, user experience, cloud, engineering and partnering.” That rules out HP making mobile devices, then. 

HP donated the webOS source code to the open source community back in December 2011, but kept the webOS GBU as a business unit. However Gram is a quasi-independent entity under the larger HP umbrella... and purse strings. 

Risau gives no details on what Gram will work on (the company is "in stealth mode") but apparently the company not only has webOS, but also Enyo development tools and the separate webOS group cloud services team. It is also looking for new hires. 

Is HP taking a second stab at taking on the mobile market after failing to make the initial Windows RT OEM partner list? Or will Gram createl something more interesting than a mere iOS/Android/Win RT rival? 

Go webOS GBU to Become Quasi-Independent Cloud and UX Company (webOS Nation)