Sure, you might argue that platforms such as Firefox OS and Ubuntu Touch have nothing to offer over the already consecrated Android and iOS operating systems. However, while for Firefox the situation is rather blurry at this point – perhaps it’s targeted for the budget smartphones – the truth is that Ubuntu Touch has a trump card up its sleeve. To put it simply, the launch of the new platform could mean the possibility of running the same operating system on all your devices. In other words, the platform wants to bring TV, desktop, tablet and smartphone together and running on Linux apps.
Regardless of whether they want to see this grand idea become a reality or simply offer users some extra options, the cards are on the table as the Ubuntu developers announced that the mobile Linux version is not running inside the Android operating system. While the release date for the official launcher has not been announced yet, I’m confident that the days when Ubuntu Touch was booted into Android and seen on top of the Android core are numbered.
Is Ubuntu ready to face such steep competition? Will users really be tempted to try out the new platform? In our opinion, Ubuntu has the potential to bring a lot of new and exciting things to the mobile platforms. Let’s elaborate.
5 reasons why Ubuntu has a shot
With the risk of sounding like a Ubuntu fanatic, I must confess that I’m on the side of users who believe this operating system has a fair chance of beating Android on smartphones. Here are my reasons:
- Simple OS upgrade
If you own an Android then you know that it doesn’t get better than the OS version you had installed on your device. The developers of Ubuntu Touch on the other hand have promised constant upgrades and patches to keep things running smoothly. Therefore, if you count yourself among the Android fans who want the newest OS version, you might want to try out Ubuntu Touch for a change.
- Linux desktop software compatibility
Considering that there’s so much money to be made out of Android and iOS app development, there are slim chances of seeing a similarly blooming app market for the Ubuntu Touch. Nonetheless, the mobile platform is designed to run the existing Ubuntu apps just as efficiently, while the core functionality of Linux is already available for smartphones. Essentially, what’s left for the developers is to figure out a way to bring desktop apps to mobile in a proper, sleek display.
Moreover, the developers already announced they want to make the QML widgets public, so that it will be easier for any Ubuntu savvy to become a smartphone programmer. Therefore, I’m sure that by the time it’s out, the OS will have hundreds of apps ready to go.
- The Unity interface
If there were still any doubts that Unity was especially designed for touch interfaces, the new platform surely clears the air on the matter. Once you see it on a smartphone, you can’t help but notice that this was its original role. In fact, I can hardly wait till March next year to install it and confirm this once and for all. On a side note, while rumors have it that the Ubuntu Touch will be out in February 2014, there are higher chances it will roll out in March.
- The OS can cover the entire mobile device market
As Ubuntu developers stated in a recent conference, they intend to provide carriers with two OS models to cover both the high end and low end markets. Obviously, high end smartphones have better hardware and can support a bunch a features and widgets, whereas the low end phones will receive a platform with as many widgets as they can handle and that don’t affect the overall functionality.
- Simple customization
For the sake of simplicity, Ubuntu Touch’s developers have decided to take the carrier customizations out of the OS itself and move it where it’s very simple to apply modifications – the user space. Therefore, it will be easy for both end-users and carriers to upgrade to the latest OS version, add various apps or give the interface a unique look and feel.