Ubuntu transforms dual core phones into fully functional desktop PC's
By Nick Moore
May 3, 2012
Smartphones and the technology that powers them continue to evolve at an incredible rate. Year after year, phones have continued to close the power gap that separates them with their traditional PC counterparts. Taking advantage of the latest in mobile processors, Canonical is set to release Ubuntu for Android. The OS effectively turns your phone into a full Ubuntu desktop computer when docked and connected to a monitor, meaning the day your smartphone could act as your primary computer is drawing nearer.
Ubuntu sits alongside the standard Android operating system, as they share the same Linux kernel. Similar to the Motorola ATRIX 4G that becomes the engine for a desktop or laptop PC when slotted into an external dock, docking your Ubuntu for Android device with a USB HDMI dock will see it automatically boot into Ubuntu. Then it's just a matter of connecting a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse and you've got fully functional desktop environment.
From what's been shown so far, the experience looks to be seamless and responsive, Ubuntu is very lightweight after all, and it seems that today's standard dual core phone can handle the OS with ease.In fact, it appears that any Android device can run Ubuntu so long as it meets the following requirements:
- Dual-core 1GHz CPU
- Video acceleration: shared kernel driver with associated X driver; Open GL, ES/EGL
- Storage: 2GB for OS disk image
- HDMI: video out with secondary frame buffer device
- USB host mode
- 512 MB RAM
As of now Canonical is working with handset manufacturers to get Ubuntu desktop functionality included out of the box in future Android phones - but whether or not any major players sign up remains to be seen. If HTC or Samsung used Ubuntu as a new marquee feature for an upcoming Android device, would the world take notice?
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