Ubuntu for Tablets announced – Nexus 7 & 10 to get a Preview version tomorrow

Ubuntu for TabletsUbuntu for phones will soon be available (as a developer preview) for people with a Galaxy Nexus or a Nexus 4. Now, Canonical has announced Ubuntu for tablets, filling in the gap as it were, and covering all sorts of devices, from computers and laptops and TVs to phones and now tablets.

“Multi-tasking productivity meets elegance and rigorous security in our tablet experience,” said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical. “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.”

Key Features of Ubuntu for Tablets

Ubuntu’s for tablet interface supports screen sizes from 6 inches upwards to 20 inches. Now who’d be waking around with a 20 inch tablet in their pockets, I don’t know. They also support screen resolutions from 100 – 450 pixels per inch. Ubuntu also provides proper multi-user account for the tablet, including a Guest mode, allowing you to share your tablet without worrying about other’s playing around with your personal emails and social network updates.  Here what Canonical’s press release mentions about the other key features of this new platform for tablets:

  • Real multitasking: Uniquely, Ubuntu allows a phone app on the screen at the same time as a tablet app. The Ubuntu side stage was invented both to enable efficient multitasking and to improve the usability of phone apps on tablets.
  • Secure multi-user: Multiple accounts on one tablet with full encryption for personal data, combined with the trusted Ubuntu security model that is widely used in banks, governments and sensitive environments, making it ideal for work and family use.
  • Voice controlled HUD productivity: The Heads-Up Display, unique to Ubuntu, makes it fast and easy to do complex things on touch devices, and transforms touch interfaces for rich applications, bringing all the power of the PC to your tablet.
  • Edge magic for cleaner apps: Screen edges are used for navigation between apps, settings and controls. That makes for less clutter, more content, and sleeker hardware. No physical or soft buttons are required. It’s pure touch elegance.
  • Content focus: Media is neatly presented on the customisable home screen, which can search hundreds of sources. Perfect for carriers and content owners that want to highlight their own content, while still providing access to a global catalogue.
  • Full convergence: The tablet interface is presented by exactly the same OS and code that provides the phone, PC and TV interfaces, enabling true device convergence. Ubuntu is uniquely designed to scale smoothly across all form factors.

Touch Developer Preview to be released on 21st Feb

Canonical also announced that they’d be released the Touch Developer Preview of Ubuntu on the 21st of February, with instructions on how to install it on the Nexus 7 and 10 tablets along with Android Phones like the Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus. Being a long time Ubuntu user on my desktop, I can’t wait to get my hands on this tomorrow.

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Mobile World Congress, you can also head over to Ubuntu’s booth and get Ubuntu on your devices.

You can get more information on Ubuntu for Tablets over at their site.

Ubuntu for Tablets Video

Here’s a video with Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth explain Ubuntu for tablets and what it offers industry partners.

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Vinu Thomas

Vinu is a Technical Architect working on Web technologies and a mobile enthusiast, who likes trying out new gadgets and apps. You can follow him on Twitter @vinuthomas

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