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Ubuntu For Android Wants Smartphones To Become PCs

Remember the Citrix's Nirvana Phone? One where the phone becomes your computer, well, Canonical has been working on a similar concept delivering a powerful solution called Ubuntu for Android.

In a nutshell, it is a sleekier, faster, potentially more disruptive version of Motorola's Webtop solution which was launched last year with the Motorola Atrix and the adjunct keyboard dock.

When roaming around, it uses Android, when connected it switches seamlessly to a full version of Ubuntu complete with some customisation and even access to phone book and other services.

Ubuntu had a number of prototypes on its booth at this year's Mobile World Congress with a set up similar to the Sony Xperia arc S we saw in London at the launch of the device last year.

This includes a monitor connected via a HDMI port to a docking station with a Microsoft bluetooth keyboard and mouse, incidentally the same as on the arc S demo; an engineer on the booth confirmed that a wireless HDMI (or WiGIG) version with support for multiple monitors is in theory possible.

The Ubuntu for Android proof-of-concept prototype is based on the Motorola Atrix although other phones could potentially be hacked to run both Android and Ubuntu; as the two share the same kernel, the addition of Ubuntu is not too taxing on the system's resources although we've been told that it does reduce battery life.

Canonical has confirmed that a final version of Ubuntu for Android will be available later this year for smartphone manufacturers to bring to market.

Given the rise of the Bring Your Own Device paradigm, the time when a smartphone will be your only computer is not that far.


Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.