Ubuntu for Phones Vs. Android

At LockerGnome.net, freedmerica writes:

I understand it would be cool to get a new operating system, but are there actually any major benefits to using Ubuntu on a phone or tablet? Is it just user interface?

UbuntuUbuntu and Ubuntu for Phones do a lot to shake up what has become a largely unchanged mobile operating market. Where Microsoft has made strides to bring its desktop operating system to tablets, and both Apple and Google have brought consistency between the world of mobile phones and tablet computers, Canonical’s tablet-friendly version of Ubuntu has certainly bridged the gap between the Ubuntu experience on a desktop, the upcoming Ubuntu for Phones, and a rich tablet experience.

In many ways, it’s delivering on a promise originally made by Microsoft as it attempts to bring the user experience across all supported devices together in one consistent UI. Where Microsoft is falling short in desktop adoption, Ubuntu is poised to take pole position as perhaps the first truly consistent user experience from phones to desktops.

It’s hard not to compare Ubuntu to Android in this respect. Android has long been an operating environment that has the potential of crossing over to laptops and desktops. Its relatively open nature has long made it a favorite among the tech savvy, while holding its own against Apple’s iOS, Microsoft’s Windows Phone, and BlackBerry.

Making an absolutely definitive this vs. that would be premature at this point. For the time being, Ubuntu’s more mobile-capable releases are still in their infancy. Developers are only now beginning to see what the environment will look like.

What we can see right now is promising. It’s not optimized or perfectly polished yet, but it’s still too early to expect such things from a new OS. Android is still going through its own growing pains and to expect Ubuntu for Phones to come out on top out of the gate is a tall order.

How well Ubuntu on tablets or Ubuntu for Phones will compare to Android during actual real-world use is anyone’s guess at this point. It comes down to how well the community responds to the idea of a traditionally desktop OS making the move to mobile. Ubuntu is largely supported by its massive following of developers and talented programmers each working out ways to keep it attuned to the latest technologies.

Where companies like Google, Apple, and Microsoft have a lead is in their existing relationships with content publishers. Having the most popular apps on your platform is certainly a draw, and for now multimedia publishers are still wary of throwing their support for a major Linux distro like Ubuntu. Netflix, even after large community calls for support, remains largely unsupported. Perhaps through a more refined (and slightly less open) app platform, Canonical can gain the type of trust currently reserved for the big hitters of the industry.

Can Ubuntu eventually knock Android and even iOS down a few notches in terms of market share? Absolutely. If anything, it gives users the one thing that should make every consumer happy: choice.

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Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.

  • Panagiotis Tsagkaris

    I have tried using latest stable version of Ubuntu into a Nexus 4 on its own and with dual boot with android kitkat (factory version and custom rom). It works if you do one thing at at a time it will be fine multitasking still needs work. I would describe it as using windows 7 with one core and 3Ghz of cpu. You will be fine but if you slightly push it, it will crash.