Ubuntu has been neatly integrated into Android, and will be exhibited at Mobile World Congress next week. Carry just the phone, and connect it to any monitor to get a full Ubuntu desktop with all the native apps you want, running on the same device at the same time as Android. Magic. Everything important is shared across the desktop and the phone in real time.
It’s a lightweight way to be – everything seamlessly available with the right interface for the right form factor, with no hassles syncing. It just works, the way Ubuntu should. Lots of work behind the scenes to make both systems share what they need to share, but the desktop is a no-compromise desktop.
This isn’t the “Ubuntu Phone”. The phone experience here is pure Android. This announcement is playing to a different story, which is the convergence of multiple different form factors into one most-personal device. Naturally, the most personal device is the phone, so it’s a convergence of all of these different personalities – phone, tablet and desktop – into the phone. When you need a desktop, you connect up to a screen and a keyboard. When you need a tablet, you dock to some very elegant glass.
Just for fun, Ubuntu TV experience has also been integrated – so this isn’t just a desktop in your pocket, it’s a media centre too.
Mark Shuttleworth invites fans and users to come and say hello in Barcelona next week during the World Mobile Congress, and he’ll be glad to hear what you think of it in person. In his words – ‘Everyone we’ve shown it to has had a “wow!” moment’. For network operators who have long believed that the phone was the PC of the future for the next billion connected consumers, and for handset manufacturers who want to offer companies a single device for corporate computing, this is a delicious prospect. For those of us who love our desktops free, focused and mobile, it’s nirvana.