Back in January 2011 Motorola had released its Atrix and apart from being a spec sheet powerhouse, it realized a gadget lover’s pipe dream – a smartphone that would morph into a full-fledged PC once attached to a special dock. Unfortunately, as great as the idea was, Motorola’s webtop UI was frankly horrendous, but now a version of the Linux Ubuntu OS backed by Canonical has been released, which is specially tailored for Android devices with docking capabilities. Also Read - Flipkart Big Bachat Dhamaal sale: Best smartphone deals on iPhone 12 Mini, ROG Phone 3 and more
Of course, when the smartphone is being used on the go, it acts like the plain-jane Android experience we all are used to but the moment one plugs it in to a dock one is welcomed with the magnificence of Ubuntu combined with the Unity UI. According to Ubuntu.com all the functionalities of the phone are integrated inside the Ubuntu UI in addition to a number of desktop class applications such as VLC media player, Ubuntu Media Player, Chromium Web Browser, Google Docs, Mozilla Thunderbird Email client and many more. Also Read - Moto G51 affordable smartphone set to launch in India this week: Check launch date
Notably, this feature is limited to dual-core devices, so most mid-to-lower end Android smartphones will not be compatible, only the cream of the crop will have the luxury to run Ubuntu and understandably so because Ubuntu is a full desktop class operating system which requires a ton of processing power something which is available scarcely in single-core devices.
By the looks of it Ubuntu on Android might look like the Motorola webtop UI, but it is supposedly smoother to operate and offers much more functionality, however it is still pretty much at a prototype stage. At the moment there are slim pickings amongst Ubuntu apps for ARM based smartphones, but there should be no dearth of apps for the upcoming Intel x86 Medfield devices.
Having said this I will not be a surprised if this ushers an era of Ubuntu based apps optimized for ARM chipsets as the idea of having a desktop OS on a mobile device is very enticing. As of now the number of dockable Android smartphones is quite limited apart from the few Motorola handsets available in the market like the Razr and the Atrix 2, so only a limited number of smartphone users can access this functionality.
Canonical will demo Ubuntu on Android at MWC next week.