Ubuntu for Android Turns Android Phones into a Desktop Computers

Written by John Ponio    Tuesday, 21 February 2012 17:38

Ubuntu for Android

A new project out of Canonical will make an Android phone be able to sort of dual-boot the Android OS and the full desktop version of Ubuntu when you plug it into a dock. The two operating systems use the same kernel, so dual-booting really isn't much of a problem. When you plug the phone into the dock, it switches over to a full desktop version of Ubuntu while still having the Android OS run concurrently. Everything like messaging, phone calls, calendars, photos, and contacts are shared between the two, meaning you can take phone calls, respond to texts, change appointments, and edit photos while in Ubuntu with every change in Ubuntu carrying over to Android. The phone specification requirements are pretty high, though, which means that if you're running a generation-or-two-old phone you probably won't be able to use this when it gets released. Here're the specs:

  • Dual-core 1GHz CPU
  • Video acceleration: shared kernel driver with associated X driver; Open GL, ES/EGL
  • Storage: 2GB for OS disk image
  • HDMI: video out with secondary frame buffer device
  • USB host mode
  • 512 MB RAM
This seems like a cool idea, but I'm not so sure it's really necessary. Mobile phones break too easily for me to rely on them for my main computer. Not that I've ever broken mine, but it seems most people have a tendency to drop them and break the screen or get them wet. One good application of this project, though, is for tablets. The whole idea reminds me of the Asus Transformer (the tablet that has a keyboard/battery dock). If this could be put on the Transformer or a used in a manner close to that, I think that'd be great. But even in that, it's not a necessary thing. Just an added bonus, I guess. Currently the Ubuntu for Android project is only open to developers, and there's no word on when it will be released.