Linux enthusiasts rejoiced at the news that Canonical would be bringing Ubuntu to the mobile realm, and although it was promised a developer preview would be available for the Galaxy Nexus at some point early this year, it now looks as though the Nexus 4 will be joining it. From 21st of February, anybody in ownership of either device will be able to get a first look at the OS, which is set to release at some point in October, and although developers may not be leaping out their seats in excitement, it’s hard not to take at least a fleeting interest in its progress.
Canonical has been working on bringing Linux to mobile for a long while now, and with both the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 4 being incredibly popular devices, the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview should reach a significant number of willing individuals. The preview will be accompanied by a bunch of necessary flashing tools, helping users to install the OS, and if you’re planning on hitting the Mobile World Congress, you could always get one of the on-site Canonical team to flash it for you.
Ubuntu is renowned for being very user friendly, and is pointed to by experienced Linux users as an introductory tool for eventual, deeper delving into the frameworks of Linux. Canonical will be hoping this worldly view of Ubuntu will carry over to mobile, inviting interested parties to give it a hands-on test and hopefully, look to adopt / develop for it.
While plenty companies are looking to establish themselves in an Android / iOS-dominated market, Canonical has the advantage of a large desktop-level user base, many of whom are partisan Linux evangelists who’ve been waiting for an opportunity to nurture their interests on their mobile devices.
The preview will arrive next week, on the 21st, and we’ll obviously come through with another reminder when it does. If you’re in ownership of either the Nexus 4 or Galaxy Nexus, you may want to begin your preparations.
Of course, we do not recommend installing on a device you’d consider to be your daily driver, just incase something should go wrong, but if you have a spare knocking about, mark the date in your calendar!
It has been reported earlier that the first Ubuntu Phone OS powered devices will hit shelves later this year, in October to be more precise.